As we are entering our third month of quarantine, you may have already mastered conventional baking. These French pastries will challenge you while helping you learn impressive kitchen skills. Pasty making is certainly difficult, but the results are sure to wow anyone you serve them to.
General Pastry Tips
Before embarking on your pastry-making journey, try to learn some general pastry-making practices. Pastry-making is really tricky. Even professionals have trouble with it sometimes. You will have to keep the temperature and humidity of your workspace in mind while you are working with pastry. Make sure that you keep all of your ingredients, your fillings and your bowels chilled.
This fluffy, timeless baked good’s prevalence might make you think it is easy to make, but do not be fooled! It takes a lot of time and patience to master this pastry. While croissants are a labor-intensive bread, once you get the hang of this dessert, you will be sure to impress your friends. Croissants are a versatile treat that is sweet or savory. This recipe is fairly easy and goes over some of the more complicated steps in detail.
Pain Au Chocolat
Known in much of America simply as chocolate croissants, these pastries are popular in France and beyond. This treat demonstrates advanced knowledge of baking, as you need to know how to make croissants and handle chocolate. Once you master this dessert you will have the skills to make similar pastries incorporating dried fruits or almond cream. Celebrity pastry chef Jacques Torres uses this recipe to make pain au chocolat.
Macarons are absolutely amazing because once you’ve mastered the basics, you can invent creative variations of this treat, like this Earl Grey macaron that includes powdered Earl Grey tea in its frosting. You can be creative with your fillings for this pasty, using frosting, cream, or jam. For someone just beginning to make macarons, this simple vanilla macaron is a good place to start. It will let you practice your macaron making skills before incorporating difficult baking techniques or expensive ingredients.
Profiteroles, which most Americans would recognize as frozen crème puffs, are an excellent opportunity for you to practice making choux pastry. Choux pastry is incorporated in a variety of French desserts, including éclairs and croquembouche. Whether you fill them with whipped cream, custard, or ice cream they will turn out to be amazing little bites of creamy deliciousness. Keep in mind that choux pastry is tricky to get right. Even professional pastry chefs sometimes mess it up. To start, you can try this simple recipe.
Mille-Feuille or Napoleon is easy to make, yet very sophisticated and impressive to serve. This makes it a great dessert for beginner pastry chefs to try their hands at. The combination of tastes and textures makes it a unique dessert. To add a bit of decadence to the pastry, you can top it with whipped cream, fresh berries, or crushed almonds. It is easiest to make when you have pre-prepared your puff pastry. This recipe is easy to follow and includes a picture for every step. Make sure to take off the pie weights for the last few minutes of cooking to give the pastry color and make sure it does not burn.
If you like coffee and chocolate, this pastry is for you. The opera cake is a delicately assembled pastry with thin layers of sponge cake soaked in coffee syrup. It was named in honor of the Paris Opera. In between the layers is coffee and buttercream, and the cake is topped with chocolate ganache or a glaze. This dessert is a tasty and creative way to use sponge cake. The bitterness of the coffee and chocolate cuts the sweetness of the cake to create a good balance. This recipe does a good job of walking you through the process of making an opera cake.