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Meet Pasty, your virtual pastry expert on theory, ingredients, techniques, and troubleshooting.

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What questions can I ask?

From formulating recipes, mastering cooking techniques, troubleshooting baking errors, delving into theoretical aspects, or exploring ingredients, PastryClassAI is the go-to place where every pastry question finds an answer.

Can you give me ideas of decorating tarts?

How to make butter into sheets by hand?

Hi Pasty, can you give me the mirror glaze recipe?

Why is my pate sucree dough too soft and sticky?

Ask smart. Become smart.

What's the right way to ask questions?

Question number 1

The right way to ask:

Ways to protect tart from becoming soggy from the moisture of filling overtime.

The answer you'll get:

To prevent a tart from becoming soggy due to the moisture from the filling over time, you can take several precautions and follow these tips:

1. Prebake the crust: Blind baking the tart crust before adding the filling creates a barrier that helps prevent moisture from seeping into the crust. To do this, line the crust with parchment paper or foil, fill it with pie weights or dried beans, and bake it until it's partially cooked before adding the filling.

2. Use a thin layer of a moisture barrier: Spread a thin layer of a moisture-resistant ingredient over the prebaked crust before adding the filling. Some options include melted chocolate, apricot or fruit preserves, or a thin layer of almond or hazelnut meal.

3. Thicken the filling: For fillings with high moisture content, consider thickening them with ingredients like cornstarch, flour, or ground nuts. This will help absorb excess moisture and prevent it from making the crust soggy.

4. Allow the filling to cool: If your tart has a hot or warm filling, allow it to cool to room temperature before placing it in the prebaked crust. This prevents the condensation formed by the hot filling from making the crust soggy.

5. Layer ingredients strategically: Place a layer of fruits or other moisture-heavy ingredients between the prebaked crust and a moisture-resistant barrier like a thin layer of chocolate or ganache. This will create a protective barrier between the crust and the filling.

6. Seal the crust: If your tart has a removable bottom, it's essential to ensure a tight seal between the bottom and the sides of the pan. This will help prevent any moisture from seeping through the cracks.

7. Use a glaze or gelatin: For fruit tarts, brushing a thin layer of apricot or fruit jelly or making a fruit glaze can help seal the fruit and reduce moisture penetration. You can also stabilize the fruit with a thin layer of dissolved gelatin.

8. Serve soon after assembling: Tarts are best when served shortly after assembling. The longer a tart sits with the filling, the more likely it is to become soggy.

9. Store properly: If you need to store the tart, do so in the refrigerator, but cover it loosely to allow air circulation and prevent condensation from forming on the surface. It's best to store the tart uncovered if you can protect it from dust and contaminants.

By following these tips, you can help prevent your tart from becoming soggy due to the moisture from the filling over time and ensure that it remains delicious and visually appealing.

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Question number 2

The right way to ask:

How to avoid cream lumps at the bottom of the pot when making cream anglaise?

The answer you'll get:

To avoid cream lumps at the bottom of the pot when making crème anglaise (a classic French custard sauce), follow these tips and techniques:

1. Tempering the eggs: The main reason for lumps in crème anglaise is the curdling of the eggs. To prevent this, you should temper the eggs first. This involves slowly adding a small amount of the hot cream mixture into the beaten eggs while whisking vigorously. This brings the temperature of the eggs up gradually, preventing them from curdling when added back to the hot pot of cream.

2. Use low to medium heat: Heat the cream mixture over low to medium heat, rather than high heat. This slower heating process helps to ensure the eggs cook evenly and reduces the risk of curdling.

3. Constant stirring: Continuously stir the cream mixture with a whisk or wooden spoon while it's heating. This helps distribute the heat evenly and prevents any spots from overheating and causing lumps.

4. Don't boil: Avoid boiling the cream mixture. Once it reaches the desired thickness and coats the back of a spoon, remove it from the heat immediately.

