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Puff up your pastry skills

first_imgWith all the emphasis we place on good bread-making in bakeries, and on getting strong morning sales in the store, we can sometimes assume that our customers’ entire concern is finding something for breakfast and lunch when they walk into a baker’s shop. So we emphasise morning goods and loaves, or snack items, to fit that assumption and sometimes overlook the customer looking for the perfect pudding or dessert.There are bakers who get a bit huffy when they argue that they’re not pastry chefs, while exhibiting all the skills needed to honestly be one. They make good pastry, they can whip up a delicious, simple custard, they know how to egg-wash and bake a sweet tart or pie, yet there is still a nervousness about making these items a regular part of the production. In France, bakers talk about “boulanger patisserie”, the baker’s pastry and I think we can adopt this approach here in the UK.For many successful bakeries around the world, providing large baked desserts that can serve four to five people or even more is a strong part of their sales. For these bakers, the secret of managing the production has been to avoid overly complex chilled desserts and focus on ambient lines that look impressive the moment they come out of the oven and require little after-treatment. And this suits customers well too, as they’re often looking for a dessert that looks like it’s just come out of their kitchen perhaps with a little more skill than they could muster.When it comes to ideas, start with apples. Nothing says “autumn dessert” more than an apple pastry, and apples are so cheap and plentiful this time of year that every baker should make the most of them. Apples are one of the few fruit that we grow exceptionally well in this country, and different counties have local varieties that read so endearingly when used alongside familiar baking names.For pastry, be a little more lavish and use more (or all) butter if you can. The success of dessert-baking isn’t just in the initial sale, but in the repeat sales and if you lift the flavour to something really remarkable, you’ll gain more sales not just from that customer but from the people they invite for dinner as well.l With thanks to FWP Matthews www.fwpmatthews.co.uk or 01993 830 342 for their Ascot and Barrington flour used in the pastry. Spiced Bramley Apple Plank I like putting simple names on rather glamorous baking for example, a cinnamon and mixed spice flavoured sauce of Bramley apples, stirred with chopped dessert apples, filling a long egg-glazed ’plank’ of all-butter puff pastry. For the puff pastry I used Barrington flour from FWP Matthews, a bread-making flour blended from British wheats, which gives a superb lift and colour to the pastry.IngredientsAll-butter puff pastryBramley or other cooking apples1,200gDessert apples1,200gLemon juice25gCaster sugar150gTapioca starch, or plain flour20gCinnamon5gMixed spice5gAlmond cream, ground almonds and egg-wash (see second recipe)1. Peel, core and chop the Bramleys roughly, toss in the lemon juice and bake in a roasting tin covered with foil until utterly soft (or use a saucepan if that’s easier).2. Beat in the sugar and tapioca starch (thinned in 25ml water). Don’t use cornstarch as this will break down in the acid. Then mix in the spices and bring to the boil. Peel, core and dice the dessert apples and stir these into the warm apple sauce, so that you have a very thick mixture. Don’t cook it further, just chill it.3. Mix a quantity of almond cream with enough ground almonds to make a thick paste. Roll one sheet of pastry to about 5mm thick, the other to about 8mm, lay on trays and chill. Then score a thinner pastry sheet with 10cm wide rectangle, spread with 5mm almond paste, and top 5cm deep with apple mixture. Brush water around the edge of the pastry, lay the thicker sheet over and press to seal edges. Brush with egg-wash and chill, then trim off the excess pastry. Score the top lightly and make vents to release steam from the crust.4. Bake at 200°C for 35 minutes, then reduce the heat to 170°C and bake for about 20 minutes more until thoroughly crisp. Laxton’s Superb Apple Almond Tart Though the tart is delicious, it’s actually the apple that’s “superb”. Laxton’s Superb is a very old classic English apple variety that has a very sweet strong flavour. Here I’ve put chopped apple in the almond cream and slices of fresh apple on top before baking.Chefs have been using specific ingredients in dish titles for years. So use any apple, but write it in the title that customers see. For the shortcrust pastry, I’ve used Ascot flour from FWP Matthews, which bakes to a crisp, slightly dense texture.IngredientsShortcrust pastrySweet dessert applesFlaked almondsFor the almond creamUnsalted butter150gCaster sugar150gGround almonds200gWhole egg, beaten125gBrandy or rum25ml1. Line the tart tins with pastry, then blind-bake until golden. Meanwhile, make the almond cream by mixing the butter, sugar and almonds until smooth. Beat in the egg and brandy until smooth.2. Peel, core and dice a quantity of apples and mix in equal parts with almond cream. Three-quarters fill the pastry case with the apple-almond mixture, then fan sliced apples over the top. Return the tart to the oven and bake at 180°C until the centre of tart has puffed slightly and the top is a golden colour. Scatter the flaked almond over the top, 10 minutes before the end of baking. Leave to cool in the tin.last_img read more

