Tag Archives: cream

Triple Chocolate Heart Tarts

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

Triple Chocolate Heart TartTriple Chocolate Heart Tarts – gorgeous, sophisticated, stunningly flavorful and easy – what more could you want in a Valentines dessert?  When I had my bakery, we made so many of these both for Valentines day in these adorable tart shells and during the year when we made them in 12” European tarts it was amazing.  What’s “so many” you ask.  What about 1500 pieces which amounted to 125 tarts for banquet desserts usually with only a few days notice?  If you can’t find 4 1/4” heart shaped tart pans, use 4 1/4” round ones – the dessert will be just as gorgeous, sophisticated, stunningly flavorful and easy!

Because these tarts are very short, there is only a small amount of “crust” on the bottom to anchor the filling.  The majority of the filling is poured over the bottoms and allowed to set up in the cooler.  The remainder is heated just to loosen it and combined with whipped cream for a third layer of chocolate.  The finish I have used here is the one we used at the shop.  The rosette is piped on with a bit of buttercream which we always had around.  I have included a chocolate ganache if buttercream is not to be had. Continue reading

Coconut Cream Cake

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

Finished photoThis is the Coconut Cream Cake that was so very popular at the bakery. Fairly early in the life of the shop, I got a mailer from General Mills touting their flours. It was a beautiful color brochure with cakes and sweet breads. I tried the cakes and the one that just amazed me is the one we used  with minor changes. This very almond flavored cake is the most moist white cake I have ever eaten.  We used the white chiffon cake for our wedding cakes and it never ceased to get raves.

Because this is a very loose batter, it is important when folding in the whites to make sure you go to the bottom of the bowl each time. When making one cake this isn’t a big deal, when making a batch in a 60 quart bowl, it is very important so that all of the layers have all of the ingredients. If making this in a large batch, it is also important to scale out quickly as the batter can thin out if it sits too long. Continue reading

Cream Biscuits with Strawberry Balsamic Jam

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

Cream Biscuits with Strawberry JamIn my years of baking and teaching, I have found that people are leery of making piecrust and biscuits.  The one thing both of these usually have in common is cutting in the butter.  How about a recipe for the best biscuits ever with no butter – period.

This has to be the easiest biscuit recipe ever with only 4 ingredients.  Cake flour is used to insure tenderness.  The cream takes the place of butter. When you think of butter, it is only cream that is whipped to a solid state with the liquid being spun out.  So the use of all cream makes perfect sense.

The dough will be a bit wet and that it as it should be.  I learned the traditional way of making biscuits from Shirley Corriher, a biochemist who wrote, Cookwise and Bakewise.  With Shirley being from the south, I can’t imagine a better teacher.  She stressed the importance of the dough being very wet so the steam created in a hot oven would cause the biscuits to expand to great heights. Continue reading

Better Butter for Baking

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

ButterButter has long been known for its qualities in baking.  When it comes to baking, there is no fat as flavorful, rich and satisfying.  There is no other fat that can duplicate its properties when baking.

Butter is literally made from the cream that rises to the top of milk.  It has been around from the beginning of recorded history.  It’s story goes back about 4000 years ago when a nomad tied a bag of cream to this horse.  After a day of riding, the cream had been jostled all day and when he opened the bag – low and behold – butter!

Butter is made by beating or churning cream until the it separates into a semisolid and a liquid.  If you care to experiment, it can be made at home by whipping 40% or heavy cream until the cream separates and it turns into a solid and a watery component.   I was renowned at one position for having turned 16 quarts of cream into butter by simply forgetting it while it was whipping.  It became known as “Helen’s Butter”.   While the chef was initially, shall we say irritated, the good news was, we used every bit of it!  So all turned out well and I was back in his good graces.  In fact, he loved telling the story! Continue reading

Salvaging Over-Whipped Cream

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

Soft Peak Cream is one of two by products of unhomogenized milk.  Allowed to sit, the cream rises to the top while the equivalant of skimmed milk goes to the bottom. On the market today are pasteurized and ultra pasteurized cream.  While the ultra pasteurized cream has a longer shelf life due to being heated to up to 300 degrees briefly, some feel it doesn’t whip as well.  I don’t think it tastes as fresh as pasteurized cream so we never used it.

There are a good number of different types of cream today.  They are classified by the amount of milk fat in them.  In descending order they are:
40%  or Heavy Cream – contains 40 percent milkfat
Whipping Cream – 30 to 36  percent milkfat
Light cream or coffee cream – between 18 ad 30 percent milk fat but is usually closer 20 percent.
Half and Half is a mixture of 1/2 milk and 1/2 cream.  We did not stock it at the bakery.  We simply made it by combining  cream and milk when we needed it.

Cream is highly perishable and needs to be refrigerated and used within the “use by” date.  We had a spell on several occasions at the bakery where the cream was spoiled before the date expired.  It became a practice for us to shake the cream, open it and smell it before we used it. Fortunately, our supplier always took back any cream that had turned. Continue reading