On February 11th, I’ll have the honour of hosting the fifth edition of the sweet-tooth blogging event, Sugar High Fridays. Created by food blogger and baker extraordinaire Jennifer of the Domestic Goddess, SHF brings together dessert addicts from around the world once a month to create mouth-watering sweets with a common theme. So far we’ve had four incredible themes: White Chocolate and Apples by Jennifer, Spices by Zarah Maria, and most recently, Nuts by Viv.
For February, I’m pleased to announce that the theme will be . . .
Puff Pastry: hundreds and hundreds of layers!
You are welcome to make any dessert that uses puff pastry, whether it’s something classic like palmiers or mille-feuille, or something creative that you invent yourself. On February 11th, post your entry on your website, or send it to me and I’ll post it on A La Cuisine! The following day, I’ll post a round-up linking to everyone’s delicious puff pastry creations.
I for one am no expert in puff pastry, but cookbook author Dorie Greenspan seems to explain it best when she writes:
There is no dough more elegant than puff pastry, no dough more sumptuous, and no dough more likely to make you feel like a million bucks after you’ve prepared it for the first time, in part because it’s so dramatic – under heat, the hundreds of layers of cold butter in the dough melt, the water in the butter turns to steam, and the steam pushes the dough up to dizzying heights – and in part because you know you’re making something legendary.
Puff pastry certainly seems to be one of the miracles of baking. Its taste is wonderfully deep, nutty, and flaky, and the pastry is versatile enough to be used for an endless number of creations. So what better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than to make something so delicate and delicious for a special person in your life!
Perhaps you may have heard that making puff pastry is a time consuming process, and is also difficult to make in hot, humid weather. If either of these are concerns for you, you’re more than welcome to use pre-made puff pastry dough that can often be found in grocery stores or sometimes purchased from bakeries. I’m sure your results will be just as spectacular.
If you do decide to make puff pastry yourself, I’ll be making it for the first time too. In the weeks leading up to SHF 5, I’ll be trying out different puff pastry recipes, including those by Sherry Yard, Pierre Hermé, and Pascal Rigo. I’ll be sure to blog about these experiments, and will pass along any useful hints and recipes I pick up along the way.
So there you have it. Everyone - whether you’re a novice baker or a skilled professional – is welcome and encouraged to participate! Please e-mail me at [email protected] once you’ve posted your entry, or if you’d like me to host your entry. And of course, feel free to e-mail me or leave a comment if you have any questions.