I’m still working my way through “Patisserie Made Simple.”  I don’t think I mentioned how I got hold of this book.  I actually won it in a giveaway on one of my favorite blogs,  EatLiveTravelWrite,  where I started my macaron journey. What I love about this book is that it is, well, simple.  It lays out the basics — like creme patissiere, pate sucree, puff pastry — and builds upon them.  It makes these classic French pastry methods approachable and replicable in the home kitchen.  There are a few omissions/errors eg. there is no way to get a browned crust on the flan Parisien without turning on the broiler for a few minutes and, sometimes, you have to refer to other sources for the finer details eg. making macarons and tempering chocolate.

These last two months I have been on maternity leave/baking sabbatical and have successfully made about half of the recipes in this book and virtually all from the first attempt (still working on tempering chocolate, stay tuned).  There is something magical about making pastries for your family every day and even better when your four-year-old son tells his teacher he has a financier packed for his snack that day.  Patisserie made Simple has taken a near-biblical distinction in my kitchen and I can’t recommend it enough to bakers who are interested in pastry.

This week, I made kugelhopf (my favorite so far) and then repurposed it into almond bostock; coffee tart;  honey zabaglione pavlova (ok, not a French pastry but baked meringues are still in the same stratosphere).

Pavlovas made me nervous for some reason but really could not be easier.

Make a stiff meringue…
Spread it in an even layer on your marked parchment sheet…
…and bake it.  After you bake it you leave it in the oven for a couple of hours to really dry it out.

I added a honey zabaglione from my favorite baking magazine, Bake from Scratch”  and some berries.  So simple.  I didn’t think this was my husband’s kind of dessert but he actually ate almost the entire thing by himself.  

My father came over for dinner the same night and he and the kids really loved the coffee tart.  It was perfect for me as well.  All the things I love about a tiramisu without the alcohol and with a bonus chocolate pate sucree.

Like I said, kugelhopf has been my favorite so far and my favorite form of brioche.  I did not have a special pan so I just made it in one of my bundt pans and it worked beautifully.  I also made it with dates instead of raisins since DH does not like them.

Two days later, I turned the kugelhopf into almond bostock.

Slice up the leftover brioche.
Brush with simple syrup flavored with orange blossom water
Spread frangipane cream over the slices
Garnish with almond slices and bake until the frangipane just starts to turn golden around the edges.

Sadly, my time at home is near the end but not before my kids have vanilla sables for their lunchbox and tarte tropezienne for breakfast …








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