Thursday, February 10, 2011

Petits Fours Glacés, Pâte Feuilletée Inversée, Crème Pâtissière, Marzipan Roses, Preserved Fruit Peel

Chef Keith's Petits Fours Glacés Mise En Place

It's another mise en place day, which meant no goodies for us to take home. "You can take yourself home" jokes Chef Keith. Sigh, I'd like to take you home instead.

Right, first things first: Reverse puff pastry. I'm sure you know by now how we make puff pastry, and how I'd much rather be spared the agony of making it and buying from the shop instead. That said, the Reverse or Inverse puff made today was quite different coz (a) it was made by enveloping dough in butter, not the other way around and (b) we used a chocolate dough, which not only smelled amazing in the making but will look splendidly impressive when sliced, showing off all the beautiful lamination we worked so hard to achieve.

I first read about Reverse puff in Desserts by Pierre Herme and thought it was him who created this backward madness. Since I have not found evidence to prove otherwise, I shall take this to be true, though I'll be happy to be proven wrong if anyone out there is resourceful enough to find out the true origin of this inside-out creation.

 Conditioning Butter With Flour

But Ally! you cry, How do you get butter around and all over the dough without making a gawddamnoily mess? The secret, Annikin, is to first condition the butter with half its weight in flour and kneading thoroughly until you get what resembles butter, but ain't really it.

 Kneading Conditioned Butter & Chocolate Dough

It starts out resembling a mess of white, sloppy vomit, but keep kneading and squeezing and pressing and kneading again and the vomit will come together. As for the dough, it is a basic flour-water-melted butter-salt combo with a dash of cocoa powder for color and taste.

Placing Chocolate Dough Inside Butter

Completing A Book Turn In Reverse Puff

A book or full-turn is when you fold the ends of the rectangular butter-and-dough block to meet in the middle, and fold that again in half like you would a erm, very long book.

Repeat once more before finishing off with a half turn and viola! Reverse puff done!

Word of caution here: Dust liberally. The butter will melt into an oily mess when handled for too long so dusting the puff and countertop as well as your rolling pin will keep the butter from sliming off itself and sticking onto everything it comes into contact with.

Oh Yes, We Also Made Crème Pâtissière

Dividing Jaconde Into 3, Spreading On The (Chocolate Ganache) Love 

We use the jaconde leftover from making Brasilia for the petits fours glacés, or tiny cakes. Sandwich 3 layers of jaconde with ganache, also leftover from making Bûche de Noël and stack the happy trio together, topping it off with a thin layer of marzipan.

This is meant to be tiny, as it will be sliced tomorrow and covered with fondant, and we do not want the stack toppling over under the weight of the white cement. So keep it low-rise, 2.5cm is what we're aiming for here.

Just Checking!

Chef Keith's Marzipan Roses...For Valentine's?

Nope, they are for the Fraiser Cake we'll be making on Saturday!

Preserved Orange Peel...Sugar Overload!

This time we removed the peels, added yet more sugar to the syrup and brought the pot to a boil, adjusting the sugar level until a Brix of 49 was attained. This potent solution was left to cool down before reintroducing the peels back in, as we do not want to overcook the peels at this stage. This had better be worth it in the end.

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