Tag Archives: pierre herme

Great British Bake Off – Episode 2

I meant to write a post last week about my experiences of the show and of the cotswolds but never quite got around to it so this week I was prepared. I loved filming this weeks episode, the weather was so much better than the previous week. You couldn’t tell on the show but it rained almost the whole weekend and it was bitterly cold as well. Scotland was warm and sunny and when we were not filming we were out enjoying the sun. I also felt very comfortable in the kitchen compared to the week before, I was relaxed and excited to be there doing what I love.

For the first challenge we had to make biscuits and yes my definiton of biscuits includes cookies! I went with my oatmeal raisin cookies which were inspired by and adapted from a recipe from a New York bakery called Momofuku Milk Bar (original recipe here). The really interesting thing about the recipe is that they used milk powder to make crumbs to add a creaminess which I loved. So I played around and came up with a recipe using the same idea. For the show I adapted it further and changed the way I make them to make simpler and more straight forward. The recipe I used on the show isnt on the BBC website but my original adaption is here.

The Second Challenge was scones and, well… yeah I didnt do great on the challenge. I grew up on my mum’s wonderful scones and holidays in devon with real cream teas, but the ones my mum taught me to make are slightly more rustic so maybe ill just brush over this challenge…

The third and final challenge was the big one, macarons, meringues and choux buns. I make macarons a lot but not so much choux pastry and meringue but i wasn’t uncomfortable with them either. My macarons were filled with raspberry jam and a rose flavoured French buttercream. If you want to look at the recipes I use most often take a look at this post here.

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Paris Pastries

I meant to post this last week but things have been a bit hectic around here so hopefully ill post numerous times this week. You already know I ate a lot of macarons in Paris but they were far from the only sweet thing I ate, there was much more, which may explain why I spent last week still not hungry and with little desire to eat anything. The thing that sets Paris apart from other cities, for me at least, is the creativity used with their pastries. Paris patiserries are stunning, from the simple elegance of a lemon tart to the nearly ridiculous and over the top entremets, I find it so inspiring walking into the boutique-like patisseries and am constantly being blown away by the creative aspect of it all. Over the week I visited many (12?) patisseries and got something more substantial from 7 becuase if I had eaten much more I seriously think I may have been ill. Continue reading

Paris Macarons

Paris really does loves its macarons, almost every patiserrie I visited sold them (although I suspect some of the smaller cheaper ones buy them in) and I also saw them at supermarkets, department stores and even fastfood places. You could also buy them as keyrings, soaps, kitchen decorations and obviously as the subject of cookbooks (of which I counted over 20 in just one store). But im only really interested in the real thing so first off were they all good? No there were clearly places that were excellent and others that simply didn’t rate as high. But where to start, where should I visit. I wanted to try a broad range from all level of producers, unfortunately I forgot to buy any at the supermarket but I did manage to try some from McDonalds and tried many of the big names. Because I cant think of a great way of doing a comparison im just going to jump in and start. Continue reading

Mint Chocolate Macarons

I have an admission to make, I completely forgot about Mactweets this month so these were made pretty last minute. Unfortunately this means I didnt get too long to plan or even think about my flavour for this months theme – “Spring Fling: Be inspired by your favorite spring flowers”. Technically my flavour doesn’t really fit the theme as mint is not a flower, it is a plant though and the green reminds me of the fresh green colour of grass and maybe the dusted brown can represent the mud. Okay I might be, absolutely am stretching here but heres my post anyway. Continue reading

Rose Macarons

For tips from Pierre Herme’s “Macaron” book click here

I know I said previously that I would take a break from posting any more macaron recipes but I recently joined Mactweets a new blogroll for fellow macaron bakers. This month’s theme was Valentines and I was at bit of a loss for what to do. I’m single, gay and not really into valentines (im a bit of a cynic) and wasn’t really loving the theme. Originally I thought I could do an anti-valentines post but I couldn’t really think of anything other than liquorice (it being black!) but in the end I caved and thought I would go with the spirit of the theme and went all out romantic with a healthy sprinkling of pink with rose as the flavour. This post is also quite timely in that Pierre Herme has finally, after years of rumours, opened a shop in London. As of 5th February you can now buy his Macarons from a small concession in Selfridges on Oxford Street, and later this year he will be opening a fully-fledged store in Kensington. Just a shame I don’t live in London. Continue reading

Pâte Sucrée – Sweet Pastry

Very quick post as a follow up to the previous, to provide the pastry recipe which has to be my favourite pastry of all time. I know that hyperbole is not exactly helpful but I’m sorry, I simply love this pastry. You can make this dough either on the counter or for quicker and easier method, use a mixer. Continue reading

Lemon Tart

The second and final recipe I’m going to share from my Dads 60th is a wonderful, if slightly off season, lemon tart and by complete accident is yet another Pierre Herme recipe, not that this is a bad thing of course. I had planned on giving Monsieur Herme’s recipes a well deserved break from the blog but didn’t realise this was his recipe until I was making it. A couple a years back I picked up a book called simply “The Cooks Book” which I got for the bargain price of £5. Its a kind of text book in that it is very in-depth and shows the steps clearly. It also cover many different styles from Chinese and Indian to Desserts and Breads. Chapters are divided by chef and it includes the likes of Ferran Adria, Rick Bayless, Atul Kochar, Dan Lepard, Marcus Wareing and of course Pierre Herme. It was only whilst checking over the recipe whilst making the tart that I realised I had chosen another Pierre Herme recipe, but no apologies because it is wonderful. The tart shell was crisp and flavoursome, flecked with vanilla seeds and made more indulgent with ground almonds. I decided to only make half the filling and top with fresh berries so the tart nature of the lemon was cut by the fruit. Continue reading