201: Cobblers & Crisps
Cobblers & crisps are the comfort food of the dessert world and they share a common presentation of crunchy topping baked over fruit. This episode will show the fundamentals of these 2 basic desserts, then demonstrate how a pastry can advance them into something more suited to fine dining. i. Warm Apple Crisp - a cinnamon-oat topping is easily made and baked over sliced apples. ii. Bumbleberrv Cobbler - cobbler is more advanced than crisp, since it involves making a sconelike dough that gets crumbled on top of fruit, and the bumbleberry mix of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries & blackberries make for a colourful filling hidden underneath. These can be baked individually or as a larger dessert. iii. Rhubarb Custard & Crisp Tart - the principle of a topping over fruit is seen in a more advanced application. While we think of cobblers & crisps as North American, the original German "streusel" is the original crisp topping, as exampled in this gorgeous bakeshop-worthy tart. A sour cream custard is b
Danish Pastry falls into the same category as puff pastry and croissant dough called "laminated doughs". It has its own technique to achieve a balance of a rich dough with a hint of flakiness and has many classic applications. It differs from other laminated doughs in that it bakes up soft, almost cake like but is not as sweet as cake. It is an important part of the laminated dough family. Fun fact: Danish Pastry did not originate from Denmark, as its name hints, but is in tribute to the fact that Denmark was known from producing the highest quality butter in Europe (Netherlands, too, which is why buttery Hollandaise earns its tribute). i. Basic Danish Dough/Spiral Raisin Danish - the basic dough, (like the croissant dough episode in season 1 }, is made and then a basic Spiral Raisin Danish is made. ii. Classic Danishes - a twist and a pinwheel are the 2 classic shapes. An assortment of classic fruit fillings will be used within: A) Cherry Danish Pocket - involves making the cherry filling (using ja
203: Flourless Cakes
Cakes made without using flour are actually quite common, and have long been appreciated before the days of gluten-free living. This episode showcases some classic and contemporary cakes made using ingredients other than flour (commonly found ingredients) and with that comes the lesson in how to achieve delicate and moist cakes made without wheat flour. i. Italian Blood Orange Syrup Cake “ Ground almonds lend structure to this Cake that highlights a fragrant orange flavour and shine from the syrup poured over the warm cake. ii. French Flourless Chocolate Torte “ This is a traditional, rich and moist chocolate cake that relies on whipped eggs and chocolate to give it a moist interior and crunchy exterior. iii. Flourless Vanilla Cupcakes “ Those baking without flour often need a classic flourless cake recipe that suits a birthday party, and this fits the bill.
A staple cookie in most coffee shops, biscotti (which translates from Italian to mean twice baked) share a common technique, but that results in a variety of end results. From the classic crunchy biscotti to a more tender version, along with a cross application, everything you need to know about biscotti is explained. i. Classic Almond Cranberry Biscotti - these are the traditional, super-crunchy biscotti, perfect for dunking into coffee. They are large and look just like the ones you see at a coffee shop counter, in a big jar. ii. Tender Chocolate Cantucci - Cantucci (also cantuccini} are a variation of biscotti, but differentiated by their tender, more delicate texture. These suit more of a cookie tin and take a little more refined technique in order to achieve the softer texture. iii. Biscotti Ricotta Cheesecake - appreciating biscotti as a pastry chef includes using it as a component in a fancier dessert. In this recipe, biscotti is crushed to make the crust and also adds flavour to an Italian st
In terms of technique, bars don't have technical qualifications that distinguish them from squares (other than the shape) but as a widely popular baked treat, there are many options to showcase, from healthy granola bars to decadent Nanaimo Bars and Caramel Chocolate Candy Bars. The lessons within making the bars are worthwhile and bars are second only to cookies in popularity in the home baker's kitchen. A relative of the favourite "squareÂ·, bars are typically cut into rectangle portions to earn their name. This episode showcases a number of traditional favourites, from a simple, one-bowl granola bar recipe to a distinctly Canadian Nanaimo Bar. i. Traditional Granola Bars - this recipe is a good place to start the lesson, since a granola bar is a single-layer bar (no crust or topping). Full of nutritious grains, nuts, seeds and fruits, these are a healthy treat. ii. Nanaimo Bars - A more elaborate, dessert-like bar, Nanaimo bars have a chocolate crust with a signature custard filling and are topped
Who doesn't love caramel? Learning to make a basic caramel opens the patisserie door to just so many desserts and delights, from classic to creative. i. Classic Caramel/Caramel Apples - The principles behind making a traditional caramel is shown here, and then is used to dip apples. ii. French Apple Tarte Tatin -Another more advanced application for caramel is seen in this classic French version of apple pie. Sugar is caramelized in a heavy skillet and then apples are added. Topped with puff pastry, the tart bakes upside down, and then is served with the apples and now built-in caramel sauce on top. iii. French Creme Caramel - This classic showcases caramel at its most elegant. Caramelized sugar is poured into dishes to set, then topped with a silky custard base that is baked. Once inverted, it is revealed that the caramel softens and makes a sauce that keeps this dessert consistently on bistro menus.
