Skip to main content

Pastry Wars

Some of you have asked what happened to the Indigo challenge. The thing is, I go through phases in cooking. I was in the exotic main dishes phase when Indigo challenge started, but for the last couple of months, I only seem to be thinking of making desserts.

I am possibly watching too many reality cooking shows, but as all the funky creations by contestants of Top Chef : Just Desserts went past, it had me thinking only one thought. There's so much I don't know. See, I only started baking a couple of years back so there never was much time. And I haven't tried some things, like creme anglaise, because I dislike desserts with an eggy smell. Others, like souffle, because I am plain scared. All of which is about to change with the PASTRY WARS.

It's the quest for the perfect version of every basic recipe that needs to be in a pastry chef's arsenal. And it's simple - we just keep at something until we find our perfect version. If I try the classic version and it tastes eggy, I'd look for a variation without eggs.

The first basic recipe coming your way is the cream patisserie or the pastry cream. Thick, rich, creamy - it's filled in tarts, piped into eclairs and zillions of other french desserts. There is, in short, no better place to start.



I've tried making pastry cream once when the daring bakers made tiramisu and I liked the recipe (it surprisingly didn't taste eggy). This one's also less scary than the classic recipes I read. There is no tempering of yolks with warm milk, so less chances of you ending up with scrambled eggs.

But the daring bakers version got a little too thick as it cooled so I figured a variation.

You grab:
1/4 cup sugar
a tbsp of cornstarch
a tsp of lime zest
another tsp of vanilla extract
an egg yolk
1/2 cup milk

Whisk it all together until smooth. Cook on very low heat, stirring constantly to prevent the mixture from curdling. Add another 1/3 cup milk a little at a time, still stirring constantly. After 6-7 minutes the mixture will be thick, free of lumps and beginning to bubble.

Turn off the gas. Check to see any signs of scrambled yolks or lumps. Pass through a fine mesh sieve if there are any.

Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and cool to room temperature. Press some cling film directly on to the surface and let chill in the fridge overnight. Don't taste while warm as it might taste eggy. The cold cream will be perfect.

This pastry cream will last 4-5 days in the fridge so next challenge : shortcrust pastry. Let the wars begin!

Comments

notyet100 said…
wow,..waiting for ur next post,.
AJ said…
Wonderful!! The pastry cream does look delicious.
Same here.....I m scared of souffle,mousse which uses egg as soemhow I m not comfortable wid it....looks like even I need to leave that fear and start making desserts wid eggs...
CurryLeaf said…
I have made a vegan lemony version of this.Looks great.I too am trying pastries these days
Waiting to see your next
Kanchan said…
looks lovely .. even i'm addicted to too many food shows, just planning to prepare some or the other time.
Unknown said…
Pastry wars? Where do I sign up??

Popular posts from this blog

Healthy Spinach Rice for Microwave Potluck Party

Is it really two years that Srivalli has been running her innovative microwave cooking event. She's prompted me to try my microwave for more than just heating several times. Just like last year, Srivalli celebrates the event anniversary with a potluck party. I took a dessert to the party last time around, but this time I was rooting for something healthier. I turned to last year's roundup, and there was this spinach rice. Valli, hope you don't mind getting the same dish on the menu again.

To make spinach rice, wash and soak 1/2 cup rice. In a microwave safe dish, heat a tsp of ghee for 30 seconds. Add 5-6 peppercorns and heat for another 10 seconds. Now add a small onion, chopped finely and microwave for another 30 seconds. Add a cup of finely chopped spinach, 1/2 a tsp of garam masala and another 1/2 tsp of salt. Mix and cook for 2-3 minutes until the spinach wilts. Add rice to the bowl, and a cup of water then pop it back in the microwave for 5 minutes. Bring it out and…

Tales of A Female Nomad

This month, our book club goes on a nomadic tour. We traveled with Rita Golden Gelman, a writer who sold everything she owned after the shock of a divorce and became a nomad. Not a tourist, because Rita stays away from everything that a tourist does and instead, tries to live the lives of people she visits.

From Mexico to Israel to Galapago Islands, Rita goes the way least traveled, always preferring to stay as a boarder with natives. And sometimes, going to places not even locals will go, places so secluded yet beautiful that Rita's description takes your breath away, urges you to become a nomad yourself.

Yet even nomads sometimes find their roots. Rita found hers in Bali where she spent eight years. Starting as a boarder with a prince, she eventually became a part of the family. I instantly knew I wanted to cook something Indonesian. I picked Nasi Goreng, the Indonesian fried rice.



There are as many recipes for Nasi Goreng as there are cooks. Some use tomatoes, others tamarind.…

The Bread Whisperer

What do an electrical engineer, a monk and an IT trainer have in common? These are all the things Abhilash was before he turned his attention to bread baking. Not the one to pick an easy path, Abhilash started with the most temperamental of breads - the sourdough - as his baking adventure. At first, he was baking these loaves for himself. Accolades from friends and family quickly followed and much to the delight of this writer, he turned his passion into a full time career six months back.

For the uninitiated, a sourdough bread is made by fermenting the dough with naturally occurring yeast, making it harder to perfect than the bread made with commercial yeast. The bread's signature tang and the open crumb, with lots of holes, is only made better with a high hydration dough that is super tricky to master. While extremely popular around the world, good sourdough is an elusive commodity in Mumbai and there are only a handful of bakers I would trust when I am looking for bread.

Thoro…