Introduction to creams

Creams can be found in many pastries and cakes. Before beginning your study of creams, we would advise you to go to our course outline page and study carefully the effects of each ingredient on the final product. Once you do that,  you can begin to learn the different types of creams that are used in pastry.

Cream classifications

Creams can be classified according to their ingredients or according to their method of preparation.

We have classified the creams according to ingredients used, as follows;

  • Egg-based creams
    • Creams that are egg-based are;
      • Some buttercreams
      • Pastry cream
      • Mousseline cream
      • English cream (crème anglaise)
      • Diplomat cream
      • Caramel custard (crème caramel)
  • Lightened creams
    • Light creams are egg-based creams that are lightened or thinned out with;
  • Creams thickened with gelatin
    • Egg-based creams thickened with Gelatin
      • Diplomat cream
      • Bavarian cream

 

 

 

 

 

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Different Ways to Make Croissants

Different Ways to Make Croissants

You can make croissants in many different ways. The difference can lie in the technique that you choose to incorporate, or even the way your croissants are going to taste. Making a difference in the taste aspect is the easiest to understand. You either make them sweet, or you make them salty. There are quite a few ingredients you could use as fillers. However, before you get into the details of what you are going to use inside the croissants, you should probably know that you will have to use a lot of butter and sugar to make this dish. If you are very health conscious, you may not be able to recreate the same with the substitutes for the same.

The sweet croissant

Making a sweet croissant can either be very easy, or very difficult. You could make a classic simple croissant by just glazing the top after the croissant is done. When the dough is baked and crunchy, you just have to layer the top generously with icing sugar. The middle section will have butter and sugar melted into it, creating a mouth-watering dish to serve up during tea.

If you really have a sweet tooth though, you will probably have to make a few additions. You could use chocolate syrup or cream as the filling in the center. When you take a bite out of it, you will taste the frosting on top, while the warm croissant brings with it a tasty bit of choco-cream with it. The dish works wonders at children’s birthday parties as snacks. Probably not so good at adult parties unless your guests do not mind a slightly heavy snack.

Salted croissants

Salted croissants also taste great. You just have to choose the right filling. Today, a favorite in the States is the cheese and ham filled croissant. The warm buttery crunchy dough fits perfectly with the melted cheese and the wrapped in ham. A croissant like this is quite filling, so be careful to make them the right size.

In Poland, there is a special type of croissants which is filled with lard. Though this can be rather fattening, it tastes very good and makes for a great evening snack, in between meals. All-in-all, croissants are very easy to make once you learn how to spin the dough and get the right shape. There are many ways you can make the dish, so you should get started on learning as soon as possible.

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Different Kinds of Lining Molds

Lining molds types used in pastry shops

Lining molds (or simply molds) are important in baking because they help increase the aesthetic value of the dessert you are preparing. Without a solid mold, it becomes difficult to retain the shape of the dessert while it cooks, or bakes. While preparing desserts, the design is just as important as the taste of the dish.

Molds can be categorized into molds that are used for baking batters and molds that are used for refrigerating mousses or freezing ice creams mixtures.

Molds can also be categorized based on two major differences. The material used to make the mold is one important factor. The other is the shape itself. Based on just these two criteria, it is possible to assert what type of mold is most suitable for you. Additionally, you should check the size of the mold, so that you purchase one that serves the number of people you generally need to bake for.

Differently shaped lining molds

There are indefinite shapes available in this sphere. You can choose from traditional designs like squares, ovals, circular shapes, and rectangles. However, many people prefer to add a little zest into their desserts by purchasing molds with fancy shapes.

A yin-yang mold, for example, works wonders in calling the attention of the table to the dish for a little while. The effects of just the aesthetics make a large impact on the overall experience. As a chef, even in you bake for yourself, try to make cooking an art, rather than a routine.

There is a vast selection of mold shapes that are used in a pastry shop, such as fluted tart pans, hearty-shaped tart pans, muffin pans, cupcake pans, savarin molds, custard baking molds, mini baking pans, donut pans, ice cream molds, pyramid molds, log molds, english muffin molds, cookie pans, cornet molds, charlotte molds, petit four molds,  cake rings of different heights, portion-size or single-serving molds, rectangular cake rings, triangle cake rings, tear drop cake rings, heart-shaped cake rings, tart rings,  tartlet pans, brioche molds, pie and tart pans,  spring-form pans and so forth.

Each mold has its characteristics and its use.  It would be best to read manufacturer's instructions for best usage of each mold.

