Thursday, July 22, 2010

Galette des Rois Revisited

We had another puff pastry class on Tuesday. This time, we made Pithiviers (puff pastry cake with almond cream) and Sacristains (puff pastry twists). Pithiviers are really like the Galette des Rois (kings' cake) that one eats during Epiphany, except without the ceramic baby jesus inside.

Pithiviers have a special place in my heart because that was the first "hardcore" French recipe I tried when I started this blog. Here's a picture from my first attempt at handmade puff pastry.

(My second pithivier is a lot more presentable, no?)

I'm really surprised that my puff pastry turned out so well. I was able to get a really good rise out of the dough, and even the chef called it "magnifique". Then again, the French has some sort of obsession with height...

Even though my first pithivier didn't look so good, I have to admit that it tasted better. Dorie Greenspan's recipe uses a mixture of pastry cream and almond cream, which I prefer to straight almond cream. Straight almond cream is too dense and moist, it should be lightened with something creamy. Flavor-wise, eggy almond cream with rum is kind of boring. Sadaharu Aoki apparently makes green tea and red bean ones for Epiphany. I think I'll try black sesame and chestnut for next January : )

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