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Pastry & Patisserie Archives | A Tipsy GiraffeA Tipsy Giraffe

Blood Orange Mini Tarts

Sweet shortcrust pastry filled with a delicious, sweet blood orange curd. Topped with candied blood orange slices, perfect to welcome in spring!

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Blood Orange Mini Tarts

This Sunday is Mother’s Day in the UK and we’re finally starting to see some Spring like weather, at least down south we are anyway! So I thought it was time to post a nice bright and cheery dessert to celebrate Mother’s Day and welcome spring… or at least encourage it to appear more frequently! Of course, today it is raining so these little tarts have got a lot of work to be doing!

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Pear and Persimmon Galette

Pear and Persimmon Galette

Happy Friday everybody! Today I’m bringing you another recipe for something I baked a while ago but hadn’t shared the recipe for yet. I don’t know why this one has been locked away in the figurative vault for so long, it’s really, really yummy – other recipes just took precedence I guess, that tends to happen with the holidays! 

Pear and Persimmon Galette

 

Galettes are like a pie or tart without the need for a dish, you form them by hand. Which works out well for me because I don’t currently own a pie dish, plus I absolutely love the rustic look, don’t you? This galette has beautiful flaky pastry wrapped around pears and persimmons in an almond filling, it’s a beautiful combination. I came across some persimmons at the market stalls in my town and picked up a few to bake with. Persimmon are a really yummy, sweet fruit, very similar to Sharon fruit, but you need to make sure they’re properly ripe before you eat them or they’re very astringent. A persimmon is ripe enough to use when you can really indent it when pressed, it should feel almost like pudding underneath the skin – anything less than that and it’ll feel like you ate a box of chalk! Mine took over a week until they were ripe enough, but it was worth the wait – especially combined with the pear and almond, so yummy!

Pear and Persimmon Galette

The beauty of a galette too is you can make them pretty much any shape you like, I made mine rectangular because all of my baking sheets are rectangular and none are big enough to make any other shape! Go nuts with yours though, you could even make it into a little heart shape for the upcoming valentines day! Aww! That might take a little artistic expertise, but I believe in you – besides that rough homemade look is always good! You can also use any kind of pear you like, I used Bosc because that’s what’s readily available here but feel free to use your favourite kind. Bosc are good to bake with though as they hold their shape pretty well – I didn’t utilise that feature by making a pretty pattern, but its definitely an option with these pears. Oh, and the type of persimmon I used is called a Kaki which is the type that looks like a big, orangey tomato.

Pear and Persimmon Galette

 You can serve this up with a little cream, maybe a la mode or even just by itself it’s gonna be great! I served mine with a little cream and some of my spiced caramel which was a really yummy addition! Whatever you serve it with though, everybody is gonna love that buttery, flakey pastry and the sweet, fruity filling – it was certainly a hit at my house!

I have a few more recipes left to share in my fault, but I should have a brand spanking new one for you next week! I baked for the first time since before Christmas today and *fingers crossed* if turns out well I’ll get that recipe up for you soon, I’m very excited about it so I hope it came out!

Pear and Persimmon Galette

 

I’m bringing this yummy little free-formed tart along to Fiesta Friday to share with the masses! FF is a great party held by Angie every week, you should definitely stop by, it’s a lot of fun! Our hosts this week are the ever fabulous Jhuls and JuJu

Do come hang out with me on Social Media, I’m always pretty active on Instagram, – I also have Twitter and Facebook. I’d love to see you guys on there! 