207: Pate Sucree
Sugar pastry differs in texture and taste from a Sablee pastry and is equally valued in a pastry kitchen sugar. Sugar pastry (known as pate sucree) is a little more delicate and fragile due to its higher sugar and butter content, so suits fillings of an according texture. This episode defines this, shows how to achieve and use this delicate pastry, and of course includes tips and tricks to make it even more versatile. i. Basic Sugar Dough and Snickerdoodle Cookies - the basic sugar dough formula can also be baked into snickerdoodle cookies: drop cookies rolled in cinnamon sugar before baking. ii. Frangipan Tart - a sweet almond filling is a traditional choice to bake into a tender sugar dough shell. Here we get a sense of rolling and baking the now-chilled dough and making and baking the traditional filling. iii. Blackberry Meringue Tarts - Sugar dough gets dressed up - the pastry can hold a filling, but brushing the inside of the tart shell with white chocolate prevents it from absorbing the blackbe
Marzipan is made simply from ground almonds mixed with sugar to achieve a paste, but it has so many uses in the dessert world. This episode showcases marzipan from its fundamental creation to its many uses. i. Homemade Marzipan - master the formula for a tasty and easy-to-handle marzipan. This can be shaped into little candies, topped with a toasted almond. ii. Easy Marzipan Fruitcakes - Individual fruitcakes are made using marzipan within the batter and rolled to top the fruitcakes. Can include dried mango in the fruit mix (have just tested the recipe and would be a lovely addition) iii. Classic Battenberg Cake - Ever have high tea at the Empress Hotel in Victoria? Then you know that this checkerboard cake batter is made using marzipan, and then covered with a coloured marzipan for this English classic served at afternoon tea.
209: Italian Meringue
Meringue comes in 3 forms - we covered French meringue in season 1, but Italian meringue deserves its own episode (Swiss meringue is the third). Italian meringue is made from whipping egg whites and pouring in boiled sugar, giving the meringue strength and structure to be used in many ways. This episode shows the many applications of this fundamental baking principle. i. Italian Nougat (Torrone) - this is the perfect recipe to showcase the essentials behind Italian meringue, turning it then into a traditional Italian candy filled with toasted almonds & hazelnuts. ii. Coconut Marshmallows - Italian meringue can also be the base for marshmallows, and flavouring and tinting them is fun - you can also make different shapes or coat the marshmallows to personalize them further. iii. Key Lime Meringue Tart - Many pastry chefs rely on Italian meringue to top their meringue pies, since it is stable, shiny and easy to pipe and shape. A classic creamy key lime filling makes a perfect base to put this chef secre
210: Icebox Cookies
Icebox Cookies came into fashion in the early 1900's (when we used to use iceboxes to keep our food chilled) and are still as popular as ever. An icebox cookie must spend time chilling before it is sliced and baked, and this episode shows a number of traditional (and even international) styles. i. Vanilla Icebox Cookies - a traditional cookie is made, chilled and rolled in decorator's sugar before being sliced & baked. ii. Checkerboard Icebox Cookies - this shows how to make a chocolate version of the vanilla dough and use both doughs to make a checkerboard pattern. Great visual on the technique! iii. Coconut Caramel Sandwich Cookies - Truly something special, this recipe showcases a classic and favourite Asian sweet filling, a coconut caramel called "Kaya", which is very much like a coconut version of Dulce de Leche. The Icebox cookie is delicate to match this coconut caramel.
