Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Hey, Jalousie

Ok, in last night’s class we got to do one of my favorite activities…making caramel. Honestly, it’s really fun! But I’ll get to that later. On with the show.
Well, we’re still working with puff pastry, and it’s starting to wear on me, especially since our next unit is the one I’ve been waiting for, Viennoiserie. In our last class, though, we made gâteau Pithiviers, jalousie, and a tarte tatin.
The Pithiviers is puff pastry filled with frangipane, which is almond cream mixed with pastry cream. There’s also a cockamamie story behind this dessert about a the king of France and his mistress, but something tells me that story was invented to sell more Pithiviers. However, the cake is also known as a “king cake,” and it’s supposed to look like a carriage wheel, although I think it looks more like a sunflower. In any case, it’s delicious. Take a look, but please don’t judge that part of it got damaged when it was removed from the oven!

Next up is the jalousie, which French for “jealousy,” in case you couldn’t tell. This one also has a ridiculous story behind it about a jealous lover peeking through the blinds, which is a pretty creepy reason to make a tart. Still, though, if you squint really hard, it looks like you’re looking through blinds into the filling, which in this case is raspberry jam and more almond cream. The French really love almonds, it seems.

Our last dish of the evening is the tarte tatin, which we also previously made in the tart and cookie section. Tarte tatin is a traditional, yet rustic upside down tart. This one is interesting, because you cook the filling in a sauce pan, cover that with puff pastry, and then bake the whole thing in the oven. The traditional filling for the tarte tatin is caramel apple. This time, we learned to make the caramel using a dry technique instead of wet. This means that instead of dissolving the sugar in water when cooking it, we just put the dry sugar in a pan and melted it. It’s much more testy and fast, so you really have to keep an eye on it. Anyway, it’s bubbly, caramelly goodness. Take a look!

It's a mess, but a tasty one! Oh, and here I am with my caramel apple mixture.

That’s all for today. Next class, we’ll be using chocolate puff pastry, which should be interesting!


  1. Brett, they all look good, sooooo you're still in the will.

  2. My Baby!!! You look so professional! Any one of those pastries is fine with me--especially the tarte tatin. xox Mom