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Le Cordon Bleu News, 01/01/2010
Essential classics recipes
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The classics and essentials recipes from Le Cordon Bleu


Pate feuilleté (Puff Pastry)

Ingredients Method
  • 500 g (1 lb) Flour
  • 10 g (¾ tsp) Salt
  • 225 mL (2½ fl oz) Water
  • 75 g (7 oz) Melted butter
  • 200 g (7 oz) Butter
  • 1 Egg for egg wash
  1. Sift the flour and salt onto a cold work surface. Make a well in the centre and pour in the water and melted butter. Combine the ingredients using the fingertips.
  2. Using a pastry scraper, work the flour and butter mixture until loose crumbs form. If the dough is too dry, add a little more water, being careful not to use too much or it will become sticky.
  3. Shape the dough into a ball. This is the détrempe. Cut an "X" on top to prevent shrinkage. Wrap dough in floured baking paper. Chill for 30 minutes.
  4. Lightly flour a work surface. Flatten the détrempe and, leaving a mound in the centre, roll it out to form a cross. Place the butter in the centre of the cross.
  5. Fold over each section of dough, pulling it lightly to completely enclose the butter. This is the pâton. Lightly flour the work surface and the rolling pin, rolling it over the top of the dough to seal the edges.
  6. Wrap in baking paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll the dough into a long rectangle. Fold the bottom-third up towards the middle. Bring the top-third of the dough over the folded third and brush off any excess flour. The dough should be square, have three layers and the edges should align. This is the first "turn". Give the square a quarter turn so that the exposed edge is on the right (as if the dough were a book). Gently press the edges to seal. Roll it out into a long rectangle and fold in thirds as previously described. This is the second "turn". Mark the dough with a fingertip to indicate the number of turns. Chill for 30 minutes.
  7. Repeat, making a total of six "turns". Chill for 30 minutes after each second turn.
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Crème pâtissière

Ingredients Method
  • 250 ml (8 fl oz) Milk
  • 1 Vanilla pod
  • 2 Egg yolks
  • 60 g Sugar
  • 30 g Flour
  1. Line a small serving tray or platter with plastic wrap.
  2. Pour the milk into a medium saucepan. Split the vanilla pod in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Stir the seeds into the milk and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Add about 1/4 of the sugar to the milk and stir to dissolve it.
  3. Meanwhile place the egg yolks in a small mixing bowl and add remaining sugar. Whisk the sugar into the eggs until it completely dissolves and the yolks lighten in colour. Add the flour to the yolks and stir until well-combined.
  4. When the milk begins to come to a boil, remove it from the stove and pour 1/3 of it into the egg yolks. Stir well to temper the yolks, then whisk the tempered mixture into the remaining hot milk. Place back onto the heat and cook until the crème patissiere begins to bubble. Continue whisking (being sure to press the whisk around the corners of the pan) and allow to cook for 1 minute in order to cook the flour. The crème patissiere will become very thick. Immediately transfer the finished crème to the plastic lined serving tray. Pat the surface with a piece of cold butter held on the end of a fork to create a protective film. Completely cover with a second piece of plastic wrap, pressing out any air bubbles. Let the crème patisserie cool to room temperature before refrigerating it.
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