5. Straining: Even with careful preparation, tiny lumps may still form. To ensure a smooth texture, strain the crème anglaise through a fine-mesh sieve or a cheesecloth. This will remove any potential lumps or bits of cooked egg, leaving you with a silky-smooth sauce.

6. Cooling properly: Allow the strained crème anglaise to cool at room temperature for a while before refrigerating it. This helps the flavors to develop and ensures a smooth consistency.

By following these steps and taking care while making crème anglaise, you can avoid those unwanted cream lumps and achieve a velvety, luxurious custard sauce.

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Question number 3

The right way to ask:

Can I freeze kouign amann dough overnight?

The answer you'll get:

Yes, you can freeze kouign amann dough overnight, or for longer periods if needed. Freezing the dough is a common practice in baking to prepare in advance and save time. To freeze kouign amann dough, follow these steps:

1. Prepare the dough: Follow your kouign amann dough recipe as usual, up to the point just before you would shape and bake the pastries.

2. Shape the dough: After allowing the dough to rise, shape it into the desired form, such as rounds, squares, or individual pastries. You can use this opportunity to add layers of butter and sugar, which are traditional in kouign amann.

3. Wrap the dough: Wrap the shaped dough tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Ensure it's well sealed to keep out air and moisture.

4. Label and date: It's a good practice to label the wrapped dough with the date, so you know how long it has been frozen. This can be especially helpful if you have multiple items in your freezer.

5. Freeze: Place the wrapped kouign amann dough in the freezer. It's recommended to use it within 1 to 2 months for the best results, but it can be kept longer if properly stored.

6. Thaw and bake: When you're ready to bake the kouign amann, transfer the frozen dough to the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight or for several hours. Once it's thawed, follow your recipe's baking instructions.

Remember that freezing the dough may affect the final texture slightly, but it's a convenient way to prepare kouign amann in advance without compromising the flavor. Additionally, freezing allows you to enjoy fresh, homemade pastries whenever you desire without the need for lengthy preparation on the day you plan to bake them.

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Question number 4

The right way to ask:

What is the importance of adding proteins to caramels?

The answer you'll get:

Adding proteins, often in the form of dairy products like cream or milk (or gelatin), to caramel recipes serves several important purposes:

Texture and Creaminess: Proteins in dairy products contribute to the smooth and creamy texture of caramels. When combined with sugar and heated, these proteins help prevent the caramel from becoming overly crystallized and grainy, resulting in a velvety mouthfeel.

Emulsification: Proteins have emulsifying properties, which means they help disperse fat molecules evenly throughout the caramel mixture. This contributes to a consistent texture and prevents the caramel from separating into distinct layers of fat and sugar.

Flavor Balance: The proteins in dairy products can balance the intense sweetness of caramel by adding a slightly savory and rich flavor. This flavor contrast enhances the overall taste experience of the caramel.

Preventing Crystallization: Caramelization involves the breakdown of sugar molecules into various compounds, including glucose and fructose. These compounds have a natural tendency to crystallize as they cool. Proteins can interfere with this crystallization process, helping to keep the caramel smooth and soft rather than becoming gritty.

Stability: Proteins provide structural stability to caramels. They help bind the ingredients together and prevent the caramel from becoming too brittle or fragile.

Reducing Boiling Over: When making caramel, the addition of cream or milk (or gelatin) can help reduce the risk of the mixture boiling over, helping control the formation of large bubbles that can lead to spills.

Color and Flavor Development: The Maillard reaction, which is responsible for the browning and development of complex flavors in caramel, is enhanced by the presence of proteins. This results in a deeper color and a more intricate flavor profile.

It’s important to note that the exact type and amount of proteins used can influence the final texture and flavor of the caramel. Heavy cream, milk, condensed milk, and other variations can all yield slightly different results. Additionally, different recipes and applications might call for specific types of proteins to achieve the desired outcome.

In summary, the addition of proteins, usually in the form of dairy products, to caramel recipes plays a crucial role in achieving a creamy texture, preventing crystallization, enhancing flavor, and contributing to the overall quality of the caramel confection.