The most popular of frostings, buttercream comes in all flavours, but also in a variety of techniques. This episode demonstrates the basic styles of buttercream frosting, but also the cake style that suit each type best. i. Lemon Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream - cupcakes require a soft, fluffy buttercream, and this is the most basic of buttercream styles. Topped with flaked coconut, these look just so pretty. ii. Pecan Torte with French Buttercream - French buttercream is a little more challenging to make and is enriched with egg yolks, giving it that textbook French vanilla golden colour. iii. Chocolate Berry Cake with Italian Buttercream - This buttercream style is the strong, stable frosting that i!S used for wedding cakes. The base is an Italian meringue, that has butter whipped into it and is fluffy but allows for precision when piping and decorating.
212: Petit Fours
Part of the French Petit Fours world, little cakes are truly something special. These individual, two-bite cakes are each baked in a particular pan, and have such an interesting story behind them. i. Citrus Madeleines - Baked in a shell-shaped pan, these little cakes are most commonly a citrus flavour. You will really get a sense for working with small batches of batter and the technique to achieve a moist cake. ii. Hazelnut Friands - Friands are typically baked in little oval shapes, and can contain fruit, and usually have ground nuts as part of the batter. Topping them with toasted sliced hazelnuts gives them a nice polish. iii. Pretty Petits Fours - these "little bakes" are the petty glazed 2-bite cakes that came long before cupcakes. I will show a cake batter that suits these cut-out cakes (no crumbs!) as well as making rolling fondant AND pouring fondant, sharing decor techniques along the way.
213: Flat Breaids
Flat breads are a common bread style around the world, with each culture having its own style. This episode showcases a number of the most popular or common flatbreads. i. Basic Indian Naan Bread - Naan is a simple flatbread that is served warm and brushed with melted butter. While traditionally baked in a tandoori oven, this can easily be baked in a conventional oven or on a grill or griddle. ii. Middle Eastern Pita Bread - Pita bread does have yeast, but it is the way it is rolled and baked that gives it the pocket in the middle. iii. Crispy Seed Lavash - this middle eastern flatbread can be made to be crisp like a cracker. Using a pasta roller makes this flatbread wafer thin and a perfect accompaniment for a cheese platter.
214: Savoury Pies
Pies aren't just for fruit or cream fillings - savoury pies are widely known and appreciated, and making them falls into the responsibility of a baker's realm. This episode showcases the dough recipe that best suits savoury fillings, and adapts common pastry principles to achieve a flaky and tender savoury result. i. Leek & Gruyere Quiche - The simplicity of this leek & cheese quiche allows focus to remain on making the pastry that best suits savoury pies like this French classic. ii. Tourtiere - a slow cooked beef filling looks beautiful within the flaky pastry. iii. Chicken Pot Pie - Who can resist a saucy, tasty chicken pot pie? This pie is truly a classic but with the adaptation of a cheese topping made using the basic pie dough mastered in act 1. The advancement in this recipe lies in the cheddar cobbler topping that gets baked on top.