Pear & Persimmon Galette
A free formed tart with flaky pastry filled with pears, persimmons and almond
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For the pastry
  1. 320g plain flour (all purpose flour)
  2. 1 tsp salt
  3. 90g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  4. 155g 100% vegetable shortening (e.g crisco or trex), cold
  5. 120ml ice water
  6. 1 egg and 1 tbsp milk for egg wash.
For the filling
  1. 2 persimmon
  2. 3 pears
  3. 1 tbsp cornflour
  4. 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  5. 5 tbsp almond flour
  6. 2 tbsp brown sugar
  7. 25g unsalted butter, chopped into small cubes
Instructions
  1. To make the pastry, mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the cold butter and shortening ad cut it into the flour using a pastry cutter or two forks, until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs (some pieces may be larger, that's okay).
  2. Pour 120ml cold water into a cup or jug and add a few pieces of ice, swirl and leave to sit for a moment. Add 1 tbsp of the water to the dough at time, mixing in completely after each addition. You don't need to add all the water, just add it until the dough begins to clump together.
  3. Turn the dough out on to floured work surface and roughly roll out so it all comes together, the dough shouldn't be too sticky and should come together easily.
  4. Form into a ball and flatten it into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour (up to 5 days).
  5. Meanwhile, slice up and core the persimmon and pears, you can leave the skin on for both (you can peel the pears first if you'd prefer) and place in a large bowl. Add the cornflour, the cinnamon and 3 tbsp of the almond flour and mix to combine. Set aside.
  6. Preheat oven to 190C/375F and line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
  7. Take the pastry dough out of the fridge and roll into a large rectangle, with the approximate dimensions as your baking tray but bigger.
  8. Sprinkle the brown sugar and remaining almond flour over the pastry.
  9. Arrange the persimmons and pears over the pastry, leaving a 2 inch border around the edge.
  10. Sprinkle the butter cubes over the top.
  11. Fold the edges of the pastry over on top of the fruit, then brush with egg wash.
  12. Bake for 30 minutes, until pastry is a deep golden brown and the filling is bubbling
  13. Serve warm
Notes
  1. Can be made a day in advance, you can reheat it under the grill/broiler for 10 or so minutes - keeping a close eye to watch it doesn't burn.
A Tipsy Giraffe https://www.atipsygiraffe.com/
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Tarte au Citron Vert – GBBO Challenge Week 5 (Pies & Tarts Week)

tarte au citron vert

 

Everybody knows the classic tarte au citron, the beautiful French tart – a buttery pastry, filled with a zesty lemon custard. It’s a classic and some may say it’s perfect as it is and shouldn’t be changed. To them I say “pah!”. I’m a huge lover of lime and filling this tart with a smooth lime custard just sounded so much more appealing to my palate. Besides, I’m not one to stick to tradition! 

tarte au citron vert

This sweet and tart dessert is perfect for a sunny picnic, a celebratory barbecue or even a fancy dinner party. It’s versatile and gorgeous, a perfect choice for pies and tarts week of my Great British Bake Off challenge. I really enjoyed baking this and it was a lot simpler that I thought it would be, I normally associate French with tricky! The trickiest part was baking it just the right amount, you want to bake it until it is just set. You don’t want it to be under baked and runny, but you don’t want to dry it out either. So you have to keep a close eye on it.

tarte au citron vert

I had a fancy French week this week, baking fancy French patisserie classics and eating fancy French food. I fulfilled a bucket list item of mine on Tuesday (well, I don’t have a bucket list but if I did this would have been on it). I ate at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay! I’m a big, big fan of Gordon – I love his recipes, the way he cooks and I think he is just a great person all round. I think if you don’t watch his shows often you’d get the wrong idea about him, because yes he can be very hot tempered and brash but if he can see you are putting effort in and taking care in what you do, he is extremely encouraging and actually very nice. It’s when you’re half-assing something or being intentionally stupid that he loses his temper! I was also super excited to eat at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay because the head chef there is a woman called Clare Smyth and she is the first British woman to receive and keep 3 Michelin stars – and if there’s one thing I love it’s successful ladies! The food was absolutely amazing, we had three courses but they also brought out appetisers and extra desserts. I’ve honestly never tasted anything that good before, there’s definitely a good reason it’s so pricey! If you want to see photos of the gorgeous food I ate, check out my instagram, I posted photos on it on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

tarte au citron vert

 

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Fig Bars

Fig bars

When I think of Figs I think of my days at University and eating my body weight in Jacob’s Fig Rolls while I wrote last minute essays at 3am and somehow that still brings back warm and fond memories! Despite my love of figs I have never actually baked with them and when I came to that realisation I decided I had to fix that fast!

