Baker and patissier Lorraine Pascale shares her secrets for baking both sweet and savoury recipes. Lorraine reveals the essential kit for baking, as well as several recipes.
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I'm Lorraine Pascale. I'm a chef, and baking is my passion.
When I quit modelling I tried all sorts of things,
like being a car mechanic, an interior designer...
Then I found cooking, and that was it.
Since then I've worked in restaurants, I run my own business,
and I'm going to share some chef's secrets with you.
For me, baking is anything that cooks in the oven -
sweet and savoury, classic dishes,
delicious new ideas,
and baking you really thought you'd never be able to do, but you can.
Baking's not always fast, but it's always easy.
So, where to begin?
Well, this is all about easy,
so I'm going to tell you the simplest and quickest thing I know how to bake -
parmesan and poppy seed lollipops.
Sounds crazy, but they're the perfect canape.
And then soda bread. No kneading, no rising.
Home-made bread does not get any easier than this.
And neither does French patisserie.
Well, my way!
Blueberry and lemon cream millefeuille.
Sounds scary, but it isn't.
Then I'm going to demystify shortcrust pastry
with my fool-proof recipe.
And it's fantastic in a fig, cream cheese and mint tart.
And then, for the big finish, an incredibly easy chocolate cake.
I like to call it the "I can't believe you made that!" cake,
because that's exactly what people say when they see it.
For me, one of the quickest and easiest things to bake
are parmesan and poppy seed lollipops.
They're these really cool canapes that are ready in an instant.
These will be a real feat of baking engineering.
I'm going to start with 80 grammes of parmesan.
And then on almost the finest grater,
just grate it right down,
so you've got a nice pile of finely-grated cheese.
I find that this is the only cheese that works really well.
And then seeds, sesame seeds, you need one teaspoon,
in a bowl. And poppy seeds.
Then just add your parmesan, give it a quick mix.
I just love poppy seeds, they give it crunch,
and the black flecks look really good.
Now, I've got a baking tin here lined with baking parchment,
and a cookie cutter. Get the parmesan mix and sprinkle it on.
You want a very fine layer, not too thick, and pull it off.
And take one of these, this is a lollipop stick -
you can get them on the internet, of course.
Pop it into the centre of the circle.
A little bit more parmesan mix, and that's it.
I'll just get on with the rest.
That's the last one done.
Now, the hardest thing about this recipe
is making sure they get into the oven without bumping them
and ruining the circles.
So these need to cook for about five minutes at 220 degrees.
So, I was thinking, "How am I going to serve these lollipops?"
And I was watching TV the other day and they had this restaurant scene,
and they were serving these prawns on sticks in this perspex box,
and I thought, "That's exactly what I need." So I got on the internet,
had a little search, couldn't find one anywhere,
so I just bought a box and drilled the holes in myself.
So, I'm just going to take these off the baking parchment
and push them into the holes.
They should come off easily,
but if any get stuck, I always take my palette knife,
it's my secret weapon in baking, and then just slide it underneath.
I've used parmesan, sesame and poppy seed,
but you could use parmesan with paprika,
or sprinkle some fresh thyme over the top,
or some sliced nuts, just anything really to make it your own.
So, there you are - parmesan and poppy seed lollipops.
Easy as you like!
Sometimes when people think baking, they think, complicated processes,
lots of ingredients and loads of equipment.
But for me, baking's about keeping it simple.
Now, if you're going to bake, you're going to need kit.
I've got a list of 13 items that I consider to be my baker's dozen.
So, the baking tins category is quite a large one.
You can get cake tins, or flan tins,
or these little diddy loaf tins.
Just get what you want as and when you need it.
A good long rolling pin, a nice, bendy spatula,
pastry brush and palette knife,
piping bags with nozzles, and a set of round cutters.
Electronic scales, baking sheets, a couple of good knives.
Most people have these little baby whisks, but get a bigger whisk -
much faster whisking.
Different size bowls, and a chopping board.
So, that's my baker's dozen.
Most people say, "I don't have time to make bread."
But this bread is the most effortless bread you could ever make.
It needs 370 grammes of plain flour.
It's a really simple soda bread.
There's no kneading, no yeast, no waiting around for it to rise,
you just bung it all in a bowl, give it a quick mix, and then into the oven.
130 grammes of wholemeal flour, make it a little bit healthy.
A teaspoon of bicarb.
