January 19, 2011


Puff Pastry Demystified

I’m pretty adventurous when it comes to trying new recipes or techniques. I figure “what’s the big deal?”. If you’re at home in your own kitchen, why worry about attempting something new? If it’s great, you’re the hero. If not, well, you can toss it out! So why have I never made puff pastry? Maybe it’s because I’ve looked it up in various books and it seemed like a lot of work. Maybe it’s because all those flaky, buttery layers intimidated me. Whatever the reason, when I received an e mail about a puff pastry class being held at my favorite restaurant supply place in LA, I knew it was time to bite the bullet and sign up.

I enlisted my friend D. to join me at Surfas in Culver City where Clemence, of Gourmandise Desserts was conducting a class. I rushed in after battling southern Californian rush hour traffic for three hours. I didn’t want to miss a minute of this class and luckily I arrived just as the class was starting. Clemence, the owner of Gourmandise Desserts knows her stuff and is a wonderful teacher. She took, what I’m sure was an intimidating subject to most of us, and made it seem very doable.

The best thing about the class (besides Clemence’s great disposition and ability to take a difficult procedure and make it seem simple) was that we got to do everything. From start to finish, the class was hands on and we left with pastry to take home and either bake off tonight or pop in the freezer (which I did). In addition to the pastry, we also made chocolate pastry cream which we slavered between layers of the finished product. All I can say is-wish you had been there!

Not only did we learn how to make the dough, but also were given the basics on how to best bake it off. Clemence probably will wonder why I’m using the first photo, which is what happens when you slice the dough before baking. I liked the way they looked, even if some of them were tipping over! As much as I have a sweet tooth, I think I’ll probably use mine to make some kind of savory tart or hors d’oeuvres. I’ll keep you posted with my efforts.

9 thoughts on “Puff Pastry Demystified

  1. I have never made puff pastry. I keep a box of frozen pastry in the freezer – lazy, I know.

  2. Making mine with cremini mushroom filling from the Cocktail Food book by Mary Corpening Barber and Sara Corpening Whiteford. Thanks, since you gave me the book. D

  3. Beautiful! Now I just need the recipe and how to do it! Up for making some when you come to the desert?

  4. That puff pastry looks incredible!!!! Glad to hear that you enjoyed the class! Like I said, anytime you want to practice those pastry skills on me, I’m game… 😉

  5. Pingback: Shopping Alert For San Diego &Orange County Foodies « Panini Girl

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