Pâtisserie secrets? There’s no such thing is there? Hmm, we’ll discuss that later. Meanwhile, much of last week was dedicated to perfecting little cherry and almond soufflés made with cornflour and involving dairy-free almond milk or sugar-free xylitol versions. Gruelling work… hee hee… but totally worth it! Like climbing.
Seriously, leaving the kitchen on July 4th I went climbing in the mountains around Barcelona then on to our barbecue like many of you guys in the US. I took along a cake that would survive a day at the rock in hot weather: a Lime, orange blossom and pistachio cake, my first ever post 6 months ago and a favourite with climbing friends. Healthy, sugar-free, made with honey and spelt flour. Everyone loved it. Not a visually stunning cake but tastewise the flavours captivate as you munch and your body glows a welcome. Here’s a photo of our barbecue table (the cake’s hidden in the pink tupperware container). And a belated ‘Happy July 4th!’ to my American friends. Hope you had a lovely day! 🙂The galette experiment
In the continuing spirit of adventure I also managed to make my first ever galette: a Peach, mozarella, balsamic vinegar and Thai fish sauce galette with gruyère shavings and basil. LOL. I was inspired by all the fruity savoury salad recipes in Bloglandia. You might notice from the photo a slight excess of dark sauce, oops. But the pastry was delightful and funnily enough it was all very tasty. The whole thing was gobbled down with confused gusto! Must work on a recipe for you now I’m a galette convert.
Um… pâtisserie secrets?! A while ago a reader said she’d like to know mine, much to my alarm. Again, um… Well so much pâtisserie information is in books and online but I can offer you my memories of a Cordon Bleu chef loudly announcing in scary military fashion that we, his students struggling with very soft pastry, all needed more ‘precision’. He was right. And I’ve ‘acrostified’ some similar P-A-T-I-S-S-E-R-I-E fundamentals that might be just as important as small ‘secrets’ or concrete tips.
Precision, Practice, Professionalism and seeking Perfection
Art and creativity
Timing and making Time for it
Ingredients that are the best and fresh (even flour!)
Strength, determination and hard work
Steady hand and coordination
Experimentation and Evolving, learning from errors
Reading instructions carefully and Reviewing basics
Interest in the whole world of pâtisserie
Expression of love and passion and Excitement (fun!)
Which brings us back in a circle to the first letter
Pâtisserie is Passion
So usually I joke around because baking is fun and exciting but it isn’t ‘a piece of cake’ for me (ho ho) – it’s hard work. I still make mistakes and messes in the kitchen, sweating away in humid Barcelona with no aircon. I regularly forget to wash my croissants with egg. A pastry chef inspecting my piping would laugh, cry or shout at me. I have a long way to go on the road to pâtisserie perfection.
But I’m trying. And so can you. It’s all achievable. I love seeing readers without baking blogs yet excited to experiment or dedicated to improving their baking skills. I’ve also seen a multitude of wonderful baking blogs, some at the Fiesta Friday party and the great monthly challenges set by Perfecting Pâtisserie and the Daring Kitchen. Check them out!
You could even join our little sweet or savoury soufflé July challenge. Soufflés have a scary reputation but are actually fast and easy! Have a look at my soufflé challenge post if you’re interested.
So wishing you a wonderful week sweet reader with usual and unusual little challenges that leave you feeling fulfilled and hopefully replete with some delicious edibles too! Happy baking and eating! 🙂 x