The New Bakers Dozen
Baking from L' Art des Entremets de France by G.J. Bellouet

The The Bakers Dozen: Baking from L' Art des Entremets de France by G.J. Bellouet
By W.DeBord on Saturday, May 19, 2001 - 08:51 am: Edit

A couple quick questions.

"Cooking chocolate" means unsweetened chocolate?

Also "chemical yeast" is what Americans' think of as yeast....not fresh made from starter but purchased dry yeast, right?

What's the purpose of adding yeast to a cake (that isn't proofed), it's just added in toward the end with the flour? For flavor with-out it being proofed with some liquid I see it baking dry and not even activating?

500 g. butter
500 g. sugar
500 g. whole eggs all 3 beaten together, then

500 g. flour
7 g. chemical yeast
50 g. rum

Bake in buttered genoise molds for 30 min. in convection oven.

What do you think?

By d. on Saturday, May 19, 2001 - 03:54 pm: Edit

I don't know much about french translation, but based on the weights of the sugar, butter, flour and eggs the recipe is a poundcake. My guess is that chemical yeast means baking powder, but I'm not entirely sure.

By W.DeBord on Saturday, May 19, 2001 - 07:06 pm: Edit

Well that certainly makes alot more sense, doesn't it. I bet your right d.. thanks.

By quartet on Monday, May 21, 2001 - 04:36 pm: Edit

Chemical yeast is just a poor translation of baking powder. That book is a collection of poorly translated recipes. Keep a French/English dictionary around when using it, and always check with the French version before making anything. Sometimes entire steps are left out of the English. Beautiful book but for the money, the least they could have done was check their English. What specific recipe are you refering to?

By W.DeBord on Tuesday, May 22, 2001 - 07:16 am: Edit

I just got it and haven't seen too many unusual things yet. I think Bellouets' book explains far more than Hermes' did with procedures, although I just started working from it.

The question about chemical yeast is from a cake labeled as Victoria Sandwich. Where they write (four quarter cake) next to it which also doesn't mean anything in English, it's in Le Breiz Izel, a caramel mousse torte.

I enjoy the challenge, getting away from my usual recipes. Two things do drive me crazy. I don't have 20 different chocolate brands on hand with their % labeled for quick reference. I also wish they'd give SOME idea of quantity per recipe (I don't work in grams or cm enough to quickly recognize the number of portions a recipe makes).

Oh another thing...B. doesn't tell you which kind of flour he uses, cake, ap or bread! Oh wait, he does use flours like cornflour and rice flour which I bought...hope their translated correctly.?

By Ardis (Ardis) on Thursday, May 24, 2001 - 06:08 pm: Edit

DeBord: Bellouet comes to Montreal to give courses fairly often. I bought one of his books in English translation as well - big mistake, as the translation is terrible. I speak french so would have been better with the original. Many of the french recipes don't work the same here though, as we simply have different ingredients. The flour in France is weaker than Canadian for example and their cream has a higher fat content. I find you have to be willing to play around to use the recipes.

By W.DeBord on Friday, May 25, 2001 - 07:19 am: Edit

Well, I made two items from it so far (I chose those because I could follow the translation). His caramel mousse cake I mentioned above worked fine (chemical yeast was b powder). I also made the tiramisu au chocolat, it worked also although his filling was strictly average (too dense).

Truthfully, neither contained recipes better then I already had. It was very expensive so I hope I find some recipes that are great. Would you have any leads on which are his best?

Occasionally we get a higher fat cream...I don't like it, it's too much like butter (when whipped) and it simple won't work with ganche. Their cake flour is softer?...I don't know how to adjust for that, add cornstarch?? or is that why he uses riceflour and cornflour which is so unusual?

By DeBord on Sunday, June 24, 2001 - 06:09 pm: Edit

I got 2 samples of custard powder (hot and cold uses)since I kept coming across french recipes that use it and I'm not familar with it. Just wondering if that name "custard powder" is exactly the same item in France as the States?

P.S. I'm actually liking the bellouet book he has some nice items maybe more then Hermes.

By Junior (Junior) on Sunday, June 24, 2001 - 07:41 pm: Edit

please elaborate on bellouet and hermes. are these baking books? thanks, junior from alexandria,va., just outside washington,d.c.p.s. just saw the topic of conversation. obviously it's a book. maybe a little background?

By Junior (Junior) on Sunday, June 24, 2001 - 07:49 pm: Edit

debord, i also have the two torres books,dessert circus 1and two. what is your professional take onthose?...junior

By debord on Monday, June 25, 2001 - 07:07 am: Edit

Both Bellouet and Herme are in the top of the field today working as pastry chefs, each has authored books. Their work is definately advanced with their flavor combinations, techniques and styles, very fine professional chefs and books.

Which side of the kitchen do you work Junior? I'm a pastry chef at a private club.

I own both Torres books also. I've only made a couple items from the two. His books are for home bakers (which is fine, I use many housewife recipes) but I find them to be lacking in many ways. First I think the procedures given for his recipes aren't well written, their tooo wordy. But most of all the taste is lacking, definately below average in flavor. Betty Crocker and Better Homes and Gardens provide a superior product to his. I don't think he did alot of testing either because some recipes are out of balance and don't work properly.

So my take on Torres is he looks great on camera but don't beleive everything you see.

