Tag Archives: butter

American Butter vs. European Butter

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Baked Puff Pastry for American Butter vs. European Butter for Laminated DoughsButter used to be butter.  Cream was churned and separated into butter and buttermilk.  While it is still made that way, where in the world it comes from makes a difference, both in taste and its ability to make laminated doughs rise dramatically.  The puff pastry above started out as a 3/8 inch rectangle and rose to a dramatic 3 inches.

For this test, I used Land O Lakes American butter and Kerry Gold Irish butter.  I couldn’t find Plugra in my area.  Both of the butters were unsalted.Butters used for American Butter vs. European Butter Continue reading

Chocolate Raspberry Pop Tarts

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Chocolate Raspberry Pop TartsA friend of mine, Danielle Luisi the pastry chef at Annie Gunn’s, came up with this version of a pop tarts, but with different fillings. I can’t thank her enough because they are easy and a very upscale version of this popular treat. Imagine a thick filling of chocolate and raspberrry sandwiched between two pieces of flaky buttery pastry.

My pop tarts starts with a pate brisee, the French butter pastry. Made in the food processor it takes minutes. Chilling is the secret to this pastry because of the high butter content. Anytime it starts feeling a bit soft, line a baking sheet with parchment and pop it the fridge or freezer for a few minutes. Other than softening, it is a dream to work with.  This recipe also features a method to make shaping easier.

However substituting a regular pie pastry will due nicely here also. Continue reading

Additional Baking Tips

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Photos of items for More Baking TipsAdditional Baking Tips are a few more things I have found to enhance your baking.  If you spend enough time doing anything, I think it is inevitable that newer, better or faster ways will be found without sacrificing quality.

Much of the success of my bakery was due to the fact that I was always on the lookout for anything that would make the product faster, easier or better without compromising the integrity. If one of my employees found a better way to do something, I couldn’t be happier.

While these items are in my cupboard, there are others just as good.  I am not particularly endorsing any of them.

Here are  additional baking tips I have discovered that I think might help you. Continue reading

My Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Chocolate Chip Cookies for My Perfect Chocolate Chip CookiesMy perfect chocolate chip cookie has a marvelous crunch around the edges when you bite into them followed by a chewy interior which is why this is my perfect chocolate chip cookie.

I am surprised by the number of chocolate chip cookies that proclaim themselves to be “the perfect chocolate chip cookies”. But in reality it is only their perfect cookie. Some people like their chocolate chip cookies crisp, or completely soft or crunchy.

This is my favorite chocolate chip cookise and there are five things that help get it to what I like the most.Single Chocolate Chip Cookie for My Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies Continue reading

Strawberry Buttercream

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Strawberry Buttercream This truly is a party in your mouth.  A full pound of strawberries are added to a simple buttercream and the result is just short of amazing.

The recipe calls for freeze dried strawberries which can most easily be found in camping departments or stores such as REI.  One 1.5 ounce package equals a full pound of strawberries without the juice making them ideal to introduce into a frosting.  They need to be powdered in a blender or food processor with about half the powdered sugar.

This buttercream can be used to fill a cake or for cupcakes as I have.

Strawberry Buttercream
1.5 package freeze dried strawberries
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar (200 grams or 7 ounces)
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
Red Food Coloring

Place half the strawberries and about half the powdered sugar in a blender or food processor.  Blend or process until all the strawberries are powdered.  You will have to stop the machine and stir the mixture several times.  Repeat with the second half.

Place the strawberries, powdered sugar, butter and almond extract in a mixing bowl.  Add 3 tablespoons of the milk.  Mix on low until blended; turn the mixer on medium high and beat several minutes, scraping often, to increase the volume and lighten the buttercream.

Add the additional milk, a bit at a time if needed to facilitate the mixing.  Add the red food coloring as needed to get a pleasing color.

I used a # 6 open tip in a pastry bag to finish 10 cupcakes with a generous amount of buttercream since in my opinion people eat cupcakes for the frosting not the cake or maybe it’s just me.

It is important to frost the cake or cupcakes several hours before serving as the strawberry buttercream needs time to develop its flavor.  But when it does it is beyond wonderful!