Quick Bites from Pender

Day 3 at SFBI

In Lessons From Cooking School on April 22, 2010 at 10:48 pm


What do you get when you fill a wheel-shaped choux with praline mousseline?

Something very, very tasty — known as a Paris-Brest to those in the know.



And then there’s Eclairs Three Ways — caramel, fondant and chocolate — filled with vanilla pastry cream.

Jealous much?


How about 3 lbs of European butter, encased in a dough containing another 1/2 pound or so of “regular” butter?

That would be homemade puff pastry — this is the real deal folks.  Two days and a labour of love.  This is actually the 2nd course I have taken with a puff pastry component.  Hopefully my learning curve has shallowed out on this.  Remember what happened when I tried to make it at home after the first class?


Six single folds, and into the fridge she goes…


I leave you with a caramel ball — an 80’s vintage, retro caramel ball to be exact.  Until tomorrow…

  1. I have to say I have never made eclairs….I must try it…your looks so very very good….

  2. The first pic, of Paris-Brest, looks unbelievably tasty. I hope I can find one of those in my part of the woods. I’d sure like to try it!

  3. No joke, my eyes bulged out when I saw the trio of eclairs. It looks like you’re in pastry school? That’s awesome! I came really really close to going at one point but decided against it at the last minute. For now, baking will remain a hobby.

    • I have been enjoying my week-long class at the San Francisco Baking Inst. — but I`m in no way a baker — I just don`t have the precise mind required of a baker. I`m more of a `little bit of this, a little bit of that`kinda girl…a true cook at heart!

  4. Puff pastry and danish dough are indeed labor intensive! Fun, but fussy. Funny – we’re doing choux in class next week. Your retro caramel ball is awesome!

    • Have fun with the choux! A finicky method, but the result is so versatile. Last night at dinner we were served a 6-month aged cheddar gougere — an excellent savoury example of choux.

  5. What IS it about the look of piped creams and icings that just makes my mouth water and my brain turn somersaults? Looks incredible. You had me at pastry cream…

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