Tag Archives: Dessert

Stuffed (or Not) Kouign Amann

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. 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

Mocha Kahlua Brownies

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

mocha-kailua-brownies.jpegOf all the brownies we made at the bakery or I have ever eaten for that matter, Mocha Kahlua Brownies are my favorite.  The brownie itself is of the fudgy variety with a deep, intense chocolate flavor highlighted with coffee undertones.

Mocha Kahlua Brownies couldn’t be easier to make, sophisticated taste.  The one thing that is important is to mix the batter on low so no air is incorporated. Continue reading

Lemon Raspberry Pudding 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 Raspberry Pudding CakeLemon Raspberry Pudding Cake is a relatively low fat dessert but you can’t tell it from the taste. Some recipes for the Lemon Pudding Cake use butter but this recipe from my mother never did. I added the raspberries but blueberries would be great also. It can be made as a whole or individual dessert as you choose.

When you mix it, it looks like a very light cake batter. But as it bakes, it separates into two layers. The top is the lightest cake ever and the bottom is an intense lemon pudding with fresh raspberries.

You can see from the photo that this Lemon Raspberry Pudding “Cake” does not cut well. In fact you don’t cut it, you scoop it out of the pan with a big spoon. It’s definitely a “homey” looking dessert – but those are often the best.

This Lemon Raspberry Pudding Cake is an easy recipe to put together but I have to tell you, my husband and I ate the whole 10″ cake one night – it is that good – or we are that bad! Continue reading

Buche de Noel

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

The spectacular Buche de NoelThe Buche de Noel is a spectacular extravaganza from France and is one dessert, among many, of their gifts to the world of food. And what a gift it is! While it looks complicated, it can be done over several weeks.  I have posted a schedule below.  Buche de Noel translates to Yule Log.  It is basically a jelly roll with the ends cut off and decorated to look like a tree trunk lying on the ground.

We had a loyal following that would order the Buche de Noel every year.  The photograph to the left was from our online catalog.  It is one of my favorites.

The Buche de Noel consist of a sponge that is filled and rolled like a jelly roll.  Any number of buttercreams, curds or seedless raspberry preserves can be used inside.  The ends are cut off to make the knots on the top and side.  The entire creation is finished in chocolate buttercream.   It is then finished to look like a log.  It can be decorated in a number of ways.  We made meringue mushrooms, chocolate leaves and fondant holly berries.

For this Buche de Noel, I have used a coffee buttercream filling.   The strawberry buttercream would also be fantastic.  The chocolate buttercream used here is based on one from “The Cake Bible” by  Rose Levy Beranbaum.  It is ultra light,  smooth and unbelievably easy.  Just perfect for this cake. Continue reading

Strawberry Verrines

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

Strawberry Verrine

A verrine is a layered dessert or appetizer that is served in a small glass.  The glass allows for a beautiful vertical presentation.  Verrines originally came to us from France, but as with all foods we make them ours by the ingredients used.

With strawberry season upon us, this strawberry verrine is the perfect example of an updated classic dessert.   Many of the original dessert versions featured Bavarian cream which is set with gelatin.  There are usually three layers and anything goes.

This version actually consists of two recipes already on the blog.  Each changed just slightly to achieve this verrine.  This can be made a day or two ahead without the decorative strawberries on top.  The mousse consists of the Dark Satin Ganache to which I add whipped cream when it has cooled.  The top is pastry cream without the gelatin so it is a softer cream. The strawberries should be diced very small, about 1/4 inch so each mouthful gets a goodly amount that will blend with the other ingredients. Continue reading