Building Blocks


Creme Patissiere (Pastry Cream)
1/4 (4 tablespoons) cup sugar
1 ½ table spoons cornstarch (you may substitute 3 T flour)
2 egg yolks
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla
Preparing the Creme Patissiere
Combine 2 tablespoons of the sugar and cornstarch in a medium bowl. Add the
egg yolk.s Beat until pale yellow. Add 1/4 c milk and whisk to form a smooth paste.
The ingredients should be well blended and smooth in order to ensure that the finished
pastry cream is smooth in consistency.
Cooking the Creme Patissiere
In a stainless steel saucepan, over medium heat, combine the remaining milk
with the vanilla. Once the flavoured milk is boiling, whisk up the egg-cornstarch mixture and add it to the hot milk in a thin stream, whisking constantly. Continue to cook the pastry cream until it is thickened and has a smooth consistency.
Place the cream into a clean stainless steel bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent the formation of a skin.

Cold Meringue
3 large egg whites
3 T sugar
Preparing the cold meringue
It is very important to the success of a meringue that all equipment used be free of grease. Also there must be absolutely no yolk in the whites.
Whisk egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. Continue whisking, add 2/3 of the sugar and whisk until the meringue is very stiff. Stir in the remaining sugar with a spatula. The whisking of the meringue is best done on a machine.

Baking the meringue
Preheat an oven to 250 F
Pipe the meringue in the desired shapes on the prepared trays
Bake the meringues in the pre-heated oven for approximately ½ an hour, leaving the door of the oven slightly ajar, to allow the steam to escape. The meringues are donewhen they are slightly fawn in colour and set sufficiently to allow them to be removed from the tray. Remove the meringue carefully and store in a warm, dry place until required. The meringues can be finished with sweetened cream flavored with liqueur.
The meringues may also be coloured and flavored if desired.

Creme Anglaise(Custard Sauce/Ice Cream Base)
6 egg yolks
125 gr sugar
½ L milk
1/4 vanilla pod split
Preparing the Creme Anglaise
Put the egg yolks in a bowl with one-third of the sugar and beat with a whisk until the mixture forms a ribbon. Put 1/4 cup of the milk in a container with a fine mesh sieve to strain the custard.
Cooking the Creme Anglaise
Combine the rest of the milk, vanilla and the remaining sugar in the saucepan and bring to a boil.  Pour a small amount of the hot milk over the egg mixture and whisk to combine. This
process is where a small amount of hot liquid is added to the egg yolk is known as tempering. If all the milk were added at once there is a chance that the sauce will curdle. Add the remaining milk to the eggs and whisk to combine. Return the mixture to the saucepan and over medium hear cook the cream stirring constantly. The cream is done when it is thick enough to coat a spoon. Once cooked, strain into the container
with the 1/4 c cold milk. Cool in the bowl, stirring frequently to prevent the formation of a skin. Once cool, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Genoise (Sponge Cake)
5oz eggs, warmed in water for 5 minutes
5oz sugar
4oz sifted flour
1 oz sifted cornstarch
1oz melted butter
2 six inch round baking pans or a small baking sheet
Preparing the Genoise
Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F
Prepare the small sized baking sheets or a 10 inch cake pan by greasing and flouring or lining parchment paper.
Combine eggs and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk the egg mixture until it has increased in volume, is pale yellow in color, and has thickened. It should be thick enough to leave a trail from the whisk.. Remove the egg mixture from the heat and
gently fold in flour and cornstarch. Just before the flour is completely incorporated, add the butter and finish folding. Quickly pour the sponge mixture into the prepared baking
pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until the surface of the sponge is light golden in color. The sponge should bring back when gently pressed. Cool slightly in
the pan, then turn the sponge out of the pan and cool on a rack.

Chantilly Cream (Whipped Sweetened Cream)
1 cup cold heavy cream (35% cream)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream will deflate or not whip when warm so make sure the cream is cold. If you have time, chill the bowl and whisk as well.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract together until soft peaks form in the mixture. Chill any unused Chantilly cream.

Puff pastry
1-LB butter, slightly frozen and coarsely grated
3 ¾ c all purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
250-270 ml cold water
Coarsely blend flour salt and butter. Add water to make a soft but not sticky dough.
Form into a 12 x18 rectangle and chill 15 min. Fold in 3, letter style, turn the pastry 90 degrees and roll into another 12 x 18 rectangle (this is called a turn). Complete on more turn and freeze for 20-30 minutes. Put turns 3 and 4 on the puff and chill again. Put a final 2 turns and roll into a 12 x 18 recatangle again. The pastry is now ready to use. Do not roll the pastry any thinner than ½ cm for most applications.
Remember to bake the pastry at a high heat (F 425).
The top should be brushed with eggwash to give it a shine.

