Bakery Review

I think the most genuine thing a person could do for another is to think of them; it doesn’t matter if the thought of someone else is just a fleeting one it’s the action itself that is the generous gesture. 

Let me start off by saying that the bakery I’m going to review in this post, Cannelle Patisserie, was recommended to me by one of my closest friends, Sandra. It was Sandra’s father that first told me about the bakery- he knew I was going to school for pastry and thought it might interest me to check out a local bakery that he had frequented many times. 

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It was very difficult to find Cannelle Patisserie; I didn’t realize that it was inside a large complex center next to a grocery store and a rite aid. I noticed signs once I got inside that they are opening a second location in Long Island city so I’m sure that will be an easier drive! 

The patisserie does not have the best surroundings but it stands apart from it’s neighbors with its beautiful pinstriped awning and glass doors. Their display case is set up very neatly and filled with classical french pastries. My purchase included a cannelle (I mean how could I not, when the pastry itself is in the shop’s title) and a paris brest.

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I truly enjoyed the paris brest with it’s creamy, light, hazelnut pastry cream. I was not a great admirer of the cannelle; it was dense and spongey and had blisters on the skin. The prices were reasonable and if I was not going out to lunch shortly after my stop at the patisserie I would’ve indulged in another pastry.

I would definitely return to Cannelle Patisserie. They seemed to have many returning customers, especially a large breakfast crowd, which is always a positive observation. 

If any of you have visited Cannelle Patisserie please share your thoughts below!

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Cannelle Patisserie

75-59 31st Ave, Queens, NY 11370
(718) 565-6200

“I had no idea”

It has been almost a year since my last post. When thinking of what I was going to blog about I knew it had to be something tremendous. The title of this post is “I had no idea”. Some of you may recognize this phrase as it was the theme of the National Eating Disorder Awareness week , which just ended this past Sunday. My name is Sarah Neville and I am not only a full time student studying to be a pastry chef but I am also on full time recovery from my eating disorder.

It is not common to look at a group of chefs and ponder if any of them have an eating disorder because it is not something commonly associated with this type of industry… but here’s the thing you have no idea.. (NEDA picked a clever theme right?!) An eating disorder doesn’t mean that you don’t eat and you exercise all day; it means you are *consumed and are continuously being tormented by a little voice that’s constantly saying, “you’re fat.” My ED (eating disorder) could have ruined my life- it almost prevented me from doing what I love because I couldn’t stand to taste what I made: don’t let it ruin yours. There is help out there; furthermore, you’re not facing this disease on your own, there’s a whole community of us willing to help you with your ED.

In honor of National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) awareness week here’s a picture of a slice of apple pie. I am posting it because shortly after this photo was taken I ate the entire thing. I’m not in the least ashamed to say I ate a whole slice of apple pie. More importantly I didn’t have to spend 10 minutes just staring at that wonderfully crumbly apple pie convincing myself not to eat it because I would put on 5 disgusting pounds of fat. 

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Cakes on cakes on cakes!

I recently completed this 3 week course entitled “Basic and Classical Cakes”. I was very fond of my instructor, Chef Welker, who was always so attentive and helpful. We made a lot of products in this class, so much so that the more pictures I shared on facebook the more comments I got asking to stop because I made so many people hungry!

One of the very first things we made in this class was pithivier, something I had never heard of before walking into the class. Pithivier, is a french specialty that is made from puff pastry dough and filled with a frangipane filling. The top view is meant to look similar to a wagon wheel or sunflower. On a side note this dessert reminds me of that country sound- Wagon wheel, “so rock me mamma like a wagon wheel, rock me anyways you feel…”

ImagePuff Pastry Dough:

Ingredients

Bread flour     32 oz

Pastry flour      8 oz.

Salt                  1 oz

Butter, soft       8 oz.

Water, cold      21 oz.

Roll in

Butter      2 lb.  4 oz.

Bread flour       4 oz.

Directions:

1. Flatten your butter block (roll in portion) into a 1/2 ” thick rectangle. Wrap and refrigerate.

2. Mix together water, flour, salt, and butter on first speed until a smooth dough is formed.

3. Shape dough into rectangle (twice size of fat) – cover and rest in fridge for at least 30 minutes.

3. Lock butter into dough portion with a book fold and then rest for 30 minutes in fridge.

4. Roll dough out and give it a 4 fold. Again rest for 30 minutes.

5. Make a 3 fold and rest.

6. Make a 4 fold and rest.

7. Make a 3 fold and rest.

8. Roll out 2, 10 ” rounds of puff pastry dough (one is 3/8″ thick for the top and the other 1/8″ thick).

*This recipe yields a large portion of puff dough but the convenient thing about puff dough is it can be frozen and pulled out again for a variety of things such as a jalouise, apple strip, etc. Just think as puff dough as your base for any filling you wish. You’ve already done all the folds so whenever you want to use it again just roll it out to whichever shape you desire!

