... and some oof the regular posters might have wondered what happened.
Rather a lot, I suppose.
In terms of TFL - I am still catching up - all those rye posts by the bakers who attended the Hamelman class ...
Let's start with christmas - I received what seems a brain-splitting present: A voucher for a pastry course with Ghalid Assyb at Bertinet's in Bath, this was given inside a book about the DASH diet...
Why the pastry course? I never felt that I would ger a kick out of pastry, but my dear wife was convinced that I would be able to master the sweet things and have fun with them.
Why the diet book? Well, all those carbs ...
The pastry thing is getting me - and the course was a great source of knowledge and inspiration. Watching Ghalid and registering his little remarks gave me an idea about the workings of a Pastry Chef's mind.
Some time before Christmas I started already to look around for pastry books (due to my wife's nagging) and I got the volumes by Bo Friberg. I tried quite a few recipes (Lebkuchen, Cardamom buns, Black Forest Gateau...) all quite successful and with an authentic taste (being from the Black Forest it is really amazing to find an authentic recipe in an american textbook written by a swedish-american chef).
I then looked at the French edition of Cristophe Felder's Patisserie - the French food blogs are raving about this book. I pre-ordered, and I recieved the English version last week. A truly amazing book.
So, what did I learn / make at the pastry course?
- Puff pastry / laminating / millefeulle / creme mousseline
- Genoise / Biscuits a cuillere / Fruit Bavarian / Raspberry Charlotte
- Chocolate Financiers
- Fraisier cake
What did I make since the course?
I was always frightened of making croissants and the few attempts were messy and not quite satisfactory.
Today I made my second batch of Croissants since the course, using my newly gained knowledge and the recipe from Felder's book, and voila:
They taste as great as they look, and I am even very pleased with the crumb:
In Felder's book there is a simple variation with croissant dough - Lunettes, which we called "Kopenhagener" or "Pudding Brezel" in Germany - one of my alltime favourites.
Now I am making them myself %BIG SMILE%
Essentially, it is twisted croissant dough filled with pastry cream.
For a charity bake at work I made a Charlotte with black fruit (blackberries, cherries, blueberries, blue grapes), following the recipe from the pastry course:
and for home and friends - and just to try out the formula I made a batch of chocolate financiers according to Ghalid Assyb which were delicious, and I also tried Felder's recipes for chocolate financiers and vanilla financiers (the classic). All very delicious. Here the results of the Felder recipes:
And the diet book you might ask?
Well, we started it 5 weeks ago, maintained it during a vacation with my parents, and I lost around 10Kg since.
I eat a 50g of wholegrain rye bread every day, no other bread, with occasional exceptions - naturally I bake a little less, although it seems that the demand by colleagues and in the community is picking up ...
All the sweet things get eaten, just not by us alone.
The weather kept us busy as well here in the UK, and commuting was a bit of a lottery in those past weeks ...
3 cm of snow and the United Kingdon grinds to a halt (almost).
I have to go and distribute my pastries now ...