Berry Coulis
Simple Syrup
Make a simple syrup consisting of 1 part sugar and 1 part water. Heat in a pot until the sugar is dissolved.
To make the coulis:
1 pt berries,
Place the berries in a blender and pour in the still warm syrup. Blend. You may pass through a fine sieve to remove any seeds.

Simple Buttercream
8 oz butter (room temp)
4 oz shortening
1lb 4oz icing sugar
1 egg white (large)
½ t lemon juice
½ t vanilla
1 oz water if needed
Using a paddle attachment on the mixer, cream butter, shortening and sugar for 2 minutes on medium-low. Add the egg whites, lemon and vanilla. Mix at high speed until fluffy. If you require a softer buttercream, add the water.

1 cup all purpose flour
pinch of salt
3 eggs
1 cup milk (more if needed)
2 T oil
butter, for frying
Preparing the batter
Sift the flour into a bowl with salt (and sugar, if using) and make a well in the center. Break the eggs into the well and whisk them until they are thoroughly mixed.
Add half the liquid in a steady stream and whisk, gradually drawing in the flour to make a smooth paste. If too much liquid is added at this point, the batter will become lumpy.
Thin the batter to the desired consistency with more liquid: a thick cream is needed for many pancakes, fritters and for binding ingredients, and a thinner cream is required for crepes. Non-yeast batters should be stirred with a whisk until smooth, but too much beating develops the gluten in the flour, making the batter elastic and tough when cooked
Cooking The Crepes
the pan used for cooking crepes is very important to the success of the finished crepe. Well- seasoned cast-iron is preferred. The pan should be used only for the preparation of crepes as any other use could cause scratching of the pans, which will in turn cause the crepes to stick.
Heat 2-3 T of clarified butter in the crepe pan over medium heat. Pour off any excess butter. Using clarified butter reduces chances of scorching. When cooking crepes only add butter to the pan when crepes begin to stick; if too much is used the finished crepes will be greasy. Add a drop of batter to the pan and wait until is spatters briskly before adding the rest. Quickly add a small ladle of batter, rotating and shaking the pan with a turn of the wrist so that the base is completely coated. If too much batter is added in the pan the crepe will be thick; too brown underneath. Loosen it with a spatula and turn it quickly using both hands. The side of the crepe that is fried first looks more attractive and should be on the outside when serving. As they finish cooking, pile the crepes on a plate, one on top of the other to keep them moist. The crepes can be held for latter use but must be covered with plastic wrap to prevent tem from drying out.

Choux Pastry (for cream puffs, eclairs)
1 z unsalted butter
2 ½ oz water
1 t sugar (Optional)
2 oz strong flour
4 oz eggs
Preparing the Choux Pastry
heat the butter, water, and sugar in a suspension until boiling. Remove from the heat, add the flour all at once, and beat until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the saucepan and leaves a light scum on the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool slightly. Beat in the eggs, an ounce at a time. The dough may not require all the egg called for in the recipe. The finished dough should be shiny and soft enough to fall from a spoon.
Preparing the Cream Puffs
Preheat an oven to 375 F.
Line the baking sheet with parchment paper. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip with the choux paste. Squeeze out puffs of choux paste, about the size of a golf ball for cream puffs or thick fingers for eclairs onto the lined baking sheet. Brush the tops with egg wash and let the buns dry for 20 minutes before baking. Once dry, bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until well puffed and golden. Turn the heat off, open the oven door halfway, to get rid of any steam, and let the puffs cool slowly and dry for one hour. If cooled too quickly the will soften and collapse. Cut the buns in half using a serrated knife.

Pate Brisee
1 2/3 cups of flour
100mL cold unsalted grated butter, using cheese grater
1 egg yolk
pinch salt
2 t sugar
3 T water
Pate Sable
9 oz. soft flour
7 oz unsalted butter, chilled, then grated, using cheese grater.
3 ½ oz. icing sugar, sifted
Pinch of salt
2 egg yolks
1 drop vanilla or lemon extract
Pate Sucree
1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour.
100mL unsalted grated butter, using cheese grater.
½ cup of icing sugar
Pinch of salt
4 egg yolks
½ t of vanilla extract
The Pastry
Mix ingredients together using fingertips, until nicely mixed. If mixture seems too dry, add a small amount of water until a soft dough is formed. Chill for 30 minutes.
Preparing Tart Shell
Weigh out 8 oz for a large tart shell or 3 oz for a small shell. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a circle that is 1 1/2 inches larger than the diameter of the tart tin, and 1/8 inch thick. Using the rolling pin, roll the circle of dough onto the pin and unroll the pastry over the tart tin. Carefully press the pastry down into the bottom and sides of the tart tin. Using a knife, and working away from the tart, trim off any excess pastry. Place the tart shell in a refrigerator and chill for 20 minutes.
Blind Baking the Tart Shell
Preheat oven to 400°F. Dock the shell with a fork. Remove the tart shell after 5 minutes and adjust the sides as needed. Bake in for 5-10 minutes further or until lightly golden.

