Thank Goodness It’s Friday!

12 Apr


It’s going to be a busy weekend for Bailey & Bond, with the Cuckfield Market, a lovely little country market with some delicious Sussex produce available.
So far we have, ready to go, Red Pepper and Goats Cheese Filo tarts (pictured above), Caramelised Onion and Roquefort Tart, the more-ish Parmesan and Stilton biscuits.

A new addition to the stall this month is fresh soups. The flavours are Sussex themed, the first is a traditional local favourite, Parsnip and Cox Apple. As a nod to the town Peas Pottage, we are also serving Spiced Bean Pottage with pine nuts. Both of which are warming and delicious, perfect for a lazy weekend!

We are also catering a couple of landmark birthdays. One of the centrepiece pudding is a vast profiterole mountain, I lost count of exact numbers when the baking went well beyond three figures.

In the 70s, when I trained, it seemed everything was made of choux pastry. From the cocktail party cheese Aigrettes to swans swimming on chocolate lakes. Recently, there seems to be a revival of all things Choux! Like a lot of people, I have to admit, that choux has sometimes got the upper hand, as it has a nasty trick of occasionally turning on the cook. So,before it entirely eclipse the cupcake and the macaroon in popularity I thought it would be wise to revisit the techniques.

Unless you have olympian strength, or feel the need to beat your pastry like a mad woman, I find it helps to have an electric whisk set up close at hand. Enabling you you to attack to mixture the moment the flour hits the water.

This is precision baking at it’s best (or worst depending on how you’re feeling). My rule of thumb is that the mixture must leave the sides of pan in around thirty seconds. If it takes longer than a minute, you know it could be troublesome – Now is the moment to abandon ship and go out for ice cream!

I think that the main profiterole pitfall is the quantity of eggs. If you are using a new recipe add the eggs gingerly, I have very rarely had to use the entire amount stated and it can so quickly turn from that desirable glossy paste to an unusable, runny, mess. when you’ve navigated your way to perfect pastry an equally perfect topping is:

A Chocolate Sauce.
In a bowl, over gently simmering water, melt 100g of good dark chocolate, 100g of butter,100g of icing sugar and three tablespoons of milk.
Allow it to fully melt and become glossy then take it off the heat. Set it aside and thicken, at this point you can either poor over or allow it to set completely to use as a thick icing for eclairs, or any other kind of cake!!

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