Understanding folding technique in pastry
Proper folding technique for delicate recipes
Folding is a far more delicate procedure than simply mixing. Just the word folding entails careful mixing. Why do we have to be careful when mixing ‘delicate’ mixtures? First of all you have to understand what is a delicate mixture. A delicate mixture is any mixture that has a lot of air incorporated in the mixture, like chocolate mousse. When it comes to combining one delicate mixture with another, the proper folding technique is very crucial.
So be aware for instructions in a recipe that say ‘carefully fold’…. A lot of people misinterpret this phrase. The phrase ‘to carefully fold something’, does not mean to slowly fold the mixture, but surprisingly, it means the opposite; fold the mixture as quickly as possible, using proper technique, but just enough to make the mixture homogeneous all throughout.
If you over mix you will lose volume, while if you undermix, you will see streaks from the various mixtures. Watch our video below to master the folding technique.
Tips and tricks folding delicate mixtures
Another great tip in folding, is to understand what has to be folded in what. As a rule of thumb, you ALWAYS fold a thin (airy) mixture into a thick mixture, never the other way around. The whole idea is to fold a thin mixture into a thick mixture to lighten it up.
Here’s another great tip to minimize loss of volume when folding. Let’s assume that you have a thick mixture (eg; ganache) and you wish to fold in some whipped cream (thin mixture). How would you do this?
Let us assume that both mixtures are in two separate bowls. Here’s the trick to minimize loss of volume from the light mixture. Take a 3rd bowl and pour 1/5th of the thick mixture and 1/5th of the thin mixture into the 3rd bowl. Stir (without worrying about loosing volume) until everything is thoroughly blended. Pour this thinned out mixture back into the thick mixture, and mix (without worrying about loosing volume) to incorporate. So far, you have lost some volume from the whipping cream (1/5th the amount of whipping cream), but you minimized loss of volume by 80% (4/5 of the remaining whipped cream). Then pour all of the remaining thin mixture (whipped cream) into the thick mixture (ganache). At this point you need to carefully fold in both mixtures. The premixing of both mixture in small amounts also prevents lumps from forming in the final mixture.
More info on mixing methods or techniques used in french pastry
About our recipe tables
Sample recipe table
All the recipes in our course are given by weight and percentages. The advantage of having a recipe in percentages is of extreme importance. You can alter the size of the recipe to any size you wish, and most importantly you can make recipe comparisons to notice the effects of ingredients between recipes.