Material of the molds

This aspect is also rather important. Most molds can stand extremely high temperatures; especially as they are going to be placed in an oven where you may need to let them stay at 450 degrees. However, the material makes a difference depending on the what you are doing.

The materials differ in the durability of the molds, their susceptibility to retaining stains, how well they conduct heat and cook the dish, and how easy they are to store or clean. All these aspects make a huge difference. Personalization is important in this aspect. Different materials give a different effects so as you gain experience you will have a greater understanding of what to use or not.

Other factors you may wish to consider are the durability of the molds, along with the one that resist stains best. On the other hand, experts will probably prefer aluminum molds over stainless steel ones. This is because aluminum is a better conductor of heat. This ensures that the cakes are baked evenly.

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Difference Between Souffles and Mousse

Souffle and mousse are often confused to be the same thing. It's often hard to differentiate between a mousse and a cold souffle, but they're different things. Although, this would probably be one of the last things on your mind, if you had a plate of any one of these delectable dishes in front of you right now, we'll tell you some facts on what sets them apart, just so you have some food for thought.

What's a souffle?

Souffle is a baked dessert that is feathery light. It is made from eggs/ egg whites that are beaten. Cold souffles are like mousses with a rich cream or fruit puree, combined with the egg whites. These are frozen in ramekins before they are served. Dessert souffles are typically made with a fruit puree or cream as a base, along with the egg whites. On baking them, the egg whites in the ramekin expand, which deflate if allowed to cool. It is usually eaten when the souffle is all puffed up, rather than being eaten cold. A nicely cooked souffle has a moist center while being firmly set.

What's a mousse?

Mousses are airy dishes that can be served hot or cold. Unlike souffles, they can be savory or sweet dishes. Mousses are fluffy and airy, from the egg whites or whipped cream that is added to it. They also contain a fortifying layer of gelatin that is used to stabilize it. Hot mousses are made by baking the mixture in a water bath, so as to not let it curdle. Savory mousses can be prepared by making a puree using a variety of ingredients such as cheese, fish, vegetables, meat, shellfish, or foie grass. The fish or meat if used, is cooked prior to adding it to the mousse mixture. Sweet mousses use chocolate, fruits, or coffee and are normally served cold.

How are they different?

While the composition of souffle and mousse might seem very similar, they are prepared differently. A mousse uses a gelatinous sheet to stabilize it, while a souffle doesn't need one. A mousse is heavier in nature when compared to a souffle. A souffle uses a larger amount of egg whites when compared to a mousse. A mousse, although may be slightly cooked, does not rise like a souffle. Souffles are typically dessert dishes, while mousses can be savory dishes too.

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Croissants - Their Origin and Variants

Croissants have long been French delicacies, probably since before the 13th century. At that point they may not have retained their famous crescent shape. Before the croissant, it was the kipferi that was the major French dish found in bakeries. Both croissants and kipferis could be wrapped around just about anything. Today, the varieties of croissants are many. In fact, you get anything from ham and cheese as the filling all the way to a sweeter variant if you so prefer.

It is said that croissants were what the French used to respond to the American ‘fast foods’ and fast food joints that came at the very beginning. In order to keep with the global competition, bakeries would keep frozen croissants ready in their cold storage. Any time a croissant was ordered, unskilled workers just had to operate the oven and serve it up as a hot-n-hot croissant.

Stories behind the origin of croissants

Not much data has been found on the subject. It is difficult to imagine that the origins of the food would be carefully documented by any scholar. However, there are stories of how the French defeated the Ottomans in battle and created the croissant to symbolize the crescent that was present on the Ottoman flags. For the same reason, quite a few radical Islamists have banned the food in their areas.

Variants of croissants

The variations present in croissants arise from the location in which they are made. The croissants made in Italy are different from the ones made in Argentina. Similarly, the Polish croissants are slightly different from those made in other countries. Most countries make croissants sweet. They fill them with chocolate syrup or glaze them with a layer of icing sugar. These have become very popular around the world.

More specific variants include the ones from Poland, Argentina and Italy. In Argentina they are made sweet when served with coffee. During other times, they could be filled with lard. This variant is salty, and not sweet. The Italian croissants are also generally sweet. However, while the French croissant is crispy, the Italian variant is soft.

Jam or chocolate are often used as fillers. They are also sugar coated, similar to the original croissants. The Polish croissants are famous due to their importance on St. Martin’s Day. The croissants are sometimes filled with dainties or white poppies, and coated with sugar.

 

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