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This is What I’m… Learning: French Pastry with Carol Crincoli

written by Carol Crincoli, Pure Pilates Director

This past summer I wanted to level up my baking game. I have always enjoyed baking, but shied away from fancier recipes, sticking to delicious but not necessarily image-bragging desserts. Then came Molly. Molly Wilkinson is a Texas girl, trained in France at the Le Cordon Bleu as a pastry chef in Paris, and now teaches online classes in Versailles.

I started with a low commitment – a 6-week Beginner French Pastry course that I completed 50%. I found the weekly baking schedule to be a challenge! I did however perfect my lemon curd and made an impressive tart that I decorated in raspberries.

The most useful recipe that I was introduced to was Pate a Choux, a versatile dough that can be used to make cream puffs and my favorite, savory Gougeres. Gougeres can be made ahead of time, pop in the freezer and ready to bake for unexpected company.

 

Now, I am currently enrolled in Molly’s Pastry school for the entire year!  I find the schedule less stressful since I can make one recipe per month and when I mess it up, which I do, I have a chance to try again to perfect the final product.  

I have made a french pumpkin flan that has a much different consistency than the traditional Mexican flan. It’s a bit denser, but very yummy. 

If you love to bake, I recommend that you follow Molly Wilkinson on social media. Molly shares great tips and she’s a burst of positive energy, with the greatest laugh and a super cute dog, Eliot.

Need another cookbook? I did and started taking notes in French Pastry Made Simple. It’s not too early to think of holiday gifts!

I have one recommendation for the baking item that you absolutely DON’T need but will make your life easier. Have you ever tried to stir a hot pot while trying to keep track of the temperature and failed like I have? Then you must check out this spatula for your next batch of caramel or chocolate.

“You don’t have to love cooking to cook, but you have to do more than love baking to bake. You have to bake out of love.”

-Tom Junod

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