As I found the classes so enjoyable I wanted to do a blog entry dedicated to just the classes themselves at La Cuisine.
La Cuisine have loads of different courses on offer, however it was the skills behind the art of pastry and croissant making I have always wanted to master. In the 3 hour class we created croissants, almond croissants and pain au chocolat along with lots of tips for other variations including cinnamon rolls… yum! I also found they were doing a macaron class in the afternoon on the same day and I was very lucky to have my housemates purchase this one for me as for my birthday also; look out for part 3.
The class had only 8 ladies and thankfully 2 people didn’t show up, which was nice having extra room to spread out and make a mess. As the pastry takes at least 12 hours to prove, we started with pastry from the previous class and learnt how to roll it out. I loved learning little tips like the hand movement to throw flour onto the workspace evenly and the technique of slightly imprinting the pastry with the rolling pin when it starts to roll out unevenly.
We cut the pastry into 3 “even” bits (my rolling pins skills still need work), and from the first strip we learnt how to roll into the crab shape and also into a straight croissant.
The last strip we made Le Croissant aux amandes (Croissant filled with Almond cream) which I had actually never tasted before, but definitely a new favourite. One person made the almond cream for the class and we all learnt how to pipe this into a normal triangle shape and also create the pinwheel style croissant; both were topped with flaked almonds.
After these had all been coated with a layer of egg wash and put in the oven, we started from the beginning and made the pastry dough from scratch. This was a lot of fun as we started with a well of flour on the workspace and poured the water, butter and yeast right into the middle and slowly incorporated it with our fingers until it was workable dough. We then spent the next 10 minutes in silence with only the sound of us all bashing the dough against the workspace, which proved a definite stress reliever!
The next step freaks me out as you have to roll half a block of butter right into the dough. SO MUCH BUTTER!! The trick is to keep it chilled because if it starts to melt then the butter will leak out while baking and burn. Once the butter had been worked into the dough we folded the pastry several times which creates the layers of the croissants, the more folds the more layers.
And we were done and this was a definite well deserved coffee break!
bon appétit x