Frangipane filling:

1/2 C. almond paste

1/4 C. sugar

1 egg

3 T. butter, softened

3/4 t. vanilla extract

1 T. cake flour, sifted

Directions-

1. Blend together with a paddle the almond paste and sugar. Add the butter and cream until smooth with no lumps.

2. Slowly add eggs, scrape as neccessary.

3. Add flour and mix until combined.

And to assemble the whole thing…….

Fill a pastry bag with no tip with your filling. Pipe filling in the center of your bottom round of puff, leaving a 2″ border. Egg wash your border and seal with the second circle of puff dough. Press together firmly.

Take tip and cut half circles around the rim of your dough.

Using a paring knife, cut a spiral pattern in the top portion of dough. Chill the dough, chill the dough, chill the dough before baking!

Bake at 375 F until golden brown.

Brush with simple syrup immediately out of the oven.

“There’s only one cuisine for me. The good one.” -Paul Bocuse

Christmas time!

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I know, I know I am delayed on my Christmas post but let’s me honest when am I not behind?! To make up for it, in this blog post I shall give you 2 recipes! For Christmas Eve this year I made my family some classic red velvet cake! I covered the cake in shaved sweetened coconut to make it look like snow and on the top of the cake I outlined a tree pattern with pearl sprinkles. And for Christmas Day we had a cookie buffet, which included hot chocolate cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and snowball cookies.

Red Velvet Cake:

Ingredients-

2 1/2 C. all purpose flour
2 C. sugar
1 T. cocoa
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
2 eggs
1 1/2 C. oil
1 C. buttermilk
1 T. vinegar
1 t. vanilla
red food coloring

Directions-

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease and flour two 8 inch cake pans.

1. Stir together eggs and remaining liquid ingredients with a whisk until blended. Set aside.

2. Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl and stir with a another whisk.

3. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix on medium-high for about a minute or until completely combined.

4. Pour into cake pans and bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

5. After about ten minutes, remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack. I also cover in plastic wrap while the cakes cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

Ingredients-

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 cups confectioners’ sugar

Directions-

1. Sift sugar and set aside.

2. Beat cream cheese and butter on high until creamy. Add vanilla.

3. Add the sugar in batches. Scrape down the sides in between each addition.

4. FROST THAT CAKE! (and add shaved coconut if you so desire!)

red velvet cake

Hot Chocolate Cookies:

*yields about 15 cookies

In a medium saucepan, melt together:

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter

12 oz. chopped semisweet chocolate (bars)

Stir frequently over medium heat until smooth. Let cool for 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together:

1 1/2 C. flour

1/4 C. unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 t.baking powder

1/4 t. salt

Using an electric mixer, beat together:

1 1/4 C. light brown sugar

3 eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 t. pure vanilla extract

Beat on low speed until smooth, 2 minutes. Mix in the cooled chocolate mixture just until blended. Add the flour mixture in 2 batches, mixing on low speed until just combined. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment. Form 1 inch balls, flatten slightly, and lay  out 2 inches apart. Bake until the tops of the cookies crack, about 12 minutes.

Snowball Cookies:

*yields about 30 cookies

Ingredients-

1 C. unsalted butter
1/2 C. confectioners’ sugar
1 t. pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 C. all-purpose flour
1/4  C. EACH of chopped pecans, walnuts, and chocolate chips
1/4 t. kosher salt
1/3 C. confectioners’ sugar, sifted – for dusting the cookies.

Directions-

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment.

2. Cream the butter and 1/2 cup of the confectioners’ sugar until smooth and creamy. Add in vanilla extract and mix until combined.

3. Mix in the flour, nuts, chocolate chips and salt until just combined.

4. Roll about 1 tablespoon of dough into balls and place on prepared baking sheet.*won’t spread too much so don’t worry about cookies being too close

5. Bake for about 15 minutes

6. Dust cookies with pre-sifted confectioners’ sugar.

christmas cookies

“Empty?! You took all the cookies!”
“They were crying to get out of the jar… Cookies get claustrophobia too, you know!” – Charles Schulz

Late Autumn Scones

In the Baking Fundies class I was talking about a couple posts back we made scones. Our chef told us we were free to spruce up the recipe anyway we wanted so I decided to make a Cinnamon scone with a maple & pecan glaze. At the expense of sounding obnoxious, they were absolutely delicious. One girl in my class told me that my scones were the first ones she tasted in the class that she would actually buy! That comment made me so incredibly ecstatic! So now I am sharing with you this awesome recipe.

