These golden, flaky, bow-shaped pastries are made with pure butter and
mildly sweetened yeast dough. Croissants can be tricky pastries to master. If
made the right way, its white-yellow interior should be slightly elastic when
pulled from the centre, ready to be covered with a dab of butter or fresh jam.
Croissants have their roots in Austrian Kipferl,
a traditional yeast bread roll popular in central Europe. Culinary legend says
that croissants originated in 1683 as a celebration of the Austrian victory
over the Ottoman Empire, with their
shape supposedly imitating the crescent moon found on the Turkish flag.
An éclair is a pastry with a magnificent glaze, a crispy
exterior and a soft doughy inside commonly filled with rich vanilla cream. They derive their name from the
way light reflects the coating of confectioners’ glaze on top of the pastry.
While they were introduced at the turn of the 19th century, the oldest éclair recipe is
found in the Boston Cooking-School Cook Book! While its chocolate version is a
classic, new fillings like green tea and lemon cream are becoming increasingly
popular across the world.
Brioche is a traditional sweet treat from France that’s
a cross between a pastry and a bread. Rich and decadent, it’s loaded with
butter, milk and eggs. The bread’s soft, flaky texture has been enjoyed for
centuries, especially in Normandy, a place that’s famous for its high-quality
Some claim that brioche was invented by the Norman
Vikings, who settled in France in the 9th century and brought along the secret
of making butter. The word “brioche” is taken from the words “bris” and “hocher,”
meaning to knead and stir, and appeared in print for the first time in 1404.
With added ingredients, like fresh fruit and cream, brioche forms the base for
many local desserts.
Profiteroles are chocolate-covered puff pastries
filled with either pastry cream, whipped cream, custard or even ice cream.
While puff pastries are popular today as a sweet snack, they were originally
invented as a savoury pastry filled with cheese and herbs. By the mid-19th
century, the puff was well known as profiteroles in France and England and often decorated to resemble
swans or pyramids.
The name of these small choux buns
originally signifies a small gift. Choux pastry is seen as difficult to master,
and only becomes much easier once you’re familiar with the basics.
Beignets are squares of deep-fried pastry dough sprinkled
with powdered sugar and traditionally served hot. Originally from France, it
became popular in Acadia, Canada in the 17th century when French settlers
introduced it to the region. Many Acadians later moved to Louisiana and brought
their culinary traditions with them. Today, the beignet is commonly
associated with the French Quarters of New Orleans where they are often served
with chocolate mike or café au lait.
Creamy, flaky, and delicate, this French dessert can
be literally translated as a thousand leaves. Mille Feuilles consist of thin
layers of pastry topped with cocoa, almond, or vanilla icing. The filling may
even include jam, whipped cream or custard. The myth that mille Feuille’s other name, the Napoleon, refers to the emperor
is a common misconception. In fact, it’s a reference to the Italian city of
Naples, which is known for its layered desserts.
The art of
pastry-making is one of the oldest and most popular traditions in France. While
most French classics are made with basic pantry ingredients, they are
considered difficult to master. To get that perfect choux and flaky pastry
every time, learning the art of baking from a professional chef is always a good
idea. The diploma programmes in bakery and pastry arts at École
Ducasse India and AtSunrice Singapore, will equip you with the
essential skills and techniques you need to create classic and contemporary
pastries. That way, you can begin your culinary career with confidence.