so the weather didn't stop and my room/blogger den has been like a sauna, i haven't even really wanted to enter it to sleep!
its gone slightly cooler tonight though so i stole the fan from downstairs and have plonked it in front of myself to get this lovely little post done!
the final part of my day with the lovely bloggers...oh..and John of course haha!
the workshop itself is situated in greenwich, about a 10 minute walk from Cutty Sark station. as you peer out of the front door to the building you are greeted with an amazing view of the Thames, the O2 and the city.
anyway! back to the backing!
we removed the pastry from the fridge and rolled it out again but because it was so hot outside we had to take drastic action and shove it in the freezer for a little while, this helped firm the butter back up which allowed us to carry on with the final roll.
for the final roll rather than using flour we used golden caster sugar. this is what gave the palmiers the sweetness and also helped to make them golden when baking.
once we had all rolled out our individual pastry john came round with a sharp knife and chopped off any uneven edges, i squirmed at this, having a very vivid flash back to the bake off!
|He's coming to get you!|
after we had all been trimmed, we folded the pastry in half length ways and then flattened it back out again, this gave us a guide for folding.
we then folded the edges over and repeated until both sides met in the middle.
after slicing them with a sharp knife we placed them on a baking tray and popped them in the oven.
i was very impressed with how they came out! beautifully golden and puffed up yet keeping the glorious shape.
they tasted beautiful, the buttery pastry and the sweetness of the golden sugar was perfect. i have to say i think i prefer the savoury variety but i am more of a savoury person (even if i do bake a lot of sweet stuff!!!)
this really brings an end to a brilliant day, it was the most fun i have had in a long time and it was so nice to meet new people that had similar interests. i went feeling quite nervous but came out feeling extremely confident and ready to give lots of new bakes i had previously been scared to try a go!
John has something about him that really made the experience, he was so down to earth and a genuinely nice guy!
he kindly personalised his book for me and presented us all with some goodie bags...
the bags contained 2 types of vanilla (paste and extract), 4 flavouring extracts (Lemon + Almond extract, Rose + Orange Blossom water) and 4 types of sugar (dark muscovado, light muscovado, golden caster and golden icing). the bag also had a le creuset bake wear guide and a signed recipe.
i was not expecting this kind of generosity, although i did have my eye on one of the mixers...*cough cough*
finally here are the rest of the questions i asked John during the Q+A:
me: What are your favourite flavour combinations?
John: That's too tricky a question. My flavour combination always depends on my mood, but I've just done a recipe for a fig,
stilton and quince pizza which really is delicious.
me: If you were to be stranded on a tropical island which was equipped with a fully functioning kitchen, what one item would you take with you from your own and why?
John: My KitchenAid - I can beat, mix and knead with one machine. But I'd have to be able to fashion a baking sheet from some scrap metal.
me: Other than writing the second book, what are you currently working on?
John: I'm currently on a six month break from Le Cordon Bleu so that I am able to concentrate on the second book. But I'm also doing baking classes in Greenwich, and bits of TV work here and there.
me: Cronut or Dosant?
John: Cronut sounds better.
me:You mentioned that you are on break from Le Cordon Bleu, How are you finding the experience and what exactly are you doing there?
John: Le Cordon Bleu is fabulously French. We learn the fundamental French techniques of Patisserie and Baking, and then we can apply those to our own experiments and our own baking. It is intense and heavy going, but I really do love it.
me: People often talk about the science behind baking but i prefer to think of it as "the magic of baking". Are there any books that you recommend to get a real understanding of the art other than the usual recipe books?
John: The best books that I use are: Ratio by Michael Rhulman, and On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee.
me: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
John: Hopefully having written a good number of cook books, and with a successful patisserie. Touch wood.
me: What can you tell us about The Great British bake off application process?
John: It's long, intense, nerve wracking. There are a number of stages, from phone calls, to interviews, and even a Psycho analysis!
me: Do you require a personal assistant/food taster? as I would be willing to do this for free...haha
John: HAHA. You'd get sick of my bossiness!
I'd like to give John a massive round of applause for not only giving a great class and teaching us all something, but also for coping with a group of questioning bloggers.
thank you so much for making it a brilliant day John and i look forward to booking more classes with you in the future.
a list of Johns classes can be found here. i would highly recommend them to anyone who is interested in baking, at any level! i plan on booking to go to the christmas ginger bread house workshop! sounds amazing!
as i mentioned before i will be going over each recipe in detail on the blog over the next few weeks.
i hope you have enjoyed reading!