Tips & Tricks: From boozy bakes to wood-fired ovens

Bakers, their suppliers and other industry experts offer advice on a range of topics. 

Fire it up!

“You must get to know your wood-fired oven, through baking and testing it, to understand how it reacts to the day’s weather conditions. Wood-fired ovens provide a dry heat, which makes for thoroughly cooked loaves with a thick crust that keeps the bread longer.”

Apollonia Poilâne, CEO, Poilâne

It’s a choux in

“My dark chocolate icing or glaze on top of a chocolate éclair doesn’t have any gelatine; it’s only water, fresh cream, natural pectin, sugar and high-quality 70% chocolate. For a perfect emulation, it is necessary to use a hand blender to ensure it is shiny and glossy.”

Joakim Prat, head pastry chef, Maître Choux

A perfect pairing

“To build the perfect café gourmand selection to be served alongside coffee, you need:

  • Mixtures of fruit and chocolatey flavourings
  • Mixtures of textures, from the crunchy nut to a smooth mousse
  • Small, bite-sized desserts – nothing too heavy to make guests feel groggy, but just satisfying enough for that sweet tooth.”

Olivier Ripoche, managing director, Brioche Pasquier UK

Boozy bakes

“When including alcohol in a sponge-style cake, be mindful of how much liquid you are adding and make sure your batter is not too wet. To incorporate more alcohol, drizzle some over when it has come out of the oven or make an icing using alcohol as your liquid. Be careful not to make the cake and topping too wet, as you will end up with a very soggy cake.”

Lisa Smith, owner, Ginger Bakers

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