The last couple of days have been personally stressful and to be honest I have not felt like doing much of anything. Got a mean case of the ‘Blahs’. I’m feeling slightly more motivated today. Hopefully this trend continues.
I did want to post an update on the reversed puff pastry I began last week at school. Last night we finished the puff and used it for some really tasty, if a tad fugly looking, Napoleons. (Not to be confused with the Apple Pie Crapoleon of Sandra Lee fame). Napoleons are desserts that are at least three layers of pastry. In this case it was three layers of puff pastry with pastry cream between the layers and it was all topped with fondant.
The puff was rolled out very thin and baked between two sheet pans for the first half of the baking process. Then, the top pan is removed so the pastry can brown. This inhibits the lift provided by the butter creaking a thin, very crisp, and flaky pastry sheet. You then slice the sheet with a pastry (read pizza) wheel or a sharp chef’s knife. I used the wheel and had good results. I free handed my cuts because I was in a hurry, but really you should use a yard stick to make perfect even cuts. I feel this would also be an excellent application for a dough divider.
If I made them more often I would likely be able to produce a prettier dessert. This was my second one ever, so taking that into consideration I feel I did quite well. One woman in our class works for a local restaurant where they make these nightly, and hers were very pretty. Practice does indeed make perfect.
The flavor of the reversed puff pastry is like a crispy butter cracker. Layer that with pastry cream and top with pourable fondant icing and you have a stack of yumminess! This is the kind of dessert I would make at home, and will make, to impress dinner guests.