french | Contemporary Cake Designs

Pitch Perfect Parfaits

By | Contemporary Cake Designs, Desserts | 6 Comments

In French ‘parfait’ means perfect and honestly we couldn’t agree more! With its multiple layers of ice cream, fruit, syrup, and whipped cream topping, it’s a dessert that’s difficult to refuse.

This perfect little dish originated in France cuisine during 1894. Since then love of parfaits has risen, becoming global, resulting in a variety of parfaits, all different flavours and all different ingredients. The prime commonality being that they are all frozen, making them the ideal party food.

While the French tend to enjoy simplicity in their parfaits: using cream, egg, sugar and syrup, the American’s lean towards using more elaborate recipes. They tend to use a wide spread of ingredients such as granola, nuts, yogurt, liqueurs and gelatine with fruit and cream toppings. In particular the yogurt parfait made with granola and fruit has become a common breakfast dish due to its health properties.

Our love for these little dessert dishes have caused us to go a tad nuts in the variety we offer!




Mille-Feuille series: How to Make Crème Patisserie

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Mille-Feuille filled with Creme Patisserie.

Mille-Feuille filled with Creme Patisserie.

The key component to the Mille-Feuille is Crème Patisserie, which is also known as pastry cream. Crème Patisserie is made from five simple ingredients: eggs, corn flour, milk, sugar and vanilla.

It’s one of the richest and creamiest products around lending itself to being a perfect filling for both pastry and sponge based desserts; none more so than the Mille-Feuille. In this particular dessert the crème patisserie is sandwiched between two layers of puff pastry; creating a smooth, delicate texture to contrast the light and crispy qualities of the pastry.

In our latest instalment Xavier demonstrates how to create the filling for the Mille-Feuille and gives you a couple of great tips along the way.

To go alongside the video here are our top five tips to make a French classic – Crème Patisserie:

  1. Don’t burn the milk – It’s all about controlling the temperature of the pan. Don’t put the heat too high.
  2. Mix the eggs, sugar and cornflour until it’s nice and smooth
  3. Just like custard cook it slowly on a medium heat to ensure the mix doesn’t overcook.
  4. Stir constantly – The last thing you want is it to burn on the bottom.
  5. Put butter over the top once in clean container before placing in the fridge to prevent a skin forming (see video)

Mille-Feuille Series: How to create a Mille-Feuille

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The finished article

The finished article

Recently we’ve been busy in the kitchen whisking up some fantastic treats ready for everyone to enjoy. Why we hear you ask? Well after 20 years in the trade we’ve learnt a thing or two along the way and thought it was about time we passed our knowledge onto the aspiring bakers/pastry chefs of this world. That’s why we are releasing not one, but three ‘How to’ videos as part of the re-launch of our YouTube channel this week.

Our first demonstration is based around a French classic, the Mille-Feuille, or as us Brits like to call it – custard slice. Mille-Feuille is a three layered pastry based deserts that’s as far from your classic English pud as you can get but adds a real touch of class to your dessert palate.

With layers of light, golden pastry, creamy vanilla custard and home-made strawberry jam this Mille-Feuille makes for a scrumptious dinner dessert or afternoon tea delight. So without further ado our very own experienced pastry chef Xavier Pelloux is on hand to guide you through how to make this delicate French dessert.