Salmon with leeks and bacon

Baked Leeks:
3 large leeks (about 1 pound)
1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
Pinch of salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
4 salmon fillets (7 to 8 ounces each)
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 very thin slices of bacon, preferably applewood smoked
To prepare the leeks: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove the heavy dark green leaves of the leeks, cut into 1/4-inch circles, and rinse well in cold water. You should have about 2 cups. Pour the melted butter into a small ovenproof casserole, add the leeks, mint, salt, and pepper, and pour over the heavy cream. Toss to distribute evenly. Bake in the oven for 25 -35 minutes or until soft. Remove from the oven, add some lemon juice and keep warm.

To prepare the salmon: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper on both sides. Place 2 overlapping slices of bacon over each salmon fillet. Lightly oil a large heavy sheet pan and place the salmon on it and roast in the top part of the oven for 10 minutes for medium rare. The bacon should almost melt off.

To serve: Spoon leeks and their sauce into the center of each of 4 serving plates and place the roasted salmon with bacon on top.

Molten Lava cakes

Ingredients (4 people):

6 oz. Bittersweet Baking Chocolate
6 oz. Butter (diced, room temperature)
3 Eggs
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1/3 cup Flour
Butter for Ramekins

Preheat oven to 350°F
1. Melt chocolate on low flame in a bain-marie (double boiler). When melted, take of flame, and…
2. Stir in diced butter, until it melts.
3. In another bowl, beat eggs and sugar, until it starts to whiten.
4. Stir in melted chocolate and then the flour.
5. Butter 4 individual ramekins, and pour in chocolate batter.
6. Cook for about 10 minutes.
7. Tip ramekins upside down onto dessert plates and serve.


4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups sour cream
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons processed cheese sauce
onion salt to taste (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
1.In a large bowl, stir together the flour and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the butter, sour cream, eggs, egg yolk and oil. Stir the wet ingredients into the flour until well blended. Cover the bowl with a towel, and let stand for 15 to 20 minutes.
2.Place potatoes into a pot, and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, and mash with shredded cheese and cheese sauce while still hot. Season with onion salt, salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.
3.Separate the perogie dough into two balls. Roll out one piece at a time on a lightly floured surface until it is thin enough to work with, but not too thin so that it tears. Cut into circles using a cookie cutter, perogie cutter, or a glass. Brush a little water around the edges of the circles, and spoon some filling into the center. Fold the circles over into half-circles, and press to seal the edges. Place perogies on a cookie sheet, and freeze if not using right away.  Otherwise freeze for at least 1/2 hr.
4. Meanwhile dice an onion and a few slices of bacon(optional) and saute in butter over a medium heat until they are quite soft but whith VERY LITTLE COLOUR.
5.To cook perogies: Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Drop perogies in one at a time. They are done when they float to the top. Do not boil too long, or they will be soggy. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the onion mixture.

Pasta Carbonara

3 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
8 ounces Guanciale (recipe below), Pancetta, or good Bacon
1 pound Spaghetti
1 ¼ cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
4 large Eggs, separated
Freshly ground Black Pepper
Bring 6 quarts of water to boil in a large pot, and add 2 tablespoons salts.

Meanwhile, combine the olive oil and guanciale in a 12- to 14-inch sauté pan set over medium heat, and cook unti the guanciale has rendered its fat and is crispy and golden. Remove from the heat and set aside (do not drain the fat).

Cook the spaghetti in the boiling water until just al dente. Scoop out ¼ cup of the pasta cooking water and set aside. Drain the pasta.

Add the reserved pasta water to the pan with the guanciale, then toss in the pasta and heat, shaking the pan, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, add 1 cup of the Parmigiano, the egg whites, and pepper to taste, and toss until thoroughly mixed.

Divide the pasta among four warmed serving bowls. Make a nest in the center of each one, and gently drop an egg yolk into each nest. Season the egg yolks with more pepper and sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup Parmigiano over the top. Serve immediately.

Spaghetti with Pesto, Beans and Potatoes

6 New Potatoes or small Red Potatoes
1 cup trimmed young Green Beans or Haricots Verts
1 pound spaghetti
Freshly gated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving
Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan, add salted water to cover generously, and bring to a boil. Boil gently until the potatoes are tender; drain. Cut the potatoes in half, and set aside.

Meanwhile, cook the beans in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, 4 minutes. Have an ice bath ready. Drain the beans, plunge into the ice bath just to cool, and drain again. Set aside.

Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot, and add 2 tablespoons salt. Cook the pasta until al dente; drain.

Pour the pasta into a warmed bowl, add the beans, potatoes, and pesto, and toss to coat the pasta and to warm the beans and potatoes; do not return to the heat. Serve with grated Parmigiano on the side.

