bakerisbetter

Lobster Tails…OMG

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Filling little runny, but still delish!

Without a doubt the most difficult thing I’ve ever made…sooo much waste eek! Practice makes perfect, I suppose!

I had to make a ton of adjustments, not only because I couldn’t get certain things to work with the limited tools/space I had, but also because I just found certain things made more sense to me from a logistical standpoint (plus always a few tweak because I anticipate they’ll improve the recipes). Soooo basically I’m gonna write out the recipe from scratch, adapted from Buddy Valastro’s cookbook and mentioning my failures and successes with the steps as written.

http://www.thedaringkitchen.com/sites/default/files/u11/84_Sfogliatelle_-_DB_Nov_2013.pdf

Daring Bakers: Sfogliatelle Ricci and Lobster Tail Pastries

http://littlefrenchbakery.com/blog/pastry-creme-creme-patissiere

Pâte à Choux Tips

http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/bakingdesserts/r/Choux-Pastry-Recipe.htm

  • Step 1: Sfogliatelle dough
    • 262.5 g AP Flour. 148g water. 1/4 T sea salt. Lots of shortening.
    • I quartered the original recipe, but wound up needed three batches of this to get the roll as thick as I needed it to be. I think next time I will use (262.5 x 2)g and be able to get a thick roll. It’s INFINITELY, INFINITELY EASIER to work in batches in a small kitchen, rather than doing one long roll through the pasta maker. Cut clean ends as needed. Tried the “collect it on a rolling pin” thing but didn’t work too well. Pasta maker totally necessary imo. A setting of 7 or 8 is plenty thin and the dough doesn’t need to be stretched much beyond that, I dont think, but it deeeeefinitely would have been nice to have the extra set of hands to help keep the dough taut. At first I kept stretching it and it kept tearing, but soon I realized the ~1mm thickness was perfect and that I was stretching it too thin, based on some pictures I had seen. Apparently slight tears are nbd. The dough is nice to work with, after 15-20 minutes of kneading, and does well with an overnight rest to help the gluten relax. Have lots of flour on hand, especially as it comes out of the pasta maker. Grease in chunks. Let it rest or freeze until use after rolling. Chop off ends. Stretch to see if you can get rid of some air bubbles (mine had a lot that I could actually feel, wish I had a second set of hands 😦 )
    • Should end up about 1 foot long, 2 in diameter, and should slice into 3/4 inch pieces

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What a sad, sad little piece of lost dough.

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  • Step 2: Choux pastry
    • Seen this made once before, but never did it on my own. Not too tough, the most important thing is not opening the oven before the dough has set, otherwise it is likely to collapse. Also needs a long bake time to dry out the inside properly, but I know that as long as the outside has set, one can take it out and re-heat later to dry and scoop out the insides.
    • Tried Valastro’s recipe and it was bland and salty and didn’t rise much. .25 cups water, 1.5 T Butter, pinch sea salt, 1/4 cup AP Flour, 1 XL egg (who uses xl?????) Baked a few by themselves and one off inside a sfogliatelle for trial. Sfogliatelle looked okay but needed to separate the layers more. Also the bottom was way too brown, needed to double pan. Choux hadn’t set or even cooked much/risen on the inside, which made sense considering it needs a rapid exposure to heat to set up right, and it couldn’t really get that inside of sfogliatelle, which got way more heat exposure…goodness knows how they get it to work. Only used 1 TBSP as stated in recipe. Maybe would help to spread it out? Still though, center was waaaayyy too eggy. Decided it made more sense to par-bake off the choux in the shape I needed, place them inside the sfogliatelle to give them structure…after all, it was just there for lift, right? Tried this. Definitely better. Choux gets nice and crispy. Still not giving the lift/creating the space I needed soooo…just used foil to shape and stuff it!! 😛 Simple solutions……
    • Tried another recipe that was much more flavorful and crisp, the culinaryarts one by weight!! (<3) Bread flour is much better. A little sugar goes a long way. Pastry was delicious on its own. Will make gougeres with this recipe someday.
    • To make choux, bring water butter salt to boil. Add flour and cook 3-5 minutes (his book says 2, I didn’t think that was enough, maybe I was on med-low instead of high heat to be safe) until it sticks to sides (sorta felt it getting thick, but I used a nonstick so didn’t see the full effect)
    • Beat dough to cool a little (did this by hand) and then add eggs INCREMENTALLY until it incorporates completely each time. About 2 TBSP at a time. Should hang with a peak off the spatula, keep mixing past incorporation to develop gluten. Some places say you can store this dough for about 2 hours.
    • Can smooth tops with water on fingers.
    • Bake 425 for 10-12 minutes (NO OPENING THE OVEN) and then lower to 375 and let it keep going, 15 minutes to par-bake but up to like…30-45 minutes to completely bake.
    • Might try poking the puffs to release steam!! Often they do crack slightly on their own post-outside has set, though, which is nice.
    • Will last in fridge 2-3 days or freeze and thaw/reheat to complete baking
    • Important – Choux is better FROZEN directly into sfogliatelle because otherwise it gets soft and soggy and doesnt hold its shape as well inside the cone! Don’t thaw if going into sfogliatelle!!!! I guess you can thaw if just doing cream puffs or something?
    • Important – Sfogliatelle is easier to spread/fan from fridge. I tried thawing and putting in freezer ~1 before fanning. Hard to separate layers properly before fanning when cold. Thus, fan at RT. But also layers separate better when coming from freezer thus fan at RT and then freeze before baking is best!!!
    • Baked a small sfogliatelle plus choux for ~30 mins at 400. Tried at 375, didn’t separate layers or brown as well. Also, if over-browned can cover with foil.
    • Also to shape the sfogliatelle, its tough…maybe my hands are just small. Need to flatten first, grease, then form cone.
    • The choux gets super soft and soggy from the melted butter

