#BakingChat with Angela aka @cherubpaddock at Patisserie Makes Perfect 10-08-15

Every few weeks, we love to have a good old natter with an expert home baker from our online community. We chat about all things baking and discover how they got to where they are today.

This week’s baker featuring in our #BakingChat is Angela, of blog Patisserie Makes Perfect.

Tell us a bit about when you realised your love for baking?

I started baking at an early age with my Mum. We would make apple crumbles, rock cakes and something called a Snow Queen Cake which was my Dad’s favourite. It was a coconut cake covered in butter cream and desiccated coconut. Which reminds me that I should make it again, it’s been years. Then I stopped baking completely and it wasn’t until I decided to start an evening course in Patisserie, that I found my love of baking. The course didn’t actually happen, too few attendees, so I decided to teach myself patisserie.

When would you say you became an expert home baker?

An expert home baker? Wow I’m not sure I think of myself that way, but I think the moment things go wrong in the kitchen and you can rectify them and make something that tastes great, you’re pretty much there. I’ve learnt from all of my mistakes in the kitchen and I think I now know when something can be rescued and when you just have to give in and make it again. This is definitely something I’ve learnt in the last year and a half of writing my blog.

Do you have any top tips or techniques to share with our baking community?

I would say always freeze leftover egg whites. I put them in a zip-lock bag and I write the date and the number of egg whites in the bag on the front. They keep for at least a month and older egg whites make better macarons. Most decent macaron recipes specify a weight for the egg whites too, but if you do need a conversion, 1 egg white is roughly 30g. 

Whenever I make puff pastry, I always double it and freeze half of the recipe, just don’t forget to write the date on it, so you know when you froze it.

If you have cream that is close to its date, make a salted caramel or a chocolate ganache, cooking the cream in both of these processes, means that it will last longer. The salted caramel will last for at least a month and the ganache can always be frozen. Basically I hate waste and love my freezer.  The great thing about Patisserie is that so many of the components can be made in advance and frozen or stored in the fridge, making the final assembly of the recipe that much easier.

What would you say is your signature bake?

Gin and Tonic Cronuts. The first time I made Cronuts™ I didn’t really know what to expect.

The idea for these Cronuts™ was something I had been playing about with for a little while. As Cronuts™ are quite rich and heavy, I wasn’t sure whether to go down the citrus route, or to make a chocolate version. As I couldn’t decide, I posed the question to my facebook followers and Gin and Tonic Cronuts™ were the winners.

I added gin and lime juice to the creme patissiere that was used to fill these Cronuts™ and the icing was made with tonic water and more lime juice. I don’t know if you’ve ever used tonic water to make icing before, but I found out it makes the icing taste like sherbet, I’ll definitely try it again.

I’m not going to say Cronuts™ are quick and easy to make, but they are definitely worth giving a go, at least once. 

You can find @cherubpaddock ‘s Gin and Tonic Cronut recipe here.

If you would like to chat with us about all things baking, share some pics of your bakes with us on Twitter using the hashtag #BakingChat.