Cinnamon Scones:

Makes about 12.

Ingredients:

13 oz pastry flour

1 t. salt

1/2 oz. baking bowder

1 1/2 oz. sugar

6 oz. butter

1/2 egg

1 egg yolk

7 1/2 oz heavy cream

2 T. Cinnamon

Directions:

1. Combine all the dry ingredients (including the cinnamon)

2. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it is in walnut sized pieces.

3. Combine eggs, yolks, and heavy cream.

4. Add liquids to the butter and dry ingredients and mix with dough hook just until it wraps up the hook.

5. Let rest in fridge for at least 15 mins.

6. Roll to approx. 1 in thick

7. Cut dough into desired shape (either circles, triangles, etc.)

8. Egg wash and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

9. Bake in a 375 F oven.

Maple & Pecan Glaze:

Ingredients:

2 C powdered sugar

1 C maple syrup

Whisk together the sugar and maple syrup by eye until proper thickness, you may need to add more of the sugar if the glaze needs to be thicker.

Keep in mind if the glaze is too thin it will just be absorbed by the scones.

Image“Let things taste of what they are.” -Alice Waters

Welcome to the world Ellie Mae Coyle!

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In the beginning of December my cousin Tara and her husband Paddy had a little baby girl named Ellie Mae Coyle. I decided to come down the weekend she was able to leave the hospital to meet the new baby. I made these peanut butter and jelly cupcakes (not necessarily for the baby…but you get what i mean!) I had bought these adorable cupcake wrappers that come with decorations of little baby animals that you can place in your cupcakes; they probably sell for $15 in kitchen stores but I bought mine at Marshall’s for about $7/10. I also bought these to go boxes that made the cupcakes seem more professional! When i sent pictures of the cupcakes in the box, my friends thought I had purchased them from a store!

Anyways here’s the recipe for the peanut butter and jelly cupcakes!

*makes 30 cupcakes

2 1/4 cups cake flour (I used Swan’s Down brand)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk, room temperature
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Jelly/ jam ( I used Welch’s concord grape and Welch’s strawberry spread)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F and line cupcake trays.

1. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk and egg whites.

3. Place the sugar and butter into a stand mixer (with the paddle attachment) on medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until  light. Beat in the vanilla, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the buttermilk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients. Finally, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated.

3. Distribute the batter between the cupcake tins, filling each well 2/3 full.

4. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until the cupcakes are springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the centers come out clean. Cool on wire rack.

5. Once cupcakes have cooled, hollow out a small circle in the center of each cupcake; I used an apple corer.

6. Fill the center of each cupcake with jelly or jam.

Peanut Butter buttercream frosting:

3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted
6-8 tablespoons heavy cream

Bar of chocolate for shaved decoration (I used a Flake chocolate bar)

Directions:

1. Cream butter and peanut butter on medium speed until fluffy. Turn your mixer down to low speed and slowly add in the confectioner’s sugar, and continue mixing until well blended.

2. Add vanilla and 4 tablespoons of heavy cream. Blend on low speed until moistened. Add an additional 1 to 4 tablespoons of heavy cream until you reach the desired consistency. Beat at high speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy

3. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes and shave chocolate directly ontop of piped frosting.

Share and enjoy!

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“Is leor don dreoilín a nead.”
(Home is where the heart is.)

Pie fan

Pie DayWho doesn’t love pie? I mean honestly it is just so good! And there are so many different flavors of pie one can try! This is a picture of me on pie day, it is quite obvious how excited I was to try all the pies.

We made pecan pie, apple pie, banana cream pie, lemon meringue pie, quiche (which isn’t really a pie but somehow it snuck it’s way in there), and a coconut cream pie.

Chef Coppedge was our instructor that day and he is just awesome. He’s one of the funniest chefs I’ve ever met. One time during lecture, I kid you not, he just went down into a split. I almost freaked out because I thought he fell over.  One creative tip he told me was to melt cheese and put it on top of the apple pie; I was the only person in the class to try it and it was so delicious.  Chef Coppedge, I am forever grateful!

pies

“Just eat pie.” – Chef Coppedge