I can't quite believe it has been fifteen days since my last post. I've been very busy but more than that I've been finding it hard to write. Usually this happens with essays rather than posts. With essays I just have to push through but this time it was nice that I could just step back for a few days.
Some really exciting things have happened in this break. I can't explain everything, but suffice to say that my baking has taken a step towards the professional. Not only have I got some exciting new projects but a few days ago I was accepted onto the patisserie program at a culinary school I won't mention until everything is finalised...
Over the holidays I decided to make my own puff pastry. I loved the whole process - all the foldings, rolling out and resting. It does take time but it was a great learning process. Especially at the moment I don't have time to make it often, but I look forward to being able to once my finals are over.
I'm not going to type out the recipe I used for the puff below, but I used Tartelette's recipe here in conjunction with the pictures from her gluten free version. It worked wonderfully.
The final push that got me to try making puff was how much my mum loves palmiers (or as our local bakery calls them, coeur de france). They're incredibly simple to make and really delicious. I think the best bit is how the sugar caramelises on the bottoms of each one. It's not really a recipe - more of a technique. Have a look at Joy's comprehensive photos if you're confused at any point.
(adapted from Joy the Baker, here)
1 block of all-butter puff pastry (I used about 300g)
plenty of granulated sugar (perhaps 200g or so)
Line a big tray or two with greaseproof paper. Sprinkle a work surface liberally with the granulated sugar. Place the puff into the middle and sprinkle the top with a little more. Start rolling it out into a rectangle with a thickness of about 3 - 4 mm. Keep adding sugar as you roll it out to stop it sticking. My rectangle was about the size of an A3 piece of paper. Starting from the short end of your rectangle, start rolling it up until it reaches the middle. Repeat for the other side. Wrap this roll in clingfilm and chill for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Take the roll out of the fridge and slice up with a sharp knife into 1cm thick slices. Place onto the lined sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes until they are golden brown, checking carefully. You may need to rotate the tray halfway through. If you've greased your pan, remove the palmiers to a wire rack after a few minutes. If lined then you can leave them to cool on the tray.
(I made about 16 out of 1/4 of my puff)