Resurreccion honored

first_imgAnna Resurreccion, a University of Georgia professor of food science, has been awarded the title of Distinguished Research Professor, a designation awarded to faculty who are internationally-recognized for their original contributions to knowledge and whose work promises to foster continued creativity in their discipline. Sensory science specialistA researcher with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Resurreccion is recognized internationally for her innovative research on the bioactive components in food, and consumer and sensory science. She developed original methods for measuring consumer preferences and the sensory qualities of food—including creative new ways to collect and use the information to develop value-added food products that provide improved nutrition, safety, and health benefits for consumers in the U.S. and developing countries. Her research on food quality and acceptance by consumers resulted in new product lines from food companies worldwide. She also invented a UGA-patented process that uses ultraviolet light and ultrasound technologies to enhance resveratrol and other functional compounds in peanut products, as well as new analytical methods to measure phenolics in these products. Enhancing the nutritional value of peanutsHer work over 24 years with the USAID Peanut Collaborative Research Support Program resulted in a model for successful transfer of peanut processing technologies and their commercialization—including the development of vitamin-fortified peanut butter to alleviate vitamin A deficiencies that lead to blindness in children. Her work has brought worldwide attention and distinction to UGA.last_img read more

Oppo Showcases Oppo X 2021 Phone With Rollable OLED Screen, Oppo AR Glass 2021 With Air, Voice Gestures

first_imgWhich is the best TV under Rs. 25,000? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below. Oppo rollable OLED screen smartphone along with its AR glasses were showcased at Oppo Inno Day 2020. Oppo also posted three tweets providing some information on what we can expect from the two products. The rollable OLED screen smartphone is called the Oppo X 2021 and the AR glasses are called Oppo AR Glass 2021. The Oppo X 2021 uses a proprietary roll motor powertrain to smoothly transition between the two display sizes. The company did not share details about the AR Glass 2021 during the presentation.During the Oppo Inno Day 2020 presentation, the company revealed its attempt at offering more screen real-estate with a relatively smaller smartphone. The Oppo X 2021 is a rollable OLED screen smartphone that, in its normal state, features a 6.7-inch display. It uses what Oppo is calling a continuously variable OLED display and in its extended state, the screen size increases to 7.4-inches with the help of proprietary roll motor powertrain. The Oppo X 2021 has curved edges with a USB Type-C port and speaker grills at the bottom.- Advertisement – It also has a high-strength screen laminate that Oppo is calling Warp Track that strengthens the screen and allows it to achieve a bending diameter of 6.8mm. The Oppo X 2021 can provide a fullscreen experience with both 16:9 and 4:3 content. There also seem to be three cameras on the back of the phone.Coming to the Oppo AR Glass 2021, while the presentation does not include any information on it, the tweet by the company mentions that it will include a time of flight (ToF) sensor, SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) algorithms, Diffractive optical wave guide technology, and gesture and voice navigation. The glasses seem to have a sleek design with the central area (above the nose) housing the sensors.Oppo did not share a release date for the two products but will be released sometime next year.- Advertisement –center_img – Advertisement –last_img read more


first_imgPro sport teams seem to have trouble maintaining a high level of emotion for every game during a season.  There were 3 great examples in the last two weeks of pro football.  When the Cincinnati Bengals went to Indianapolis, they seemed to just go through the motions of playing a game.  They were only 1 for 13 on third down conversions, which in itself is a great formula for disaster.  The result was a shutout for the Colts.When the Bengals played the following week against Baltimore, they played like an entirely different football team.  In fact, Bengal coach, Marvin Lewis, said it was the best game the Bengals played so far this year.  The result was a last-minute win over the front-running Ravens.  On the other side, the Colts (who looked great against the Bengals) just did not play with the same emotion against the Pittsburgh Steelers.  In this game, the Steeler quarterback set a franchise record for passing yards that included 6 touchdown passes.  Were these the same Colts that played the Bengals the week before?Every coach in pro sports will tell you his/her hardest job is getting these adults ready mentally to play a game.  You would think that being able to demand million dollar contracts would be enough incentive to play hard every game.last_img read more

CAF U23 qualifier: Ghana’s Meteors beat Liberia 2-0 ahead of second leg

first_imgGhana’s Black Meteors put two unanswered goals past Liberia in the first leg of their Caf Under-23 Championship qualifier on Sunday.The coach Malik Jabir side made their work easy for qualification to face Congo in the second qualifying with goals in either half at the Tamale Stadium.Asante Kotoko striker, Dauda Mohammed gave the Ghana Undeer-23 side the lead in the first half before Liberty Professionals midfielder Kennedy Ashia put the game beyond their Liberia counterparts with the second goal.The second leg will be held in Ghana on the weekend of May 8-10 with Liberia playing as the host team due to precautions with Ebola.The winner from this tie faces Congo next then Nigeria for one of seven available tickets to the Caf U-23 Championship which will have its best three teams taking up places to the RIo 2016 Olympic Games’ football tournament.–last_img read more