Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Peppermint Cream Puff Ring - The Heartbreak

This week our baking group, Tuesdays With Dorie, created the Peppermint Cream Puff Ring on page 290-292 of Dorie Greenspan's great tome - Baking from My Home to Yours. The Peppermint Cream Puff Ring was chosen by Caroline of A Consuming Passion. It is essentially a giant eclair. A pate choux pastry, airy and dry. A hardened chocolate glaze embedded with crunchy almonds and a creamy filling. In this case the filling was whipped cream based, flavoured with mint leaves. And this is where my heartbreak lay.

I got up on Sunday morning, Father's Day, and made the pastry ring. I had my mother coming for an early dinner to celebrate Father's Day, my own father having passed away earlier this year.

The pastry turned out just like the picture and I was feeling pretty good. This was a recipe that was familiar as I had made eclairs before and of course there is nothing easier in the world than making whipped cream. Unless the kitchen is against you. I blame the hot, sticky weather that culminated in an electrical storm, as well as the fact that my fridge decided to take the afternoon off. From my cream that faithfully sat in the fridge the required 4 hours, I got no volume. It stayed liquid in the mixer until it started to separate. Aaak! I spooned a little onto the base for the minty flavour and grabbed the can of whipping cream my husband keeps in the fridge for his fancy coffees and used that to create the volume. I lightly placed the lid on and put it in the fridge until after dinner. Where it melted. IN THE FRIDGE!

I will try to concentrate on the positive - the pastry was good, the chocolate and almond topping was very tasty. My mother and husband were very kind and had two pieces each but my son ate only one. That was not such a good sign. The next day hubby and I finished it off. I discarded the bottom, now soggy, and wrapped the top around some ice cream, profiterole style. All's well that ends well, I suppose.

I refuse to let it get me down though, I look forward to the next recipe - the next adventure.

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