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Baked Items

Jean Philippe (Las Vegas)

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Jean Philippe (Las Vegas)

If you are ever in Las Vegas and want to visit one of the worlds best chocolatiers and pastry chefs you have to visit Jean Philippe in the Bellagio Hotel .  Jean Philippe is a master chocolatier and pastry chef recognized around the world.  In the 90's and  2000's you could find him everywhere on tv, magazines, and all over New York and Europe.  You don't hear so much about him these days because you have younger talent working their way up the ranks but he is world renowned and someone who paved a lot paths for younger chefs.

When you walk by the shop, you can't help but notice the gigantic chocolate fountains that flow like like rivers from the ceiling all the way down to the floor.  As you enter the shop you are overwhelmed with all kinds of chocolates and pastries that fill this small side shop in the Bellagio hotel.  

For my wife and I, we drool walking into a shop like this, because everything looks so great and we really love pastries.  We want to try everything but know we can only stomach a few things; but I guess that is a dilemma we gladly accept.  Living in Austin you don't see a lot of pastry shops with European caliber, although there are a few scattered around the city.

I think my wife and I got two different pastries each and few chocolates.  To say they were delicious was an understatement.  Here are a few images from the shop filled with tarts, flans, opera, Napoleons, and so much more.


Chocolate Eagle made completely out of chocolate.

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Croissants

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Croissants

Is there anything better than a freshly baked croissant?  I thought I knew what a real croissants were until I went to Paris.  My eyes were opened and they have definitely perfected the true croissant.  I remember in Paris, these gigantic light and airy croissants that was nothing like the croissant you get here in the grocery store.  I will say in the last number of years though you can find some great bakers and pastry shops who are making some great croissants comparable to the parisienne ones.  I am no pastry chef or true baker for that matter, but I do like to dabble from time to time.  I don't have as much experience in baking as I do in savory and maybe that's why I enjoy diving into the baking side of cooking.  This recipe is another from the master pastry chef Bo friberg.  

Croissants

24 oz of bread flour

1 tsp of lemon juice

20 ounces of chilled unsalted butter

2 ounces of compressed yeast or 1 ounce of dry active yeast

2 cups of cold whole milk

2 tbsp plus 2 tsp of sugar

2 tbsp of honey

1 tbsp plus 1 tsp of salt

egg wash

 

For the croissants,

This batch makes roughly 30 croissants.  Work the lemon juice and 2 ounces of flour into the butter by kneading it in a bowl by hand. Then shape the butter into a 5 inch square.  Place it onto parchment and set aside.  If your kitchen is hot place it back in the refrigerator for a few minutes but don't let it get too hard.  In a stand mixer dissolve yeast in cold milk.  Then add sugar, honey, and the salt.  Mix for a few seconds using the dough hook.  Then on low start adding your flour until the dough is slightly firm.  Try not to over mix if possible.  Then place the dough on a lightly dusted table and roll out to a 10 inch square.  Then make sure the butter is smooth consistency and place the butter square diagonally  on the dough.  Then fold in the sides of the dough to seal the butter.  Then turn the dough 3 times. 

To turn the dough roll the dough into a 1/2 inch rectangle. Then divide the dough lightly with the edge of your hand into thirds. Fold one third of the dough over the middle section and then bring the remaining third over the folded section like your closing a book.  Refrigerate covered for 30 minutes.  That is one turn.  Make sure that you brush any excess flour off of the dough.  Then position the dough so the long sides run horizontally, roll the dough to the same size rectangle as before and make the second single turn.  Chill covered for 30 minutes and then make the last turn and let it rest another hour. 

Then take your dough and roll each out into a rectangle about 1/8 inch thick.  Divide the dough lengthwise to make two strips. Make a mark ever 4 1/2 inches on the dough on the top and the bottom.  Using a ruler and a knife cut triangles out of the dough.  Then take the triangles and cut a little slit at the base.  Then roll the croissants starting at the base up to the tip, you can hold the tip to help you roll a tight croissant.  Place the tip on the bottom of the croissant.  Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment.  Then proof the croissants at about 80 degrees for about an hour and half.  If the croissants don't proof enough butter will leak out when baking.  At this point the croissants can be frozen if baking for another time.  When ready to bake preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Then brush the croissants with egg wash.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.  Serve and enjoy!

 

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