leap day baking!

more puff pastry…just can’t get enough of them! and practice makes perfect.

i revamped my kouign-amann recipes, wrapped more ppbs and this time with red bean as well as taro, and made mille-feuille in black sesame, red bean, and taro flavors. i also made more brown butter cakes to bring to a friend tomorrow since i had extra batter left from a few days ago.

for the black sesame mille-feuille, i decided to do somewhat of an asian version with a cake layer in the middle. i think i may like the different textures of crunch and sponge, instead of just the crunch…hm. but black sesame pastry cream is delicious.

for the red bean and taro mille-feuille, i just did it original-style (mainly because i got lazy about making red bean and taro sponge cakes). i slightly mixed the pastes with pastry cream and while you can’t see it, the sides are the flavored pastes and the middle is regular-vanilla pastry cream.

ppb…red bean.

and kouign-amann experiment #2. this time around i decided to envelope it and i think it turned out better. i was afraid that they wouldn’t stay enclosed and thank goodness they did. but i can’t believe it’s still slightly under baked in the middle (doesn’t taste under baked though)! so what…over bake the outside next time or do i need a convection oven?! need to think about it some more. i recently saw a video of dominique ansel making his version of kouign-amann that is more bread-like than puff-pastry like (must try next time in nyc…hopefully soon), which is not how i learned it but i think i’ll need to go find live yeast soon…


ppb…aka puff pastry balls.

with extra puff pastry and taro balls i froze in the freezer a few days ago, i made some taro ppb.

i rolled out my puff pastry dough and used a round cutter to shape the “skin.” they were then wrapped with taro filling, egg washed, rolled in sugar, and into the oven.

test #1…the taro escaped the skin.

test #2…most of the taro remained nicely tucked inside.

seriously, nothing can really go wrong with puff pastry! especially with some sugar and delicious taro paste!

kouign amann #1

kouign amann is sort of all the rage now in SF and i hate to jump on the bandwagon but this s*it is thoroughly good! what is it? layers of puff pastry with more butter and sugar in between. what else can you ask for?

i made kouign amann during my internship and have been wanting to make them at home…so i did and will be experimenting more. first, make puff pastry instead of buying. it’s sort of an all-day process as the dough needs to chilled between each rolling to make sure the butter doesn’t melt. but it’s well worth the effort.

i couldn’t wait for the right tins to come (tomorrow) so i decided to make them in cupcake tins since i have the correct round cutter. most of the kouign amann i’ve seen get enveloped but i decided to go rustic and just stack a total of five layers. with my 12-cupcake molds, i made 4 original (just butter and sugar in between), 4 black sesame (add black sesame paste with slightly less butter and sugar), and 4 taro (same idea as black sesame using the taro paste i made two days ago).

verdict?! amazing enough, i actually think i need MORE butter and cook them at a higher temperature. i’m also thinking there’s some logic in enveloping the layers. my tasters (i.e. family members) all preferred the taro flavor. lot more experimenting in the future!