On the right is the trial of baking off choux, then stuffing it into the lobster tail…kinda worked? But would probably hold its shape better straight from freezer?IMG_3418.JPG

From the back!

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From da front!

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With foil stuffed inside to maintain shape! Not bad, not bad. I’d let it close up a bit more next time

  • Custard Cream…Creme Patisserie!
    • Valastro recipe calls for Italian Custard Cream with Italian Whipped Cream folded in and some Irish Cream for enhanced flavor
    • I did a french creme patisserie method with his ingredients/proportions, used vanilla bean, and used confectioners in the whipped cream rather than granulated because I wanted to avoid grittiness (beat by hand because of small volume) and because of the stability of cornstarch in confectioners.
    • Used vanilla beans for the first time!!!! Excited, this was the perfect occasion imo. Expensive but those little flecks are worth the happiness 😛 1 “bean” is 2 inches which is 1 tsp. One real bean is about 6 inches, or 1 tbsp.
    • Based on his recipe, 1.25 cups WHOLE milk (I would do half and half next time because I thought the cream was too thin…or maybe just cook more? idk) + .25 cups granulated sugar (I split it here into the milk and eggs) + .5 T vanilla extract – I used 3 inches of bean and the pod and took out the pod (add at end if using extract!!) brought to simmer over med heat. Separately, 2.5 xl yolks (XL?????) + 1/3 c CAKE flour not cornstarch, though I wonder how it would turn out with cornstarch (or AP flour even) + .25 cup granulated sugar whisked thoroughly. Temper the eggs, pour the eggs back into the milk and cook until thick. I did this over a low heat and it took forever, but not regrets. To reeeeallly minimize lumps, the moment you feel a rapid increase in resistance, take it off the heat to cool a bit. Again, takes forever and would probably be okay with simple straining once resistance builds.I had very few lumps. Strained into a bowl, whipped in soft butter, then into plastic wrap. Apparently keeps for a week.
    • 3/8 cup heavy cream plus 1.5 Tbsp confectioners sugar (at soft peak stage. Whip. Drizzle 1.5 teaspoons Baileys. Made about 1 cup. Apparently keeps for 3 days.
    • Valastros recipe says to combine 2.5 cups of whipped cream with 3 cups of custard…so I guess I did .5 C with like… .4 C?
    • Quite addicting/delicious, despite how runny it was. Popped in the freezer and ate like ice cream 😛 Seemed to thaw alright, too! Apparently it doesn’t freeze/thaw well with cornstarch, from what I read?

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More sad dough…how did I even do this?

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