Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Puff Pastries: Inspired by miette

Hey guys, I lied a little.  Well no, I lied a lot.  Instead of properly preparing for Colombia by only eating lettuce and dustballs for the last three weeks, I have been eating big ol' burgers and  lots of  fancy artisan ice cream instead.  It's hot and ice cream is good okay?  Can ice cream be my spirit animal?  Is that possible?  Or just weird? Oh it's definitely weird... okay, I was just kidding anyway.

This last minute treat was completely justified though.  It was a baking date with the fair Rachelle and it allowed me to get some quality time in (with her and a toy I hadn't played with before) AND have something to blog out!  Win-win. She emailed me, suggesting eclairs and it only made sense to proceed with our endeavour since we had both bookmarked a recipe in our miette cook books ages ago.  I first went to miette  about two years ago and fell in love with their colors and decor, the whole shop and of course... the pastries!  We each have our own copies.  They both came in handy.

I was reminded of a very important life lesson on our date.  You can't always be perfect.  And that's okay because chocolate ganache and sprinkles can, in fact,  fix most anything.

This applies to broken hearts (obviously) or puff pastries.  But today I am talking about the latter.  Neither of us had made puff pastries before.  We certainly did not excel at our task.  We did quite a few things wrong, actually.

Our biggest mistake was assuming that we knew better than our cook book.  We were directed to pipe the puff pastry into 5x1 inch strips using a 1/2 inch diameter piping tip.  We used math and convinced ourselves that they must have meant TWO strips. Two strips of dough would bake itself together, right?

Wrong.  As evidenced above, we ended up with really big donuts... that could be divided into two.  Like one of those popsicles from childhood.  I get strawberry, you get orange but we break them in half and share!  Not much of a pretty sight to see.

And piping into them was much of a disaster since they didn't fluff up properly and we had to fill them in at least two places!  Pastry cream all over the place!  At least I got to use my cool little machine though...

Yet we had a great time laughing over our mistakes and then trying our best to fix them.  This is where we were saved by chocolate and sprinkles, the real heroes of today's story.

We zig zagged the ganache instead of dunking them.  (Bonus:  You can see the vanilla bean specks!)

We added some straight-from-miette sugar flowers to the prettiest ones.  ... and ta-dah.

We had eclairs!

We had cream puffs!

Sure there's a few flaws in them but thats okay!  At the very least TWO of them looked and photographed wonderfully,right?  ;)  Plus they were delicious. Just like an eclaire should taste like.   And we had an awesome afternoon.  We didn't let puff pastries defeat us!

I am quite confident that for our next date, Rach and I will master our technique and I will bring something even prettier to share!


(For the recipe, I encourage you to buy the miette book and follow the directions properly. I don't like to post exact recipes from books, nor will I post recipes when I don't think I have the recipe down enough.  Soon though, soon!)