PDA

View Full Version : Dessert Pastry - where to start?



agp
12-25-2012, 07:51 PM
I really want to learn how to make dessert, namely dessert pastry / pastry dessert. However, I have no idea where to start. Anyone got any pointers for me?

quantumcloud509
12-25-2012, 08:11 PM
What kind of experience do you have? For home or for work?

rahimlee54
12-25-2012, 08:14 PM
There are a bunch of pastries, I usually make my favorite kinds first and branch out. Cream puff or chocolate eclairs are pretty easy and taste great.

Also an apple tart is about as easy as it gets, making it great takes practice though, just depends on what you want to do.

AFKitchenknivesguy
12-25-2012, 08:28 PM
My many years of baking and cooking led me to one conclusion: You got to practice and hope for success but expect some disasters. All the good things I've made were predicated by mistakes. Now that I am good at many things, I find picking up other areas of the food world easier.

agp
12-25-2012, 08:54 PM
I'm a home cook. It's a hobby I have been taking very seriously for the past few years . I have no professional experience, but I do know the basics of cooking.

I'm not looking to learn how to bake gigantic pound cakes, but looking for more small and delicate treats. Modernist, if I dare.

agp
12-25-2012, 08:58 PM
The extent of my current dessert knowledge includes souffles - anything you can name, I can make, and both sweet ans savory. And chocolate chip cookies...

AFKitchenknivesguy
12-25-2012, 09:08 PM
Practice is the big thing. I successful cook/baker doesn't have to have these things, but it makes life a lot easier: skill, good tools and the right tool for the job, quality ingredients, and motivation. Sounds like you got two of the above, and without looking at your kitchen I don't know the others. Read, practice, and post pics for us to see!

quantumcloud509
12-25-2012, 09:24 PM
What I tend to do is get a fun book and bake through it. I just did the Momofuku Milk Bar...its a little overhyped, but get it for $20 on amazon and lay down about $150 for ingredients and learn the whats and whys of the what the heck is going on here in NY. :)

agp
12-25-2012, 10:13 PM
How do you guys think about Falkner's Demolition Desserts? I previewed some pages of Momofuku's book on Amazon but I feel like it's not precious/scientific enough for me.

pumbaa
12-25-2012, 11:13 PM
Dessert four play by inuzzini my favorite book

jmforge
12-25-2012, 11:31 PM
I am not a chef, just a hack home cook. I would say start with the simple classics and don't try to be "healthy" at first. There is a reason they used stuff like butter and animal fats in baking for ages.:lol2:

bieniek
12-26-2012, 12:24 PM
Read whys and hows of ingredients used in sweet cooking.

pumbaa
12-26-2012, 12:33 PM
Read whys and hows of ingredients used in sweet cooking.

I agree knowing how to pwdrr caramel sauce is great but if your caramel sauce sucks it still won't be good

bieniek
12-27-2012, 06:02 AM
Yeah, knowing how to do good sauce without understanding how and why it is good, on the other hand, makes you shut your eyes and not develop your cooking intuition.

Would prefer to make disgusting sauce 10 times first just to learn why the 11th is decent.

apicius9
12-27-2012, 06:29 AM
I'm not looking to learn how to bake gigantic pound cakes, but looking for more small and delicate treats. Modernist, if I dare.

Please don't take this personally since it is really more of a general rant and a personal pet peeve: I find some 'modernist cuisine' interesting, but I also think there are way too many people out there who have no clue what they are doing (and please keep in mind, this comes from a non-professional). The analogy I have in mind is abstract painting. If you look at the masters of abstract painting, Picasso for example, they also were masters of natural painting. Picasso painted natural scenes as a teenager that 99.99999% of the world population could not do. His talent of abstract painting was deeply rooted in his skills, and he had a very good idea, what to let away in a picture - and why. IMHO, the same is true for a good cook: If you don't understand how to bake a good apple pie, your ,modernist' or 'molecular' version will also be lacking. So, my personal strategy if I were on the same quest as you, would be to cook/bake the classics backward and forward with an open mind and a curiosity for variations - and then venture from there. Maybe it's just bad TV exposure, bit I am sick of people who can't make an omelette but do 'modernist cuisine'....

Stefan

Chuckles
12-27-2012, 11:20 AM
+1 for "Dessert Fourplay", also "Secrets of Baking" by Sherry Yard and the "Ucchi" Cookbook.

David Lebovitz has a sweet blog as does Michael Laiskonis.

Hope this helps and Good Luck!

pumbaa
12-27-2012, 11:04 PM
Laiskonis is a bad ass and a great story went from being a punk rock promoter to exec pastry chef at la Bernadin. But as a pastry chef I really wish people would understand the how's and why's of pastry. It is not just following recipes and being precise knowing ratios and understanding why baking powder and baking soda are used, knowing about yeast and how to stall, retard, knowing what taking something young is are all things you should know before fluid gels and spheres are part of your arsenal. This isn't a knock on you just a personal thing I see all the time of people wanting to do art like desserts but not being able to make a tart dough

ajhuff
12-27-2012, 11:36 PM
I am not a chef, just a hack home cook. I would say start with the simple classics and don't try to be "healthy" at first. There is a reason they used stuff like butter and animal fats in baking for ages.:lol2:

I was thinking the same thing. I would master The Bakers Manual first, then try to be fancy.

-AJ