Day 30: The Power of Butter

a Most people buy frozen puff pastry, and for a good reason: It’s an all-day project.

The beginnings of puff pastry

Puff pastry has the ability to rise eight to 10 times it’s original size without the help of a chemical leavener like baking soda. So how does it transform from dough to pillow-y crust? Butter. After making a simple dough of water, flour, salt, and a smidgen of butter, you incorporate a brick of butter. This square of butter is then rolled into the dough six times (but with an hour of resting time in between each roll) so it evenly creates ribbons of butter throughout the dough. And when baked, these strips of butter will create a flakiness that will make it impossible to stop eating it. And the water that was incorporated into the dough turns into steam when cooked, and pushes up the layers. 

My strawberry and kiwi puff pastry 

We spent the other part of our day making a genoise cake, or an egg-foam cake. And just like puff pastry, genoise doesn’t need any baking soda or powder to rise. Instead, we beated egg yolks until our arms screamed. And the air that was incorporated to the yolks caused the cake to rise. Pretty nifty, huh? We topped off these cakes with a coffee buttercream. And because I’m so absent-minded, I forgot to take a picture of mine, so here’s my classmate’s.

Tom’s genoise cake

TIP OF THE DAY: If making a layered cake from one cake, make sure to score the outside of the cake as a marker so you can properly put the cake back together.


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