et voilà! - French pastries from Choux Café, Perth, WA

The secrets of pastry chef Emmanuel Mollois

By Tricia Brown
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Et voila! French pastries from Choux Cafe by Emmanuel Mollois

Et voila! French pastries from Choux Cafe by Emmanuel Mollois [©Fremantle Press]

Chef Emmanuel Mollois, author of Et voila! French pastries from Choux Cafe

 

There is nothing that reminds me more of my childhood than the smell of baking. It was usually a baking cake but my mother, like many of her generation, was an excellent baker turning out fabulous pastries, pies and tarts with ease.

When I left home my only "baking" experience for many years was the Sunday morning croissant bought from the local patisserie but then as chef Emmanuel Mollois says, "A Sunday morning without a croissant is like a Sunday morning without the sun!" It's an indulgence I continue with to this day.

There is something about baking that is so satisfying to see, to do, to smell and to read about. We haven't even gotten to the best part yet which of course is the eating. "One pastry will lift your mood for the whole day!" Words of wisdom from Emmanuel's mother and something I can truly relate to.

Chef Emmanuel Mollois' irrepressible enthusiasm is baked into every page of this gorgeous cookbook. You'll be tempted by the delicious and easy-to-follow recipes and seduced by photographer Karin Calvert-Borshoff's mouth-watering pictures.

Emmanuel has selected some of the most popular French pastries. All the favourites are here: croissants, éclairs, lemon tart, créme brulee, madeleines, truffles, cherry clafoutis and more.

"Pastry is one of those little pleasures in life we think we don't need," Emmanuel says. "But every day we - well, I - have an urge for something sweet, particularly after a lovely dinner. A little pastry finishes off a meal so nicely, don't you think?"

Chef Emmanuel Mollois has two rules apparent throughout the book:

Baking - Use only the very best, freshest, seasonal local produce and ingredients you can find.

Eating - Eat essentially for pleasure, do not deny yourself, however do so with moderation.

Whilst I may not be up to making my own Sunday morning croissants, the Tarte aux pommes normande, a traditional Normandy apple tart, will surely impress friends and family. As would the very moist flourless chocolate cake (Gâteau au chocolat sans farine) which is recommended to be served with pistachio ice cream or a homemade pear sorbet.

The Mon nougat glacé aux fruits secs would be the perfect lighter alternative to the more heavy and traditional Christmas pudding. This nougat ice cream with dried fruit served with a coulis of blended raspberries would make a sensational end to any meal.

There is an extensive introductory chapter covering the basics, with lots of step-by-step illustrations. Once you have mastered the basics you will have what you need to make every recipe in the book. All recipes have been created with the home cook in mind.

From the humble biscuit - a great afternoon treat for the whole family - to the more exotic pastries, it's all here.

Originally from the Vendée region on the Atlantic coast, Emmanuel established himself as a chef in renowned Parisian restaurants like Pavillon Puebla and Petrus. Since arriving in Australia 12 years ago (and not speaking any English) he has worked in La Brasserie in Toorak Road, Melbourne and The Willows in St Kilda Road, Melbourne. He was also head pastry chef at the award-winning Loose Box restaurant in Mundaring in Western Australia before opening the Choux Café in Swanbourne, Perth.

The Choux Café was recently judged 'best in the west" by the Sunday Times. The Chef's regular pastry cooking classes are a huge hit and are always full.

 

et voilà! French pastries from Choux Café by Emmanuel Mollois is published by Fremantle Press (2009; RRP A$45.00). Subscribers of VisitVineyards.com and Winepros Archive can purchase this book at 12.5% discount from our book partners Seekbooks (postage extra).

 

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November 06th, 2009
 
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