I volunteered to make some baked goods for the Moreton Music Day Coffee Morning. I was going to make a scrumptious cake, but it just so happened that I was on a patisserie course on Wednesday, so I took some French pastry instead. Much of the fun was deciding what appropriate names to give my offerings.
I’m a very confident baker and had signed up for a 5 week course at a local college so I can expand my skills and learn a few new tips. It was a less expensive option than the cookery schools in the area. Unfortunately, the classes were somewhat shambolic with incomplete ingredient lists, a dearth of basic cooking equipment, vague tuition and some other issues I will not bore you with.
We made palmiers from puff pastry. The recipe sheet called for Ready Roll, which I finally managed to locate. It turned out that block pastry was better and luckily, the instructor had some extra to spare. I wasn’t clear on how much sugar to sprinkle on to the pastry as it was being rolled and folded, so they came out quite dry and not very sweet.
After double dipping them in melted dark chocolate, I made some apricot glaze and brushed that on the other side. This improved them immensely!
I normally find baking a very relaxing and creative activity. At home, when I get my recipes, ingredients and utensils out I feel that I am embarking on a pleasurable journey that invariably leads to a delicious and satisfying conclusion. When I was a kid and a teenager, I was the baker for my family and neighbors. It was an important part of my life that gave me pride and positive feedback.
I feel that patisserie making, as with most baking, is a practice that requires precision and a certain level of control. I was quite stressed out over the lack of organization of the course and it was with some disappointment that I have dropped out of the course after the first two sessions. I’ll continue to bake at home and will look out for a short course at a cookery school to expand my repertoire.