12 years later and bajillions of cookies later, Michel and Augustin

All the answers to your pastry-making questions

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Foodie Topic His/Her TORRID question Our pastry-certified kooky cookies’ answer!
Isabelle How to bake tart pastry Hi! Every time I try to make tartlets (extra tiny ones in a silicon mold),
the result is rather ho-hum. They turn out white. I NEED YOUR HELP!
Opt for buttered metal molds: the color of your crust will turn out better.
If you absolutely insist on using silicon molds, place them directly on the rack and not on a baking sheet so that the heat diffuses better during baking.
Myriam Ladyfinger cookies When I make ladyfinger cookies, the batter is always way too runny to be used in a piping bag. Why is that? When I make ladyfinger cookies, the batter is always way too runny to be used in a piping bag. Why is that? See here.
Stephane Crème pâtissière Usually, only egg yolks (or a mix of egg yolks + whole eggs) are used in crème pâtissière. It’s the first time I’ve seen a recipe that calls for whole eggs. How come? You can certainly just use yolks and your cream will turn out creamier and more yellow ;) There’s no rule against using whole eggs: they will simply make your crème pâtissière lighter. It’s also a good way not to waste the whites!
Stephane Nougatine and craquelin Do you have a good
recipe for nougatine and craquelin (to place on a choux bun before baking it)

Ingredients for the nougatine recipe:
100g sliced almonds, 100g granulated sugar, 20g water, 15g glucose
1/ Mix the sugar, water and glucose in a pot. Melt the sugar and cook the mixture until it turns a lovely caramel color.
2/ At the same time, roast the almonds in the oven and keep them warm.
3/ Turn off the heat and pour the warm almonds into the caramel mixture.
Mix and spread the nougatine on a greased cookie sheet. Flatten it with a rolling pin.
Tip: lay an oiled piece of wax paper on the nougatine so it’s easier to roll out.
The wax paper won’t stick to the nougatine because of the oil. You can find a delicious recipe for craquelin by going clickety-click here.

Unknown - named C ;) The OFFICIAL exam On the day of the official CAP Pâtissier exam, are you allowed to look at the recipes (or do you have to know them by heart)? The recipes will indeed be available (so long as your eyes can focus long enough to read them!).
They will include the titles and the ingredients with their measurements, but not the steps. It’s up to you to remember those by heart ;)
You can practice with cheat sheets to be ready on D-day.
Cathy Crème pâtissière and almond paste decoration A new question following Class #3. I couldn’t find the quantity of milk necessary to make crème pâtissière?
Also, can you give us more details on how to create an almond paste disk?
You can go back to Class #3. It’s been corrected! Merci ;)
The right quantity is a half liter of milk.
To create an almond paste disk, roll out your almond paste after dusting it with powdered sugar so it doesn’t stick.
Unroll it onto your cake with your rolling pin and cut the edges with a knife after having flattened it once more with your magic rolling pin.
And there you have it!
We will try to go over this once more in a future class.
Stefany 1 Puff pastry There are a lot of recipes for puff pastry out there. In Christophe Felder’s, he uses baking powder and kneads the dough for 6 minutes. In the other recipes though, it is recommended not to knead the dough too much (and there’s no baking powder). WHY? You’re right. There are many different recipes out there.
Everyone has their own tricks!
During the exam, don’t scream, don’t panic.
If you REALLY stick to the CAP book and the exam’s cheat sheets, you’ll pass.
You’ll have time after that to test all those delicious variations of the recipe ;)
Stefany 2 Puff pastry How can I be 100% sure that the butter and the détrempe have the same consistency? Should I take their temperature? :) You have to develop your pastry-making instincts! You can feel their consistency with your oh-so-soft hands (but not for too long or you’ll warm them up).
Stefany 3 Puff pastry Some say that détrempe has to rest for 30 min. at room temperature, then 2 hours in the fridge. Others recommend putting it directly in the fridge. WHY? Resting times (pousses) are different depending on fermentation and aromas.
It is indeed crucial to respect resting times. You’ll have to show a little patience.
We’ll talk about this in a future class ;)
Stefany 4 Puff pastry During the different turns, what’s the minimum amount of time during which the dough should rest in the fridge? You’ll have to give it about a half an hour for the butter to cool down and for the gluten to rest so that the dough is less elastic.
Stefany 5 Puff pastry What’s the risk if I don’t let the dough rest long enough? It will be hard to roll out + the butter can break and escape from the dough.
Stephane Génoise Does the génoise recipe posted on the site work for a roll cake? If so, when the cake is baked, what’s the best method to roll it (When it’s hot? Cold?) and then to fill it? Sure. You can bake it on a baking sheet. Tip: butter the wax paper with a brush before baking to prevent the génoise from sticking. It’s better to unmold the cake, let it cool down and then roll it out.

Beaten egg whites How can I mix the egg whites with the chocolate?
I always mess this part up. But I buy your mousse to make up for it.
2 solutions :
1/ Continue to buy our mousse ;)
2/ Make a lovely meringue OR beat the egg whites without sugar: whisk the egg whites until they’re quite firm and use a spatula to fold them into the melted but lukewarm chocolate in 2 or 3 batches. The chocolate shouldn’t be too hot. Add the meringue to the melted chocolate, not the other way around! It's always recommended to add 10% sugar to the beaten egg whites for it to dissolve and mix in better. There are other ways to make chocolate mousse. From crème montée or with a pâte à bombe base. We’ll see you next week for Class #5.
Djamou Puff pastry How can I make a perfect puff (unleavened) pastry and get perfect layers of feuilletage? 1/ Make sure you understand its ingredients perfectly.
Puff pastry is composed of a détrempe and butter.
2/ Learn the art of tourer, meaning to layer the butter and the détrempe.
Those 2 must have the same consistency during the turn step.
The détrempe must rest a few hours in order to relax.
Stick to those resting times.
3/ See you in class in a few months.
And don’t hesitate to send us a picture of your attempts!
Cathy La génoise I have questions regarding the options recommended for génoise and ladyfinger cookies: can you specify what cocoa powder, almond flour, melted butter, etc. would be used for? * Cocoa powder is used to make chocolate génoise. In which case, use a bit less flour. This is done in black forest cake, for example.
* Melted butter is used to enhance the flavor but is not
absolutely necessary if you flavor with syrup ;)
* Almond flour is used to add a slight almond flavor.
Remember to balance your pastry by removing a bit of flour.
Stéphane Choux pastry and piping bag What pastry tip number should I use to make choux buns? Is there an “official” size for choux buns and ladyfinger cookies? Why should the piping bag be held almost horizontally when making choux buns and vertically above the baking sheet when making macaroons? Regarding the way you hold the piping bag: we don’t all work the same way. What matters is that your choux buns all look the same. AND that you position your body comfortably. It’s the result that counts ;) For choux buns: once you’ve made a little mound on the baking sheet, turn the piping bag in a swift motion (in the shape of a comma) to make a clean cut. Feel free to use a round pastry tip, or a star tip to create stripes on your pastries.