By Junior (Junior) on Monday, June 25, 2001 - 11:15 am: Edit

debord,on the hotside,fast food,part-time. i had a feeling that torres is probably more of a stylist than anything. the reason i bought the books was because i thought he was this guy that was into teaching and so forth, at least that is what he projected. but then,the more i see of him the more i think that all he cares about is candy,which is ok i suppose. right now i am experimenting with a sugar replacement in this french bread (bread machine) recipe. see how it turns out. what is your take on bread machines for the home. personally i don't think they taste that good. sort of a bitter aftertaste. anyway we will see. i'm thinking of putting up a strategy in the wannabe forum. it involves using fastfood as way to gain experience in the industry. with fast food and a full time job on your feet all day you are into close to 80hrs. a week.

By Doucefrance (Doucefrance) on Monday, June 25, 2001 - 08:16 pm: Edit

W. DeBord, when Bellouet says custard powder just use cornstarch because that is what it really is.
For the flour, it was hard for me to find the right flour when I got here, but it seems that when I use unbleached all-purpose, I get the best results for my french recipes.
I was going to order Bellouet's book in French because I know his translations suck. Before coming to the US, in the last class I took with him he was working on that book and I offered to translate it (for free!) and he said they would manage. They didn't do so good when I read your comments...
Good luck

By Yankee on Tuesday, June 26, 2001 - 02:15 am: Edit

We used a custard powder in Swizerland. It was basically a combination of vanilla sugar, starch and an egg type powder. We used it as a substitute for egg yolks in basic anglais & pastry cream (health codes mandated it).

We have a local compnay that deals with only French products out here that sells it.

I don't remember the ratios of the ingredients, but you definately had to cook it out (rather than a cold type gelatin).

By debord on Tuesday, June 26, 2001 - 07:38 am: Edit

Well I'm glad I didn't pay for the powder, if cornstarch will do. Thanks for the tip Doucefrance! It did appear to be used as a thickener but I don't really know anything about custard powder. Is it like an instant pastry cream? So then what I have is probably the same thing so long as it's called custard powder, right?

Too bad he didn't take you up your offer Douce! I hope you might be in a position one day to mention that the translations need some further explaining to English speaking Americans. I don't think his book is harder than Hermes' to understand, all the French translated books are equally very different than what I'm used to in American pastry books. At first they kind of scared me off, but now I don't hesitate to work them. Hey, what about all the groites (sp? cherries) they use in every other recipe????? It's over kill...they must be very different then any of the cherries I can get! can you describe them, please?

Junior I've never used a bread machine. My sister has one and her family seems to enjoy playing with it, why not.... There's still much to be learned from Torres, he's not an idiot and he does have some nice things. I'm more advance then you in pastry so I'm speaking from my perspective.

I suppose I began my career at fast food places. I worked at Wendy's and Pizza Hut through-out high school and a little in college. You won't learn how to cook but you can learn many other things.

By Yankee on Tuesday, June 26, 2001 - 11:53 am: Edit

Here you go:

(From my Faschule Richemont handouts)

Custard Powder:
- Starch (corn and wheat, 7:3 ratio)
- Flavoring (vanilla)
- Food Coloring (Yellow)

For 1 liter milk:

100 - 120 gr. Firm set

80 - 100 gr. Medium set

60 - 80 gr. Soft set

Method: Mix custard powder with cold milk in a 1:2 ratio (ex: 100 gr. powder + 200 gr. milk). Set aside. Warm milk and sugar. Add custard powder mixture and bring to a boil to thicken.

I don't think this will differ from the French version since it is a pretty common product in Europe.

Let me know how this works. For certain products where egg yolks cannot be used, this is a good solution.

By Yankee on Tuesday, June 26, 2001 - 11:59 am: Edit

We went to Torres' demo here last year. Eighty-five bucks for three hours. All he did was make two pretty weak center pieces (one choc and one sugar), from the back of the room they looked cool, but up close you could tell he was just hacking something out. Also, a big push for his book.

All I got out of it was another boiled sugar recipe. My work covered the $85, thankfully.

On the plus side, he did provide a nice selection of french cheeses, bread and wines. This was the best part, much better than the usual cold coffe and soft drinks.

The funny part was watching people line up to buy his book, plus a few hundred dollars worth of sugar tools (that would soon end up in the closet).

By junior on Tuesday, June 26, 2001 - 02:19 pm: Edit

yankee, i'm leary of celeb seminars anymore. it does not matter what the topic is. it's the people in the trenches and what they know that means the most. doing what doucefrance(helene)has done is far more meaningful. taking that adult education course,say,from some great unknown that will tip the scale. went to an anthony robbins seminar,won't go back,but his books are great,go figure. it's the guy's an gals that are dedicated to their craft that makes everything move...junior

By Panini (Panini) on Tuesday, June 26, 2001 - 05:32 pm: Edit

Any experience, fast food or other, will help you become whatever it is you want.
It's just my opinion, I feel that the basis for all cooking is "TIMING". You can have everything else in this undustry, but you need organized timing to pull it off. Flipping burgers, working the grill, saute, etc. teaches timing.

By Debord (Debord) on Wednesday, June 27, 2001 - 07:44 am: Edit

Thanks for the info. Yankee!!!!! That will help me greatly.

I think learning to survive the pressures of fast food service develops into timing skills and organizational skills that will help anyone in ANY future job, as Panini says. You have limited resources and equpiment and help.... you learn not only how to slam out the product but when you get good at slamming you them go into the next phase where you can turn out a really good product under limited resources. That does take skill, skills that will never leave you only suck you in more as you become proud of what you do.

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