Our Perfect Pastries class ran last Saturday at the school and, once again, it proved to be a student favourite as they made seriously tasty bakes all under the watchful – and ever-helpful – eye of our chef Darina Kelly of Darina of @darinasdeliciousdelights…
She began by demonstrating how to make rough puff pastry. This is a time-consuming – but worthwhile – task of dicing in icy cold butter to flour and then rolling and folding additional butter, building up all those light and crispy layers of pastry. The student then went about making their own. They were really happy with the results! Spicy Coriander & Sesame Seed Sausage Rolls and Savoury Puff Pastry Slices 3 Ways. Now that’s what we call a delicious lunch!
The afternoon was filled with a very different pastry method, choux pastry, which is made by whisking flour into heated water, sugar, salt, and butter, over a hob, and mixing it to form a ball. The mixture is then piped onto baking sheets and baked in a very hot oven until the dough puffs up to form balls (for profiteroles) or longer shapes (for eclairs).
Next, the students move on to sweet shortcrust pastry, for their Summer Fruit Tartlets. Making these includes learning how to make the sweetest creme patissiere and decorate with the finesse of the finest French patisserie.
Finally, chef Darina demonstrated how to make the perfect Apple and Cinnamon Strudel. For this, she makes the filling, and demonstrates how to assemble the strudel to form an entirely neat and tidy strudel, which will be so important when it cooks. A series of scores are imprinted across the strudel and a light dusting of cinnamon before it goes into a very hot oven.
Once out of the oven, it is time to decorate! This is the really fun bit…
Our students went away feeling truly pleased with themselves – and they commented that it really isn’t that hard to make the Perfect Pastry… when you have the right teacher!