Blog posts

Day 3 at SFBI

Lessons From Cooking School


What do you get when you fill a wheel-shaped choux with praline mousseline?

Something very, very tasty — known as a Paris-Brest to those in the know.



And then there’s Eclairs Three Ways — caramel, fondant and chocolate — filled with vanilla pastry cream.

Jealous much?


How about 3 lbs of European butter, encased in a dough containing another 1/2 pound or so of “regular” butter?

That would be homemade puff pastry — this is the real deal folks.  Two days and a labour of love.  This is actually the 2nd course I have taken with a puff pastry component.  Hopefully my learning curve has shallowed out on this.  Remember what happened when I tried to make it at home after the first class?


Six single folds, and into the fridge she goes…


I leave you with a caramel ball — an 80’s vintage, retro caramel ball to be exact.  Until tomorrow…


  1. chef Dennis
    April 23, 2010 at 3:27 am

    I have to say I have never made eclairs….I must try it…your looks so very very good….

  2. Tee
    April 23, 2010 at 5:02 am

    The first pic, of Paris-Brest, looks unbelievably tasty. I hope I can find one of those in my part of the woods. I’d sure like to try it!

  3. roxan
    April 23, 2010 at 7:46 am

    No joke, my eyes bulged out when I saw the trio of eclairs. It looks like you’re in pastry school? That’s awesome! I came really really close to going at one point but decided against it at the last minute. For now, baking will remain a hobby.

    • Theresa
      April 24, 2010 at 3:07 pm

      I have been enjoying my week-long class at the San Francisco Baking Inst. — but I`m in no way a baker — I just don`t have the precise mind required of a baker. I`m more of a `little bit of this, a little bit of that`kinda girl…a true cook at heart!

  4. Trix
    April 23, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Puff pastry and danish dough are indeed labor intensive! Fun, but fussy. Funny – we’re doing choux in class next week. Your retro caramel ball is awesome!

    • Theresa
      April 24, 2010 at 3:05 pm

      Have fun with the choux! A finicky method, but the result is so versatile. Last night at dinner we were served a 6-month aged cheddar gougere — an excellent savoury example of choux.

  5. Good Cheap & Healthy Eats
    May 4, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    What IS it about the look of piped creams and icings that just makes my mouth water and my brain turn somersaults? Looks incredible. You had me at pastry cream…