215: Sponge Cakes
A pastry chef MUST master making sponge cakes, since they are the foundation for so many classic desserts. Light and airy, sponge cakes embody that great balance of technique and creativity and this lesson shows how limitless the options are. i. Green Tea Genoise Sponge Cake “ This traditional sponge cake recipe will include all the essential tips to achieve a fluffy cake that bakes up level and light. Simply dusted with icing sugar and served with a mango and fresh coconut salad, it is a delight all on its own. ii. Traditional Black Forest Cake “ A chocolate version of sponge cake is the base for this classic torte, filled with cherries and layered with whipped cream and topped with chocolate shavings. iii. Dobos Torte “ the same sponge cake batter from Act 1 is used here for this traditional torte, but is painted onto parchment paper in circles, creating 9 wafer-thin layers that are assemble with a chocolate buttercream, truly demonstrating the versatility of sponge cake batter. Dobos torte
216: Bagels & Pretzels
Bagels and pretzels can be categorized under the same umbrella, since they share the common technique of being boiled before they are baked. This lesson really comes through as the basics are expanded on, growing into more elaborate styles. i. Quick Honey Bagel Bites - these are based on a recipe from my Grandmother - an easy dough that is boiled quickly, then baked - a good place to focus on the process that is common to all of the recipes in this episode. ii. Classic Bagels - great technique here: master the yeast dough, roll & shape, then boil and bake to show how this develops texture and shine -yum! iii. Soft Pretzel Twists - a softer dough has a definitive technique to roll and twist to achieve the familiar pretzel shape. Baking soda in the water gives pretzels that distinct dark colour and shine once they bake.
217: Batter Cookies
Some cookies are made from a dough that can be scooped (drop cookies), others are sliced (Icebox) and still others baked twice (biscotti). But batter cookies start with a soft batter that is then shaped, piped or formed before baking, and are a classic part of a pastry chef s repertoire. i. Langues de Chat - "Cat's Tongues" are made using a basic sweet cookie batter that is then piped and baked crisp, looking like their namesake. ii. French Tuile Cookies - a simple batter can take on any shape -1 will show how to cut out a classic tuile template, bake and shape (a traditional French tuile is simply a rectangle shaped into a half cur1 - meant to resemble the roof tiles on French homes). iii. Almond Florentines - a more elaborate & fancy batter cookie, these involved cooking the soft batter first before baking the almond and currant classics.
218: Bread Pudding
This style of dessert falls into the category of custard, since the bread is baked in an eggcream mixture to achieve its delicate richness. The principles behind the custard base and the baking technique demonstrate the versatility of this dessert style. i. Basic Bread Pudding - A little cinnamon accents this basic recipe. Bread is soaked in custard and gently baked. ii. Pumpkin Gingerbread Bread Puddings - Time to glam up bread pudding here and turn it into a restaurant worthy plated dessert, served warm. A pumpkin bread is the base and a gingerbreadspiced custard is the cream element. iii. Banana Caramel Bread Pudding with Sweet & Salty Peanuts - Caramelized Bananas are layered with rich egg bread and a brown sugar custard weaves that flavour throughout. The top of the bread pudding is sprinkled with homemade sweet & salty peanuts for a perfect crunch.
There's nothing trifling about a good trifle! To call a dessert a trifle it must have layers of cake, cream and fruit, and that leaves a lot of room for classic and creativity. i. Simple Lemon Blueberry & Coconut Trifles - a simple non-cooked lemon & coconut cream is layered with lady fingers and fresh blueberries, so that we can get comfortable with the texture and layering principle behind trifle. We highlight how to use fresh coconut, and its difference from dried. ii. Classic English Sherry Trifle - More involved, this trifle is made of a homemade custard, sponge cake and fruit compote, assembled in a traditional footed trifle bowl. iii. Triple Chocolate Cherry Trifle - Trifle suits being dressed up, and a chocolate variation is fancy and festive, but respects the elements that makes a trifle a trifle.
220: Cake Cookies
traditional cookie. This episode demonstrates the cake-like batter and how to achieve the best, fluffiest results - featuring some original as well as old-fashioned variations. i. German Pfeffernusse - one of my favourite cookies of all time, these spiced cookies are small and dipped in a hot sugar glaze which sets, adding a nice crunch. Quite a different technique. ii. Little Pumpkin Spice Cake Cookies - a fluffy cake batter is dropped by spoonfuls, to be baked into tender soft cookies, topped with a creamy frosting. iii. Chocolate Whoopie Pies - Cake cookies make this retro dessert - two rich chocolate cake cookies are sandwiched with a peanut butter frosting, making them absolutely irresistible.