Posts tagged puff pastry
spicy, if you like

This week is baking week.  I'm desperately working to get teachers gifts together for Friday's last day of school. Tuesday night, my friends and I got together for a big potluck/gift exchange party.  I made this tote for the exchange.

It was an appetizer/dessert potluck (let's all be honest those are the best parts of  a meal anyway)

I made cayenne parmesan twists.  I wasn't sure how much cayenne to add.  In the end I think I went a little heavy, but the spouse disagreed.  So that's why I'm giving a range for the amount of cayenne.

cayenne parmesan twists

one package puff pastry - thawed according to package directions

2/3 grated parmesan (divided in half)

1 1/2 teaspoons paprika

1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix 1/3 cup of parm with spices in a bowl and set aside.  Dust rolling surface with remaining 1/3 cup of parm and place pastry on top.  Dust pastry with parm/spice mixture and roll pastry to 1/8" thickness.  Cut pastry into 1/2 inch strips.  Give each strip several twists and lay on parchment line baking sheet.

Bake until golden, 9-10 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly on sheet pan and then remove to rack to cool completely.

belated, but no less daring baker

I'm going to do my best to make this short and sweet so I can still make the Daring Baker deadline.  I put this month's recipe off out of fear which was silly because it turns out it was pretty easy (a bit time consuming, but easy). The September 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Steph of A Whisk and a Spoon. She chose the French treat, Vols-au-Vent based on the Puff Pastry recipe by Michel Richard from the cookbook Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan.

The recipe for the puff pastry dough can be found here.  I saw abricotines in Richard Bertinet's Crust and couldn't resist giving a similar twist to the plums I had on hand.

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Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Once I had six turns on the dough, I chilled it overnight.  The next morning I trimmed the edges off and cut the dough into eight 4" squares.

Then gently fold each square into a triangle and cut the edges without cutting to the corner in the center.

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Then unfold and pivot so the uncut corners are at the top and bottom.

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Then flip the rim on the left over to the right.

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Then the right over to the left.


This makes a little nest for the pastry cream and poached plum (recipe at end of post).  Then chill them for 15 minutes on the tray before baking.

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Give them an egg wash before baking for 30 minutes.

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About half way through the baking time, I thought I had done something wrong because butter started melting out of all the pastries and they weren't puffing.  Then suddenly they puffed up with a perfect crispy base.  I'm anxious to try other variations with this recipe...croissants, pain au chocolat, savory cheese straws, and more.

pastry cream

Whisk together in a separate bowl, 3 egg yolks, 1.5 ounces sugar, 1 ounce sifted flour and set aside.

In a small saucepan pour 2 cups milk and 1.5 ounces sugar.  Add seeds from one vanilla bean.  Place over full heat.  When it starts to bubble, stir 1/3 of milk into the egg mixture.  Slowly whisk in the rest of the milk and then strain back into the pan using a mesh sieve.  Bring to a boil and simmer for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly, until thick.  Pour into a dish to cool. 

poached plums


2 cups water

1 cup sugar

4 plums peeled, halved, and pitted

In a medium saucepan, combine water and sugar.  Bring mixture to boil and add plums.  Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and let the plums cool in the syrup.  When cool, pat dry.  They can be used at this point, or you may store them in an air tight container for up to two days.

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