And a teaspoon of salt.
Make a little well in the middle.
And 40 grammes of butter.
And then buttermilk. I need 340 grammes of this.
Buttermilk is basically a soured milk,
and you can get it in most supermarkets, OK? And treacle.
The best way to get this off the spoon is dip it in hot water,
leave it in there for a few seconds, and then into the treacle.
Look at that lovely colour,
and it's all right to get a bit messy with this.
Plonk it in and let it slide off the spoon.
And then give it a good mix. It's like a cake batter, almost.
Just make sure everything's nicely combined,
and squeeze it round the sides.
I did say no knead, but you do need to get your hands in for a minute,
just to bring it all together.
So a bit of flour, and then just squidge it together.
And then onto the surface,
and bring in the edges,
just fold the edges together, get a nice little parcel,
and then round in a little ball.
And then take your wooden spoon and flour the end.
So a bit of flour on the top
gives it that lovely bakery look.
And then this goes into the oven for 30 to 40 minutes at 200 degrees.
MUSIC: "Sweet Dreams" by Eurythmics
# Sweet dreams are made of this
# Who am I to disagree...? #
Wow! These look incredible.
There's eclairs, fraisiers, Napoleons.
Admittedly these have been made by experienced chefs,
but there are pastries like this that you can make at home.
The good news is, you don't need any fancy kit,
and you can buy the ingredients anywhere,
and you're guaranteed that wow factor thing.
I find that the simplest ingredients always make the best patisserie.
-Right, French pastries to bake.
I love millefeuille.
It's a classic pastry from France,
and you can fill them with whatever you like.
But I'm going to use a lemon cream and blueberries.
I took a short cut with these and used shop-bought puff pastry.
Let me tell you how I made them.
I just rolled the pastry out as thin as possible
on a board dusted with icing sugar.
And using a ruler,
cut out 18 rectangles about 9cm long and 5cm wide with a pizza cutter.
Then I put them on a baking tray
and sprinkled them with lots of icing sugar,
and put them in the fridge to chill.
After half an hour, I put them into a 200 degree oven for five minutes,
sprinkled them with more icing sugar,
and baked them for five more minutes,
until the pastry turned golden brown.
You can really see how these have puffed up in the oven.
The name millefeuille means a thousand leaves,
and I can't see them, but I know they're in there somewhere.
I'm going to layer these up with some lemon cream,
which is just so easy to make.
Just put 165 grammes of whipping cream into a large bowl,
add 25 grammes of icing sugar and the seeds of one vanilla pod.
Now whip the cream until it just starts to thicken.
Add the zest of one lemon and a squeeze of lemon juice,
and fold it into the cream.
OK, this is my favourite bit - piping.
Give the bag a twist at the top,
and then just do blobs.
This is the bottom of the pastry, and it gets three layers.
I just love piping, it's one of my idiosyncrasies.
It's actually really easy to do.
Just put the nozzle down, squeeze,
and then stop squeezing and lift.
And if you don't have a piping bag,
you can easily just use a knife and spread it on that way,
but I love the way the little blobs look in this.
And then just take some blueberries,
and just plop them on the blobs.
It's quite funny, when I was working in restaurants,
none of them made their own puff pastry, all of it was bought in.
So there's no feeling guilty about using shop-bought puff.
So then just take the middle layer,
and it gets a squirt underneath, just like glue,
and then place it on the bottom.
And then another one.
Just a squidge on top, and press it down.
Now, that is a very elegant dessert.
Just put a splodge on your serving plate,
and then place the millefeuille on top, like that,
and then when you're carrying it around, it won't wobble over.
OK, I'm going to get on with the rest of them.
That looks beautiful.
You're going to make a lot of friends with this dessert.
Sprinkle them with lots of icing sugar.
There you are - millefeuille.
French pastry, easy as you like.
Now, I know the thought of making shortcrust pastry
often sends a shudder down most people's spines,
and that you can buy your own.
And sometimes, if I'm really rushed, I do.
But my shortcrust pastry recipe is so easy to make in a food processor.
It's buttery, crumbly, and totally lovely.
You just tip 250 grammes of plain flour into the food processor,
add 125 grammes of cubed cold butter,
and blitz it until it looks like breadcrumbs.
Add two egg yolks, which makes the pastry really rich,
and then a pinch of salt.
