Summer has come again in the northern hemisphere! After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu last month, I spent 2 weeks in a mini-bus touring Europe with my family. The trip saw us explore 20 breathtaking cities in 14 days! The itinerary went as follows:
Paris -> Nevers -> Albi -> Lourdes -> Narbonne -> Cannes -> Nice -> Monte Carlo -> Milan -> Pisa -> Rome -> Florence -> Padova -> Venice -> Lucerne -> Strasbourg -> Cologne -> Amsterdam -> Brussels -> Paris
|A view of Monaco from the Exotic Gardens|
|Early evening in Cannes - France|
|The Colloseum! Rome- Italy|
(Instagram pics by my sister Tania)
With an average of 7 hours per-day spent on the road, I read through the second and third books of Song of Ice and Fire by George R R Martin (nerd alert, I know). Which was also awesome.
Now back in Paris, the sun-drenched 16 hour days have motivated me to try to be a little more productive… This means not squandering the daylight reading the fourth book of Song of Ice and Fire. Understandably this was very difficult. But I decided that it was time to get back into the bakin' and bloggin' business.
Thinking back to my first trip to a Parisian patisserie in the summer of last year, a particular treat really caught my eye as I set foot in the legendary Laduree. This dessert emitted an overwhelming air of super girly cuteness that my vision tunneled as I became airborne and levitated stomach-first towards it. It was not long after, that the "Religieuse à la Rose" became the very first pastry I bit into in this fine country of France. And mon Dieu it was delicious.
What is a "religieuse" you ask? Well, the concept is simple and inspired: a pastry composed of one big cream-puff with a smaller one stacked on top of it. The globules of choux pastries are pumped amply with flavored pastry cream and glazed with shiny fondant. You can't help but feel like you're Marie Antoinette as you dine upon this confection.
The recipe is a little long and wordy, but be undaunted! The final result will definitely be worth your efforts :)
Religieuse à la Rose
250 ml water
100 g unsalted butter - cubed
2 g salt
4 g caster sugar
150 g all purpose flour
1) Combine water, salt and sugar in a saucepan
2) Add cubed butter and bring to vigorous boil
3) Off heat, quickly add the flour in one go and stir vehemently with a wooden spoon to incorporate
4) Return saucepan to low heat and keep stirring to draw out moisture until the dough unsticks easily from the spatula and the sides of the pan
5) Place dough into a clean bowl, mix in the eggs 1 at a time with a wooden spoon (this step can also be done on a stand mixer with a paddle attachment).
6) Using a 12mm piping tip, pipe rounds onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper. 6.5cm and 3.5cm in diameter.
7) Bake at 150 degrees C until golden brown (about 25 minutes), then cool completely on a rack
Rose Pastry Cream:
800 ml full-cream milk
8 egg yolks
160 g caster sugar (divided in two)
60 g custard powder or maizena
natural vanilla extract
- - -
50 ml rosewater
100 ml rose syrup
1) On medium heat, warm up milk with half of the sugar in a saucepan
2) Using a whisk, blanch egg yolks and the other half of sugar, then add custard powder and vanilla - thin out with a little warm milk if too thick
3) Temper mixture with half of the simmering milk to loosen, and pour the batter into the saucepan
4) Whisking constantly, bring the mixture to a good boil
5) Move into a clean bowl, whisk in rosewater and rose syrup
6) Cover with plastic wrap (in contact) so skin will not form, cool in fridge
7) When cool, fill choux pastries generously with a small pastry tip
250 g white pouring fondant
20 ml rose syrup
1) Warm up fondant to loosen slightly on stovetop
2) Stir in rose syrup with a rubber spatula
3) Dip choux pastries into preparation carefully to glaze
120 g sugar
40 ml water
- - -
4 egg yolks
180 g butter - cubed
natural vanilla extract
1) Combine sugar and water in a saucepan, boil and heat to 118 degrees C
2) Place egg yolks in a stand mixer, mix at low speed until light in colour
3) With the mixer going, slowly pour in sugar syrup
4) When colour is further lightened and the mixture is voluminous but still tepid, incorporate butter cube by cube.
5) Mix until smooth and creamy
6) Using a pastry bag and a small star tip, decorate as you like :)
Here are some more pictures of the ones I made today!
I hope to hear about how you go following the recipes! You can either email me at email@example.com or leave me a comment below.
Until then, eat sweet mes amis!