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Puff the Magic Pastry!

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Culinary Institute of America:  Day Three Production Assignments

PUFF the Magic PASTRY…

Preparation of Dough

Today was spent making puff pastry, butter cream, meringues, assembling and decorating our sponge cakes, and finishing our Fresh Fruit Tarts.  I am infatuated with puff pastry; and if I may say, my Fresh Fruit Tart was pretty magnificent as well and so simple.

PITHIVIER-- Ready for Baking--Filled with Almond Cream & Pastry Cream Filling

Puff Pastry--Fresh out of the Oven --Ready for Filling

My Fresh Fruit Tart made with 1--2-3- Cookie Dough and Pastry Cream sealed with Simple Syrup Apricot Glaze

Baking a product made from fresh made “puff pastry dough” is a moment of truth because it allows the baker to see the success or failure of his or her process in the preparation of the dough.  Precautions must be taken when working with puff pastry dough.  Every particle of the butter must be evenly distributed through the dough and all corners should be folded squarely.  The dough needs to rest 20-30 minutes between multiple foldings and rollings which means a long process to prepare.  And, you cannot allow the dough to warm during preparation so you must work quickly but carefully.   Also, the dough needs to rest 20-30 minutes before final baking to prevent shrinking.  And most importantly, do not “egg wash” cut edges of puff pastry or they will stick together and not rise. So many things to do and remember but it is so worth the time for you get such incredible professional looking products.

Shaping of Puff Dough For Danish -- Bake & Fill

Use the scraps for sticks--don't re-roll just trim to shapes desired!

At the Fulton House Bed & Breakfast, I often prepare Fruit Tarts as they are very easy way to highlight a bumper crop of berries from the farmers market here in Portland, Oregon.    My favorite recipe is a “Raspberry Cream Tart” of fresh berries, chocolate and macarpone cheese blended with fresh whipped cream, powdered sugar and vanilla which is then spread evenly over an almond shortbread crust.  This recipe and finished product is Exquisite!   It is simple and everyone raves about it!

Raspberry Cream Tart

Assembling & Decorating Sponge Cakes with Butter Cream…

Finished Sponge Cake decorated with toasted Almonds and Chocolates made from our Chocolate Making Demonstration

Wendy's Sponge Cake--Notice the scoring on the top to make cutting easier once you have completely finished your decorating!

Jess's Cake--Love the Abstract Chocolate Design!

That’s all for today! Returning to the Journey B & B for a “quick walk” on the grounds of the Vanderbilt Estate along the Hudson River. I probably should walk every square inch of the 600 acres to burn off all the calories I have eaten but that will be for another day.  I am just going to enjoy the scenery, soak in the beauty of the Hudson Valley and imagine what it must have been like to live and own an estate of such grand scale of the Vanderbilt Mansion.

Vanderbilt Mansion

Hudson River Valley from the Vanderbilt Estate


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