Monday, September 26, 2011

Daring Bakers - Croissants - Fresh, Fluffy, French

There is a chain of French cafes in Melbourne called Laurent.  Laurent sells all kinds of delicate cakes and pastries, dressed up very beautifully.  One of their tastiest offerings is not the prettiest at all - it is the almond croissant, a soft, flaky, buttery pastry filled with almond paste.

I have always wanted to make croissants, and this month, the Daring Bakers gave me a reason to do so, as we were set the assignment of making croissants.  In the words of the blog checking lines: 

The Daring Bakers go retro this month! Thanks to one of our very talented non-blogging members, Sarah, the Daring Bakers were challenged to make Croissants using a recipe from the Queen of French Cooking, none other than Julia Child!

As you can tell from all the exclamation marks, this was a very exciting assignment.

I got about a 50% strike rate with my croissants.  All of them looked like croissants, but some of them ended up being too small and baked up fairly hard as a result.  Of the remainder, they certainly looked and tasted the part.  At the top of this post, I have deliberately featured the star performers of my croissant batch - the plain croissant and the almond croissant, filled with almond paste left over from some other challenge.

I also made one filled with chopped chocolate:  

This is the interior of the almond croissant, with its almond paste filling:

And for reasons best known to my iPhone and my computer, featured stubbornly upside down, is the interior of the star performing plain croissant:  

Thanks to Sarah for hosting us this month.  I certainly enjoyed this challenge, and can tick off "croissants" from my baking bucket list.  To see what the other Daring Bakers did with this challenge, you can view the slide show over at the Daring Kitchen (from 27 September US time).