Give it a quick blitz, and if it starts to look dry,
just add one to two tablespoons of water
and blitz it again until it forms a rough ball.
Then squidge it together and cover in cling.
So, that's the pastry made.
Now, at this stage, you can chill it, freeze it
and make it into all manner of sweet and savoury dishes,
but what I've got in mind is a very unusual main course.
The fabulous, well, in my opinion, fig, cream cheese and mint tart.
I always think shortcrust is a patchwork pastry,
because it always falls apart,
and you're always patching it together when it's in the tin.
Well that's OK, it's just very crumbly.
OK. And, again, a palette knife, good if it's sticky,
just slide it underneath like that.
And then carefully fold it over.
So just lay it over the tin and very gently...
There. OK, now ease it down.
I like to get a little ball of pastry,
and then use that to get it into the corners.
And that way, I don't stick my finger through.
Take a knife, and just cut off the excess.
See, there's a piece there that's not looking so good,
so I'll just take a bit of the patchwork
and gently push it in there.
So I just take a wooden spoon, a bit of flour,
and then go all the way round in the grooves,
and it gives it a lovely finish when it comes out of the oven.
OK, that's good. So this is going in the fridge now for 15 minutes,
or until it's nice and firm.
When the tart shell has rested,
it gets blind-baked, which means baked without a filling.
Get the baking paper, slightly bigger than the tin,
and scrunch it up.
Then unscrunch it, and line the tin with it.
And you do this because it helps the paper sit more snugly in the tin.
Fill it with baking beans or dried beans to weigh the pastry down
so you get a nice, flat base.
Get it into the oven at 180 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.
OK, so the tart is cooked. Now to make the filling.
It's such an easy filling to make.
You need 260ml of cream.
I'm using a whipping cream, you can use double cream.
You just want to whisk it until it starts to stiffen slightly.
The beauty of this is it's a no-cook filling. It's just so fast.
So I'm adding 165 grammes of cream cheese.
And then mix it all together. You want it to all be incorporated.
It looks a bit lumpy at first, but then it'll go smooth.
OK. Then I need a tablespoon of marsala,
optional, of course. But marsala is my favourite ingredient.
It just smells so good, and the beauty of it is it keeps for ages.
It's a sort of sweet fortified wine from Sicily.
Then some honey, three squidges of honey.
Gives it a lovely sweet flavour.
Just dollop that into the case.
Make sure all the bottom of the case is covered.
All right, now that's ready for the figs.
So these figs are going to get cut into quarters
and then layered on top of the tart.
It really is such an easy, simple topping, and it's so, so stunning.
Start lining them up, and it's all how you present them.
I think that looks so pretty where you have them standing upright,
that lovely red and green together.
OK, now for the next 15.
We need some mint, snip some over the top.
And you can also use basil, ripped basil, over this,
but I just think mint goes beautifully.
And, lastly, some pistachio nibs.
OK, that's ready. So easy.
OK, who's first?
Looks too good to eat!
-Mmm! Oh, my goodness!
That is divine.
Really, really good.
I just love online shopping.
Cos you can get everything you need, and everything that you don't!
I used to spend hours in the kitchen
making sugar flowers and chocolate cigarillos,
but now you can get everything you need at the touch of a button.
Ah, chocolate cigarillos.
These are the fruits of my online shopping labour.
These are totally going to transform a boring old chocolate cake
into something amazing.
So I've already creamed 200 grammes of butter and sugar in here,
because I'm making a chocolate sponge for this really cool cake.
These chocolate cigarillos go all the way around the sponge,
sandwiched with buttercream,
and then there's a big pile of raspberries on top,
and I call it the "I can't believe you made that" cake,
because when you make it, people always say,
"I can't believe you made that!"
So, 140 grammes of flour in there, 60 grammes of cocoa powder,
a pinch of salt,
and two teaspoons of baking powder.
That's all the dry goods. I'm going to add the dry goods and the eggs in two lots.
Two eggs first, crack them into the bowl,
eggs, free-range if you can,
and half the flour,
and give it a mix.
I make my cakes this way cos I think it's the best way to make cakes.
I prefer to use plain flour and not self-raising
because I use baking powder with it,
and you can adjust the amount it rises.
Because often cakes dip in the middle, or don't rise properly.
A quick whisk.
I also find this way, it stops the mixture from curdling.
Another two eggs.
And then the rest of the powdered mix in like that.