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Question number 5

The right way to ask:

What is difference between pectin and xanthan gum? Is it possible to replace one with the other?

The answer you'll get:

Pectin and xanthan gum are both food additives that are used for thickening, stabilizing, and improving the texture of various food products. However, they have different sources, properties, and uses:

1. Source:

  1. Pectin: Pectin is a naturally occurring polysaccharide found in the cell walls of fruits, especially in apples, citrus fruits, and berries. It is extracted from these fruit sources for commercial use.
  2. Xanthan Gum: Xanthan gum is produced through a fermentation process using bacteria (Xanthomonas campestris) and a sugar source, often derived from corn or wheat.

2. Composition:

  1. Pectin: Pectin is a complex mixture of polysaccharides, primarily composed of galacturonic acid units. It forms a gel when combined with sugar and acid, making it useful in jams, jellies, and fruit preserves.
  2. Xanthan Gum: Xanthan gum is a polysaccharide composed of glucose, mannose, and glucuronic acid units. It is a long-chain polymer that can create a thick, gooey texture in water-based solutions.

3. Texture and Thickening:

  1. Pectin: Pectin is commonly used to create a gel-like texture in jams, jellies, and fruit spreads. It requires the presence of sugar and acid to form a gel.
  2. Xanthan Gum: Xanthan gum is a versatile thickener that can be used in a wide range of food products, including salad dressings, sauces, and gluten-free baked goods. It can thicken liquids without the need for sugar or acid.

4. Compatibility:

  1. Pectin: Pectin is most effective in acidic environments, so it is mainly used in fruit-based products. It may not work well in neutral or alkaline conditions.
  2. Xanthan Gum: Xanthan gum is stable over a wide pH range and can be used in both acidic and alkaline solutions.

5. Allergens and Dietary Considerations:

  1. Pectin: Pectin is generally well-tolerated and does not pose significant allergenic concerns. It is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
  2. Xanthan Gum: Xanthan gum is considered safe for most people but can cause gastrointestinal discomfort in some individuals when consumed in large amounts. It is gluten-free, making it suitable for gluten-sensitive or celiac individuals.

In summary, the main differences between pectin and xanthan gum are their sources, composition, uses, and compatibility with different food products. Pectin is primarily used for fruit-based gels, while xanthan gum is a versatile thickener and stabilizer that can be used in a broader range of food applications. The choice between them depends on the specific requirements of the recipe and the desired texture of the final product.

If you were to substitute pectin with xanthan gum, it would not only require adjusting the quantity but also developing an entirely new recipe with different ingredients and components to complement each other's reactions. Some fruit fillings incorporate xanthan gum as a gelling agent, but they constitute entirely distinct recipes.

Additionally, it's important to mention that xanthan gum may not perform well under freezing conditions.

Unfortunately, due to their different origins and reactions, these two ingredients cannot be interchanged with one another.

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Question number 6

The right way to ask:

What is t45 flour in Indonesia?

The answer you'll get:

In Indonesia, you may not commonly find flour labeled as "T45" as it is a European flour classification system. T45 refers to a type of wheat flour that is finely milled and has a lower protein content compared to other flours. It is typically used for making delicate pastries, cakes, and pastas.

In Indonesia, flour is commonly classified based on protein content and not using the T-number system. The most commonly used flours in Indonesia include:

All-Purpose Flour (Tepung Terigu): This is a versatile flour used for a wide range of baking and cooking purposes, including making bread, cakes, cookies, and pastries. It usually has a moderate protein content.

Cake Flour (Tepung Kue): This is a finer and lower-protein flour often used for making light and tender cakes and pastries.

Bread Flour (Tepung Roti): This flour has a higher protein content and is suitable for making bread, pizza dough, and other yeast-based products.

Pastry Flour (Tepung Pastry): This flour has a protein content that falls between cake flour and bread flour and is used for making various pastries.

Self-Rising Flour (Tepung Self-Rising): This is all-purpose flour that has been pre-mixed with baking powder and salt, making it suitable for quick bread recipes.

