Tag Archives: soaking syrup

Lemon Rum Bundt Cake

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

Lemon Butter Bundt CakeThis Lemon Rum Bundt Cake is a version of the beloved pound cake.  Easy to put together with a soaking syrup and no buttercream.

This is one of the best pound cakes I have ever eaten. The texture is like velvet on your tongue and the butter adds a flavor no other shortening can. Two flours are used. All purpose flour provides strength to achieve and hold its height. Cake flour tenderizes the crumb.

I find it interesting that there is no leavening except the air beaten into the butter and sugar.  Heavy cream adds to the melt in your mouth texture. Continue reading

Chocolate Raspberry Gateau

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 GateauThis Chocolate Raspberry Gateau is one of the most flavor packed, moist cakes to be found.  Please don’t be put off because this looks so intimidating.  While it looks intimidating, it really is not hard to make.  I have provided a schedule starting a month out and it has to be competed a day or two before serving.  The Chocolate Raspberry Gateau is ideal for entertaining, and is one of the great celebration cakes. This is an updated version of the one originally written in my first book, The New Pastry Cook.

Gateau is the French word for cake. It generally denotes items made with delicate ingredients which are best consumed soon after the confection is made. Cakes can last much longer, some even improving with age (fruit cake). Torte is the German word for cake, with similar properties. Continue reading

L’Opéra Petit Fours

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

L'Opéra Petit FourL’Opéra Petit Fours, a combination of chocolate and coffee flavors, are very much a lesson in component parts.  Many pastries consist of several recipes combined to make the whole.  By rearranging which and how the component parts are combined, endless pastries can be made.

There are two types of petit fours – petit four glacé which are those covered in fondant and petit four sec which are small pastries that can be picked up.  L’Opera Petit Fours petit fours belong to the petit four sec variety.  At the shop we made petit four sec as I consider them to be so much more flavorful and beautiful.

L’Opera Petit Fours are also the best petit four I have ever tasted.  As with much in food, that level cannot be achieved in a quickie recipe.  But most of the component parts can be executed days ahead of time making the final assembly very easy and relatively fast to accomplish.  I recently made 140 of these for a function where four additional petit fours were offered.  These not only disappeared first, they were the most talked about. Continue reading

Tiramasu Parfaits

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

Finished photoWhile Tiramasu was all the rage a few years ago, it has since been relegated to the “not hot” list of desserts for many restaurants and you don’t see it on menus as much.

However, Tiramasu is a classic Italian dessert and one that is really easily executed once you have made the sponge – which can be done a month ahead if desired and stored in the freezer well wrapped.  Simply thaw it for use.  This amount of sponge is more than you will need  but it can’t be cut down any further and have a quality product.

While  many recipes for Tiramasu use the premade Italian ladyfinger sponge cookies, Savoiardi, we made our own sponge and it worked perfectly for us.  This was a version I made for Tony’s, the restaurant at which I preform my pastry chef duties.  I made it in wine glasses for a beautiful presentation. Continue reading

Phyllo at its Finest – Baklava

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

BaklavaMy mother was a fantastic baker and cook.  She could take nothing and make something wonderful from it.  Unfortunately, I didn’t appreciate it when I was growing up.  They practically had to force feed me like those poor geese for foie gras.  But what I did love, was anything my mother baked and is why, in hindsight, I went into the baking business.

My mother and grandparents were immigrants from what was then, Yugoslavia.  Just as in this country, different parts of the country had different assets.  Mother lived in an area rich in dairy with butter, eggs and cream at their disposal.  I would watch my mother and grandmother on Sunday’s, spread a clean, white tablecloth over a large, round table over which freshly made phyllo would be stretched.  I could scarcely understand a word as they chatted away in Serbian.

My job was to sweep up the scraps after the thick edges were removed and some of the paper thin dough fell to the floor.  While most people can’t imagine a dough being stretched so thinly a newspaper could be read through it, I thought everybody made it.  After it had been stretched to transparency, a spoon would be dipped into melted butter and I can still see my mother and grandmother  holding it  high and waving it over and over  the transparent dough as the golden drops of liquid fell from the spoon dotting the surface.  It would then be folded upon itself and more butter would be drizzled. Continue reading