Fig bars

These fig bars aren’t your typical fig rolls (or fig newtons as they’re called in the US), they’re so much better! They have a pastry like crust then lots of yummy fig filling and have an nutty, oaty topping. I made these with dried figs as they don’t really come into season until Autumn and they’re hard to find when they are in season due to their short shelf life, besides you’re going to be cooking them down so I would recommend dried figs either way to keep the moisture. If you don’t want to make the filling yourself you can always use a fig butter or jam, I’ve heard good things about it if you get it from Trader Joe’s (for you American folk) so I’m sure they’ll be just as yummy. However if you do it like that they may be a little on the overly sweet side!

Fig bars

My favourite thing about these is the secret ingredient, orange! It really brings out the flavour of the figs and although it’s not a necessary ingredient I wouldn’t omit it, it brings them to a whole new level of tastiness! One of the great things about this fig bar recipe though is they’re so easy to make, they do require baking in stages but it’s so simple to do you won’t mind. And you can make the fig filling while the crust bakes, then you just quickly whip up the crumbly topping, sprinkle it on top and stick them in the oven for 15 minutes. It takes about 45 minutes start to finish! You will want to let them cool before you eat them though, as hard as that may be, that filling is going to be very hot!

Fig bars

 

[recipe title=”Fig Bars”]

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup plain flour

For the filling:

  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • Juice from 1 orange
  • 1 cup boiling water (you will not need the whole cup)
  • 9oz dried mission figs, chopped

For the topping:

  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp cold butter
  • 1/4 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • Zest of 1 orange

Method

  • Preheat over to 350F/170C. Grease and line a 9″ square pan.
  • For the crust, beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla on a medium speed until combined. On a low speed, beat in the flour until a soft dough forms. Press the dough into the bottom of the pan and bake for approx 15 minutes, until the centre is set and it is just turning a light golden colour
  • While the crust is baking, make the filling. Pour the juice of the orange into a measuring jug and fill up with boiling water until you reach 1 cup.
  • In a small saucepan heat all the filling ingredients over a medium/high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently until figs are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Don’t be afraid to cook it for longer is need be, you want a jam like consistency, just make sure you keep stirring so it doesn’t burn. Spread it over the cooked crust and set aside.
  • Now make the topping. In a small bowl mix the flour, brown sugar and butter using a fork or pastry blender until you have a crumbly streusel like texture. Stir in the oats, walnuts and orange zest. Sprinkle over the filling.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until the filling is bubbling and the top is golden brown. Leave to cool completely before cutting into bars.

[/recipe]
fig bars

 

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Profiteroles with Warm Chocolate Sauce

Light and airy choux pastry buns filled with crème pâtissière and smothered in warm chocolate sauce. Simple enough for a treat after a family dinner, elegant enough for a dinner party dessert! 

profiteroles with warm chocolate sauce

 

profiteroles with warm chocolate sauce

When I think profiteroles I think dessert at my nan’s house, so they bring up lots of good childhood memories. Even without the attached memories, I LOVE profiteroles. But for some reason it’s taken me until the ripe old age of 27 to try making them myself. I’m not a big pastry maker, I’m firmly in the “you don’t need to make your own pastry” cop out camp. Choux pastry is a different matter though, I can’t store buy that (I don’t think I’d want to either). I was a little intimated by the idea but after being assured it was a lot easier than it looked I took the jump!

profiteroles with warm chocolate sauce

I used Gordon Ramsay’s profiterole recipe because he gives me heart eyes and when I stumbled across his recipe, how could I not give that one a go? You can find his original recipe here, I however didn’t fill mine with chantilly cream because creme patissiere is always better let’s be honest. When I told my mum I was using creme patissiere (which is literally pastry cream in English btw) instead of fresh cream she was disappointed, but after trying my profiteroles she saw the light! And the warm chocolate sauce is beautifully rich, I recommend making a big batch up and using it for everything (I still have some I’m trying to find an excuse to use!). Gordon’s recipe wasn’t too helpful with baking time either, it wasn’t until my 3rd tray that I got them to bake properly all the way through!

