Monday 30 March 2009

Foundations Index

No.1 - Rubbing In
This post looks at the technique used to rub butter into flour to make pastry and other items. It covers questions like which hand movements to use and why you have to do it at all.

Includes two videos (one of the entire process, one of another little tip) and step-by-step photos.

No.2 - Beurre Noisette
Making beurre noisette (a.k.a. brown butter) is a wonderful process that creates a very versatile ingredient.

This post moves through each phase, showing you what to expect. Includes a video clip to demonstrate the crackling noise.

No.3 - Creaming Butter & Sugar
Though it is one of the most routine baking techniques, creaming is often overlooked.

Why do you need to cream properly? How do you get cold butter to room temperature quickly? In no.3 I try to answer these questions.

No.4 - Icing Cakes
Here are a few tips on how to get a great finish, including how to stop the icing smearing the plate and how to put on a crumb coat.

There's also a video of me putting the final coat of icing onto a layer cake.

No.5 - Chocolate Ganache
Ganache is wonderfully adaptable - once you know the basics, you can make it your own.

In no.5 I've shown how I make ganache and given a few pointers on how to adapt the recipe.

No. 6 - Egg Yolk Custard
Traditional custard is not only a pouring sauce but a base for ice creams and much more.

In this post I've explained how to temper the eggs with hot milk, the consistency needed and how I split and scrape vanilla pods.

No. 7 - Rough Puff Pastry
Rough puff pastry is easier and faster than classic puff and can be used for most of the same dishes.

No.7 shows you how to combine, roll out and turn the puff. Includes three videos.

No.8 - Meringue, Part I
The first part focuses on the basics and history of meringue and the French method.

Includes step-by-step photos of the French technique.

No. 8 - Meringue, Part II
The second half of no.8 describes how to make Swiss and Italian meringue.

Swiss and Italian are both cooked meringues and have several uses.

No. 9 - Using Yeast
Yeast is an essential part of baking enriched breads.

No. 9 covers the basics of using yeast, where you can buy it and some of the science behind the rise.

Other techniques illustrated in detail in normal posts:
Making French Buttercream (similar to Swiss Meringue Buttercream)
Spreading and Rolling a Swiss Roll
Caramelised Milk Chocolate


  1. Hello Missie - do you also have tips for the best cream cheese frosting? And how would you also know any good vegan recipes (I'm looking forward to bake for some of my vegan friends, though I'm fish-eatarian)..

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  3. Your foundations section is perfection! Thanks for the Meringue recipes, I'm going to make eton mess this weekend ^.^

  4. Andrea Paola Baul29 November 2013 at 05:44

    I hope you could share with us a feature on pie crusts. I did 2 or 3 before, edible but not quite great. :(

  5. Hi Andrea. I have covered parts of pastry making with no.1 and no.7 above - they should help. This is my favourite pastry recipe for pies and similar things.

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