Makes 1 Cup | Print Recipe

3 tablespoons Pine Nuts
2 cups fresh Basil Leaves
1 clove Garlic, peeled
Pinch of Salt
½ cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Combine the pine nuts, basil, garlic, and salt in a large stone mortar and grind with the pestle until the mixture forms a paste.  Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, beating all the while with a wooden spoon.  Add the Parmigiano 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until the mixture forms a thick paste.  The pesto can also be made in a food processor.  The pesto can be stored in a jar, topped with a thin layer of extra-virgin olive oil, for several weeks in the refrigerator.

Pasta with leeks, proscuitto and breadcrumbs
5 big leeks, outer leaves trimmed back, washed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
Olive oil
3 good knobs butter, divided
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
A few sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
A small wineglass white wine
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pint good-quality vegetable or chicken stock
12 slices ham, preferably Parma
1 lb spaghetti
2 handfuls freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving

For the Pangrattato:
1 small handful dried porcini mushrooms
½ c bread crumbs or stale bread
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 sprig fresh rosemary (optional)
Halve the leeks lengthways and cut at an angle into 1/2-inch slices. Heat a wide saucepan, add a splash of oil and a knob of butter, and when you hear a gentle sizzling add the sliced garlic, thyme leaves and leeks. Move the leeks around so every piece gets coated. Pour in the wine, season with pepper and stir in the stock. Cover the leeks with the slices of Parma ham, place a lid on the pan and cook gently for 20-25 minutes. Once the leeks are tender, take the pan off the heat.

To make the pangrattato:
Whiz the mushrooms and bread with a pinch of salt and pepper in a food processor until the mixture looks like bread crumbs. Heat a generous spoonful of olive oil in a frying pan. Add the garlic cloves and the rosemary and cook for a minute, then fry the bread crumbs in the oil until golden and crisp. Keep shaking the pan - don't let the bread crumbs catch on the bottom. Drain on paper towels, discard the rosemary and garlic and allow the bread crumbs to cool.

Cook the pasta in the boiling salted water 7 minutes or until al dente.

Remove the Parma ham from the saucepan, slice up and stir back into the leeks. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then stir in the Parmesan and the rest of the butter. Drain the pasta, reserving a little of the cooking water, and add the pasta to the leeks. Add a little of the cooking water if need be, to give you a silky, smooth sauce. Serve quickly, sprinkled with some pangrattato, extra Parmesan and any leftover thyme tips. Serve the rest of the pangrattato in a bowl on the side.

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

1 pound dried pasta (spaghetti, linguine, or your favorite pasta)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
Cook pasta in boiling, salted water until al dente. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until garlic is lightly browned. Remove from heat. Drain pasta, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid, and place in a bowl for tossing and serving. Add olive oil mixture and toss. Add the reserved cooking liquid if mixture seems dry. Serve immediately.

Creme Brulee

2 cups 35% cream
1 vanilla bean, split
5 egg yolks
½ cup sugar

Preparing the Creme Brulee
        Heat an oven to 400F.
        Combine the cream and vanilla bean in a stainless steel saucepan and scald the cream. Remove the saucepan from heat, cover, and let the vanilla infuse for 10 minutes.
        Beat the egg yolks with 2 T of the sugar in a bowl until slightly thickened. Stir in the hot cram and strain the custard into a clean bowl. Ladle the custard into the ramekins, dividing it equally between them.
        Place the ramekins in the shallow baking pan add enough cold water to come half-way up the side of the ramekins. Cook in the oven until a skin forms on the surface, 15 to 18 minutes, the custard underneath will remain liquid. Chill the ramekins in the refrigerator at least 4 hours.

Finishing and Serving the Creme Brulee
        Preheat a salamander or use a blow torch to finish the custard.
        Sprinkle the top each custard with 1 ½ T sugar to form a thin layer. Broil as close as possible to the heat until the sugar melts and caramelizes,2 or 3 minutes. Do not over cook the custard or it will bubble through the sugar. Let the sugar cool; the caramel will form a crisp layer on the custard. Serve within 2 to 3 hours, while the caramel remains crisp.

Rice Pudding

1 cup water
Pinch salt
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup Arborio rice
2 cups whole milk
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Few dashes ground cinnamon
Whipped cream, for serving
Bring water, salt, and butter to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the rice, return to a boil, and then reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Shake the pan occasionally and cook until rice has absorbed the water but it still al dente, about 15 minutes.

Bring milk, sugar, vanilla, and a few dashes of cinnamon to a simmer in a separate saucepan. Add the cooked rice and cook at a simmer over medium-low heat until rice absorbs most of the milk and mixture starts to get thick and silky, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Transfer pudding to a large bowl and cool to room temperature. Place in refrigerator until cool and set. Serve with whipped cream and a dash more cinnamon.