profiteroles with warm chocolate sauce

This bake was actually part of my belated Great British Bake Off challenge for pastry week. Yes, it’s taken me this long to make this post! The Great British Bake Off is over now and although my favourite didn’t win, I enjoyed this series a lot, it’s around this time I’m tempted to apply (by the time the next series comes around I’m always glad I didn’t!) The profiteroles were my last bake along, it was a very short lived challenge, although I am tempted to give Charlotte Royale a go after French week!

profiteroles with warm chocolate sauce

Let’s get down to business shall we?

profiteroles with warm chocolate sauce

Ingredients

For the choux pastry:

  • 125ml milk
  • 200ml cold water
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1 tsp golden caster sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 4 medium eggs, lightly beaten

For the creme patissiere:

  • 500ml whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 medium egg yolks
  • 75g caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 25g plain flour
  • 20g cornflour

For the warm chocolate sauce:

  • 200g good quality dark chocolate (about 70% cocoa solids)
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp clear honey
  • 125ml whole milk

Method

Preheat the oven to 200C/390F/Gas 6. A properly preheated oven is very important to get your pastry to bake properly. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.

To make the choux buns, sift the flour into a bowl and set aside. Pour the milk, water, salt and sugar into a pan and gently heat on low, once the sugar and salt has all dissolved add the butter. Once all the butter has melted, bring the mixture to a rolling boil and remove from heat. Pour in the flour and beat with a wooden spoon, when the mixture starts to come away from the side of the pan, stop beating and tip onto a plate cool. Your mixture will probably look a bit like mashed potato at this point!

Once it’s cool (make sure it’s completely cool or your mixture will be too runny) return the mixture to the pan and gradually beat in the eggs a little at time, mixing well between each addition until you have a smooth paste.

Spoon the pastry into a piping bag fitted with a large plain nozzle. If you don’t have any nozzles, buy some they’ll come in handy, but for not you can just snip off the end of the bag to get a circle hole, you need the hole to be about 1.5cm in diameter. Pipe a small blob of pastry under each corner of the greaseproof paper on your baking sheet, this will help keep it in place while you pipe the buns. Pipe balls onto the baking sheet, about 3cm in diameter, spaced well apart. Level the tops slightly with the tip of your finger, wet your finger a little first to stop the pastry sticking to you! Bake at 200C/390F/Gas 6 for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 175C/350F/Gas 4 and bake for 20 more minutes until well risen and golden brown. Remove from the oven and poke a small hole in each bun (this will let any steam out and stop your buns going soggy), transfer to wire rack and leave to cool completely.

To make the creme patissiere, put the milk and vanilla in a heavy bottomed saucepan and bring to the boil (make sure you have a large pan, milk increases A LOT in size when it boils) and simmer very gently for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 30 seconds.

Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks and caster sugar until they turn a pale yellow. Then whisk in both flours. Pour on the milk, whisking constantly, then pour back into the pan. Make sure you always pour the hot milk/cream into cold eggs when making pastry creams, if you do it the other way you’re in danger of scrambling the eggs!

Whisking constantly to avoid lumps, bring back to the boil over a medium heat and cook for 1 minute. Pour the mixture into a bowl. Sprinkle the surface with a light dusting of caster sugar to prevent a skin from forming and leave to cool completely.

Spoon the crem pat into a piping bag fitted with a small nozzle (this is where you really do need a nozzle or you’re gonna have to fiddle around with poking a hole in the bottom of the buns separately!). Poke the nozzle gently into the bottom of one of the buns and pipe in the cream until it is filled. Repeat for all buns. If your cream is thick enough (and it should be) it will stay in the bun just fine.

To make the warm chocolate sauce,  break the chocolate into small pieces and put in a heatproof bowl, place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and heat. Add the butter and honey, stirring occasionally until the chocolate is melted. Gradually whisk in the milk until you have a smooth sauce and warm through. Drizzle the sauce of the cream filled profiteroles, serve and be the most popular person at the party/dinner/night alone in your pjs/mother in the office.

Don’t let me even worse than usual photography skills put you off attempting these, they barely take any time at all and people will think you’ve spent hours in the kitchen slaving away!

profiteroles with warm chocolate sauce

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profiteroles with warm chocolate sauce

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