FOOD De­mys­ti­fy­ing French pas­tries

The Georgia Straight - - Food - By Photo by Yinger Wong

ITammy Kwan

t can be ar­gued that French pas­tries have al­ways been re­garded as the crown jew­els in the bak­ing world—no­to­ri­ously dif­fi­cult to per­fect, but ex­tremely re­ward­ing when suc­cess­fully ac­com­plished. Beau­coup Bak­ery’s co-owner and pas­try chef, Betty Hung, un­der­stands that the com­plex­ity of French bak­ing can be in­tim­i­dat­ing, es­pe­cially be­cause this style of bak­ing ex­tends be­yond in­gre­di­ents and tech­niques. It also in­cor­po­rates science, where ev­ery mea­sure­ment and tem­per­a­ture plays a cru­cial part in the out­come.

Re­gard­less of the high level of at­ten­tion to de­tail and skills re­quired for mak­ing French pas­tries, Hung was de­ter­mined to de­mys­tify the bak­ing process for am­a­teurs. She does so in her new cook­book, French Pas­try 101: Learn the Art of Clas­sic Bak­ing With 60 Begin­ner-friendly Recipes.

This is Hung’s first cook­book, and saw her take on the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of bak­ing, recipe-writ­ing, and pho­tograph­ing each item. It’s not her first foray into writ­ing and pho­tog­ra­phy—she’s the founder of Yummy Work­shop, a vis­ually com­pelling blog ded­i­cated to all things bak­ing—but it was still a chal­leng­ing task to jug­gle writ­ing a book and run­ning a bak­ery.

“Af­ter you have the recipe down, you have to make it again and style it and do the pho­tos and edit it,” Hung

Beau­coup’s Betty Hung has a new cook­book, French Pas­try 101.

ex­plained to the Ge­or­gia Straight in a phone in­ter­view. “I did it all at home, and the only rea­son I was able to do it was be­cause I had a lit­tle back­ground in graphic de­sign. I was able to en­vi­sion how I wanted it to be.”

French Pas­try 101 fea­tures five dozen begin­ner recipes in nine chap­ters that high­light ev­ery­thing from cook­ies to cakes, and from tarts to twice-baked pas­tries. At the back of the book, Hung has writ­ten some notes about in­gre­di­ents and equip­ment that will help ama­teur bak­ers to bet­ter un­der­stand the process and science be­hind French bak­ing. Things like chill­ing dough in the fridge or us­ing room-tem­per­a­ture eggs can make all the dif­fer­ence when you’re at­tempt­ing to bake for the first time.

“What sets my book apart is that I do go through the ba­sics and science be­hind the tech­niques so peo­ple will have a bit more un­der­stand­ing of the bak­ing process or why you need to get it to a spe­cific tem­per­a­ture,” Hung said.

If you’re mak­ing French treats for the first time, she sug­gests try­ing out sablés Bre­tons, a clas­sic French cookie with a but­tery taste and sandy tex­ture. Other fan-favourite items in her cook­book in­clude Paris-brest, tarte au citron (lemon tart), twice-baked al­mond crois­sants, and gougères (cheese puffs made from chou dough).

Many of the recipes that Hung has in­cluded will take an hour or less, so read­ers won’t be spend­ing an ex­ces­sive amount of time in the kitchen. And if you’re wor­ried about the flavours of cer­tain French pas­tries, you could al­ways stroll into Beau­coup Bak­ery for a taste test be­fore­hand.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.