Thursday, April 14, 2016

Day 28: Return of the Croissants

On Tuesday we made a whole lot of croissants. An insane number. We made two batches each of plain and chocolate and one batch of almond. And we had three other batches of croissant dough to play with. Three of us made cherry croissants, orange-apricot braids, and apple-brown sugar pinwheels. (I made the pinwheels which involved cooking apples in butter and cinnamon, piping some remonce mixed with pastry cream on the dough and topping with the apples.)

From the brioche dough we made purple spiral buns. The purple filling was almond cream mixed with black currant purée and they were divine! We also made peaches. This is a specialty of one of the Chefs and involves brioche buns, peach pastry cream, and sugar. The buns are made to look like fuzzy peaches and they are adorable and taste terrific, too.

Lastly, we tackled the puff pastry. Here we were allowed to experiment even further. I played it a little safe by making palmiers (elephant ears) again but I put cardamom in the sugar for rolling and folding and, for some, sprinkled almond flour in between the layers of the final shape. I wanted to see if I could approximate baklava. Not really, but the palmiers were fragrant and lovely nonetheless.

Chicken salad vols-au-vent
Others used the puff pastry to make dartois, mostly with savory fillings, and vols-au-vent, which were baked empty and then some were filled with lemon curd and others left empty. (I used some of the empty ones to send the elderchild to school with chicken salad and arugula puffs for lunch.)

There was a daring experiment with pistachios and a large twist of puff pastry that I suppose was meant to look more like a birdcage or something but didn't rise so much as spread. Lastly, some of the scraps of puff pastry were used by one of our classmates to make these beauties:
We each got some puff pastry dough to take home. Mine is in the freezer and hopefully I can play with it soon. 

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