a little bit of silliness....click on the picture to create a fly for it to eat....

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Phuoc's Passion for pastry class....

It was with some trepidation that I set out for Cabramatta on Saturday...I'm such an inner city chook, but I actually arrived nice and early so after a lovely coffee we got started.  Phuoc had wanted to try to fit in all three types of pastry, short, choux and puff so we had to be very aware of time.  I decided to do a chocolate pate sucre - made into dulche de leche ganache tarts, choux to be made into coffee eclairs and chocolate puffs and an english puff pastry - there was no time to actually cook this pastry.
Pate sucre is simply a short paste made by creaming the butter and sugar rather than crumbing it.  The usual rules apply - keep handling to a minimum and use a lowish protein flour.  We reduced the gluten content in the flour by adding some cocoa.  The pastry was made, wrapped,
chilled then rolled thinly and baked blind.  The dulche de leche was made the easy way...boiling the tin of condensed milk for 3-4 hours.  To add an edge Phuoc added some sea salt...the addition of salt to caramel really brings a extra level of delicious to it. 

Ganache was made by using equal parts chocolate and boiled cream.  Once set I decorated the tarts with a little real gold leaf - which is edible.
The choux paste was made by hand, and piped out into eclairs and puffs but sadly the oven wasn't quite hot enough to give the required 'spring' needed for the necessary rise.  Luckily they rose enough to give us something to fill and decorate.

A point of care when making choux puffs is to pierce or cut open the puffs as soon as they come out of the oven so you can release steam and remove any uncooked dough.  Failure to do so can result in beautifully puffed up choux collapsing into a doughy lump as it cools.

Because we tried to squeeze so much into it the class ended up going from 11am through till 3pm!  These free classes are invaluable as practice sessions for the paying classes and for ironing out any little problems.  It is becoming apparant that I need to carry an oven thermometer in order to check on temperatures - absolutely necessary when cooking anything that requires 'spring' - pastry and breads.
I had a lot of fun and I hope Phuoc did also, I must thank her for her photography skills - as you can see she takes great shots.
The next class winner is KTBell, I'm waiting to hear from her to organise her personal one on one...get in touch KT...


  1. That sounds absolutely delicious Ngaire!! My mouth watered just looking at them on the website!!


  2. The class was fantastic and I enjoyed it alot. I couldn't believe how easy that tart was and the end result was magnificent. It was a shame I couldn't take you to Cabra for a little tour, maybe next time :)

  3. Thanks Leo, I'm lucky that I had such good photographers for both your class (thank your Mum again) and Phuocs...
    Phuoc, I would love to have a guided tour of Cabramatta...I will take you up on that offer when we can organise it. Happy cooking.

  4. I've just flown back in to the country, what an exciting thing to discover I've won! I'll send you an email soon :), KT.