February 23, 2008


apple almond-nougat tarts
paris brest

well, it was very good timing to pull off my best croissants for the exam. i'm really quite proud. the key to them is definitely to keep the dough cold, cold, cold, when you're rolling out the layers.

next up is the apple almond nougat tarts. these turned out well too, they're the last things i finished.

at the bottom are paris brest. they're supposed to look like bicycle wheels, and they're filled with a mixture of pastry cream, buttercream, and hazelnut paste. it's a bitch to make all the separate components, but what you get in the end is worth the effort.

next week, i start chocolates.

Posted by donna at 12:51 AM | Comments (2)

February 21, 2008

omg, a test.

beer bread macarons with raspberry filling brioche loaf brioche w/bee sting topping

today was day two of my three-day breads, breakfast pastries, and petits fours exam.

yesterday, i turned in an ok lemon pound cake. it was baked well, but apparently it was dense - a sign of over working the batter. i find this amazing, since i mixed that one by hand. getting eggs to the ribbon stage by hand will make you break a sweat.

these are photos of what i turned in today.

beer bread - turned out fine, could've had a more random crumb.

macarons with raspberry filling. these are some of the best macarons i've made so far. good timing on my part.

a loaf of brioche. this turned out damn near perfect.

and brioche with a bee sting topping, which is basically butter, honey, and almonds. these also turned out well.

Posted by donna at 04:35 PM | Comments (1)

February 16, 2008

madelines, apple tarts, fruit tarts, & chocolate financiers

madelines and apple almond-nougat tarts fruit tarts chocolate financiers

up top there are madelines, which are moist, slightly lemony tea cakes, and some apple tarts topped with a sugary almond 'nougat' mixture that isn't really like nougat at all.

in the middle there are some mixed fruit tarts with strawberry, raspberry, mango, blueberry, and kiwi and topped with a sliver of candied lemon zest.

below are some chocolate financiers. financiers are made with brown butter to give them a nutty flavor. these have some hazelnut gianduja in them along with some candied orange peel.

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Posted by donna at 10:44 AM | Comments (0)

February 12, 2008

big day o' chocolate petits fours

opera cake
chocolate and plain macarons
chocolate espresso tarts

up top we have an opera cake, which is layers of spongey almond soaked with sweetened coffee syrup and layered with coffee buttercream and choccolate ganache. this is one of my favorites - i used to get one of these about once a week from the patisseries in versailles.

in the middle, there are some more macarons, both chocolate and plain shells, and both filled with chocolate ganache.

at the bottom, there are  espresso mini-tarts topped with a chocolate mirror glaze. the look of them reminds me of that candy from the late 70's/early 80's - i think it was called something like toffay, or whatever, but my google-fu is not working in finding the actual name of it.

in other news, exams are coming up next week.

Posted by donna at 05:54 PM | Comments (0)

February 07, 2008

chocolate eclairs, orange and pistachio macarons, & pistachio creme brulée

chocolate eclairs, orange and pistachio macarons, & pistachio creme brulée

these all turned out awesome, especially the eclairs.

Posted by donna at 11:38 PM | Comments (0)

February 04, 2008

wee tarts. big awesome.

blueberry tarts

that's a blueberry tartlet, topped with streusel, and raised to the fantastical by a tiny bit of candied lemon zest and some pistachio.

pear & apricot-almond tarts

and on the left in this photo there is a pear almond tart with apricot glaze and also toped with pistachio(that one's my favorite). and on the right, an apricot almond tart topped with powdered sugar and some toasted almonds.

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Posted by donna at 11:46 PM | Comments (0)

February 01, 2008



this is a petits fours that consists of two hazelnut-almond meringue-based "cookies" sandwiching a filling of pastry cream spiked with toasted walnuts and port wine.
they are awesome.

Posted by donna at 11:53 PM | Comments (0)