Tag Archives: apricot filling

The Marvelous Variable Kolache

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Kolache

Kolache, (pronounced ko-lah-chee) the Czech pastry, can be sweet or savory. This blog features the sweet version.  I have updated some of the fillings for a wider variety.  Although poppyseed and prune fillings are traditional, I omitted them because I thought six was truly enough.    The fillings are given in tablespoons since most of the Kolache require a tablespoon or more and the amount needed can be calculated using the yield information if you want to make more than one flavor.

I suggest you pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea, get a glass of wine or otherwise prepare for this longer than usual blog. But the end result is amazing. The fillings are applicable to other pastries and this dough can be used countless ways. This is actually an easy to make sweet roll that I promise you will make over and over again.

These are amazing pastries with an easy to make dough that handles well. The fillings can be made days ahead and stored in the refrigerator.  The dough must be made a day ahead.  Assembly is easy and in no time you have Kolache.  They can also be made large or small and freeze well. Continue reading

Stuffed (or Not) Kouign Amann

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Kouign Amann

One of the best descriptions I’ve read of Kouign Amann comes from Chef Steps:  “These salty, buttery pastries hail from the coastal region of Brittany, in the northwest corner of France, where Celtic Breton tradition has prevailed since the great migration across the English Channel during the fifth and sixth centuries. It looks just like you might imagine a Celtic colony on the seacoast of France would: towering bluffs dropping straight into the sea; tiny stone houses dotting the emerald countryside; slate-colored steeples rising into the morning mist. The region is best known for its vast salt flats, where the coveted finishing salt, fleur de sel, is harvested. Here, tucked into wandering village streets, bakeries hawk this much-lauded pastry treasure, whose name literally means “butter cake” in Breton.”

Kouign Amann (pronounced Queen-ah-mann) belongs to the laminated dough family in baking. A croissant like yeast dough is layered with butter and coated with sugar to produce a crunchy, sweet, caramelized pastry that some say is a breakfast pastry and some say is dessert. I could eat them all day long and not care a wit about what time it is! Continue reading

Viennese Apricot Torte

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Finished Photo of Viennese Apricot TorteMany years ago when I first became interested in pastry and baking, I found a book at the library introducing me to Viennese Tortes and pastries.  I was fascinated by them to the point I copied the entire book for my personal use.  This was ages before the internet and the book was no longer on the market.  A version of this Viennese Walnut and Chocolate Sponge Cake was in the book.

As with some early Viennese Tortes, bread crumbs or cracker crumbs finely ground would be used in place of flour.  Another rendering of this cake was in my first book, “The New Pastry Cook”.  It did use cracker crumbs.  However, for this version I wanted to use a sponge which would accept a brandy soaking syrup.  The original recipe for the cake in my book used only the cake and a coffee buttercream.  I expanded upon that idea for this cake.

The recipe for the Viennese Walnut and Chocolate sponge cake  is based on Bo Friberg’s Hazelnut-Chocolate Sponge in his book, “Professional Pastry Chef”.  This is one of my go to books if I am stumped by something.  The sheer volume of information in charts and graphs is astounding.  There have been several updates to the book.  I have Volume 4 which is over 1,000 pages. I love this recipe because it doesn’t require beating the egg yolks and whites separately.  It uses whole eggs that are warmed over a double boiler so they can reach maximum volume.  It is easy and as far as I can see, foolproof as long as  you fold the dry ingredients quickly and gently. Continue reading