Get it all incorporated.
Oh, that looks so chocolatey!
And then into the pan.
OK, in it goes.
Scrape it all out. You don't want to waste any.
So I've got my tin here,
and I've lined it with greaseproof.
Level it out. OK, this goes into the oven
for 30 to 40 minutes at 180 degrees.
Now the chocolate buttercream, yum! Love it.
250 grammes of softened butter and 500 of icing sugar.
That's fine. And then, mixer on.
Tea towel. To stop the icing sugar from flying around,
I always put a tea towel over the top.
Go slowly at first, and then whack it up.
OK, so let that beat.
Get it nice and creamy and light and fluffy.
Then 100 grammes of melted chocolate. It smells really good.
And make sure it's been cooled, cos if you add it when it's too hot,
it'll just curdle, and the mixture will go into a big mess.
Just give that a quick mix.
And I find the best way to melt chocolate is in the microwave,
just 20 to 30 second blasts, mixing it in between each one.
Don't be tempted to put it all in for two minutes cos it will burn,
and burnt chocolate tastes horrible.
Now for my cake. I've got my cake in the tin. It's nice and cool.
Right, so I just peel off the paper,
and then put it on the board.
Get a dollop of buttercream, and that'll act like glue.
And I've used the bottom as the top because it's lovely and flat.
So just mark it all the way round.
And if you don't have one of these turntables,
you can use a bowl upside-down with a tray on it.
Just saw all the way through.
I'm going to put a lovely layer of buttercream inside.
A nice big dollop of buttercream.
And then just smooth it all the way round.
OK. Top goes on.
Squish it down a bit. And then the sides and top.
And then once you've done that, just hold the knife in one position,
turn the board all the way round, and then off.
And then we can smooth these edges into the centre.
There you go. See, it's not perfect, but it doesn't matter,
because it's going to get some cigarillos all the way around it.
I'm going to put it in the fridge now so it can harden,
and then it's going to get another layer of chocolate for extra chocolatiness.
When the buttercream has set, and it takes about 15 minutes or so,
you can do the second layer.
If you do two layers, it is much easier to make it nice and straight
with good squared-off edges.
Now for the magic bit,
putting the cigarillos on the cake.
Just put them at right angles, make sure they're at right angles,
and then all the way round,
and these ones have a little join here, so if you can,
I always put them on the inside if I remember.
I've been invited to a party but I can't go,
so I'm going to send the cake in my place.
When you see cakes like this in the shops and the magazines,
you never think you'll be able to make a cake like it.
But now you can.
So now the raspberries go on.
Normally some cigarillos go astray,
but you can just pop them back on again.
I just love, love raspberries.
When I was at school, at primary school, I made raspberry buns,
and I've been in love with raspberries ever since.
A few more - just one fallen off.
So that's it. Beautiful.
And, you know, you could do whatever you liked with this cake.
You could use white cigarillos with white roses -
it'd look so beautiful for a wedding.
Now, that cake really is going to knock people's socks off.
Guys, Lorraine Pascale's cake!
-Oh, my God!
-My God! Look at it.
Better be strong!
-I can't believe she made this!
I know. She's too clever.
-How good is that?
-That is delish. I'm going to eat the whole thing now!
My inbox. I've got an e-mail about that cake.
"Darling Lorraine, thank you for the cake that you made.
"Absolutely delicious and beautiful.
"I can't believe it!"
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Chef, baker and patissier Lorraine Pascale shares her secrets, passion and knowledge on baking sweet and savoury recipes. Featuring old favourites as well as new twists on modern classics, and tips on helpful shortcuts, techniques and kitchen secrets for baking.
The show kicks off with a feat of baking engineering - parmesan and poppy seed lollipops that are actually one of the simplest and fastest things you can bake. Then it's time for some insider know how, as Lorraine goes through her baker's dozen of essential kit. It is back to the kitchen for soda bread after that - no kneading, no rising, no effort - fresh bread doesn't get easier than this.
Even classic French patisserie gets the easy treatment. Lorraine's blueberry and lemon millefeuilles are full of incredible shortcuts. She's sharing her basic recipe for shortcrust pastry, which makes a fantastic case for a stunning fig, cream cheese and mint tart.
And to impress with baking, there is the 'I Can't Believe You Made That!' cake. It's chocolatey, stunning to look at, heavenly to eat and, of course, so easy.