If you're looking for a flour similar to T45 for delicate pastry recipes, you may want to consider using cake flour or a similar low-protein flour available in your local market. Always check the protein content on the packaging to ensure it matches your specific baking needs.

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Question number 7

The right way to ask:

Why marshmallow or meringue dough can't be frozen?

The answer you'll get:

Marshmallow and meringue dough cannot be frozen because of the unique properties and structure of these mixtures.

Structure and Texture: Both marshmallow and meringue rely on the incorporation of air into a sugar syrup or egg whites to create their characteristic fluffy and airy texture. Freezing disrupts this delicate structure by forming ice crystals, which can cause the mixture to lose its lightness and become dense and grainy upon thawing.

Moisture Content: Marshmallow and meringue contain a significant amount of moisture, which can turn into ice when frozen. When the mixture thaws, the ice melts, releasing water into the mixture, which can result in a soggy, undesirable texture.

Stability: These mixtures are not designed to withstand freezing and thawing cycles. Freezing can lead to a breakdown of the stability and consistency of marshmallow and meringue, causing them to become limp and unappealing.

Flavor Changes: Freezing can also alter the flavor of marshmallow and meringue. It may cause off-flavors or a loss of the characteristic taste and sweetness associated with these treats.

To enjoy the best texture and flavor of marshmallow or meringue-based dishes, it's recommended to make and use them fresh. If you need to prepare these components ahead of time, it's better to store them in an airtight container at room temperature for marshmallows or in the refrigerator for meringue-based dishes for short-term storage, but they should be consumed relatively quickly to maintain their quality.

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Question number 8

The right way to ask:

What factors can be the reason that pate sucree is bad: soft and sticky?

The answer you'll get:

If your pâte sucrée (sweet pastry dough) is turning out soft and sticky instead of having the desired crisp and crumbly texture, several factors could be contributing to this issue. Here are some common reasons:

1. Overworking the Dough: One of the most common reasons for a soft and sticky pâte sucrée is overworking the dough. When you knead or mix the dough too much, it activates the gluten in the flour, leading to a tougher and stickier texture. To avoid this, handle the dough gently and only mix it until the ingredients come together.

2. Excessive Moisture: Too much moisture in the dough can make it soft and sticky. Ensure that you are using the correct proportions of ingredients. If the dough is too wet, it can be helpful to add a bit more flour to achieve the desired consistency.

3. Temperature: The temperature of the ingredients and the environment can affect the dough's texture. If your butter is too soft or the dough is worked in a warm kitchen, it can become sticky. Make sure your butter is cold and the dough is kept chilled while working with it.

4. Overrolling: Rolling the dough too thin or too much can make it soft and sticky. Follow the recipe's instructions for the thickness of the dough, and avoid excessive rolling.

5. Inadequate Resting Time: Allowing the dough to rest in the refrigerator before rolling it out is crucial. This resting time helps relax the gluten and prevents the dough from becoming tough and sticky.

6. Incorrect Mixing Method: Make sure you are using the right mixing method. Some recipes call for rubbing the butter into the dry ingredients, while others involve cutting the butter into small pieces and then mixing it in.

7. Flour Type: The type of flour you use can affect the dough's texture. Pâte sucrée is typically made with all-purpose flour, but if you use a flour with a higher protein content, it can lead to a tougher texture.

8. Butter Quality: The quality of butter matters. Using a high-quality butter with a higher fat content can contribute to a better texture.

9. Overbaking: Baking the dough for too long can also result in a soft and sticky texture. Follow the recipe's baking time and temperature guidelines closely.

10. Improper Storage: If you store the dough improperly before or after rolling it out, it can become soft and sticky. Always store it in the refrigerator and cover it well to prevent moisture loss.

11. Inaccurate Measurement: Ensure that you are accurately measuring your ingredients, especially flour and butter. Using too much or too little can affect the dough's consistency.

To troubleshoot and improve your pâte sucrée, consider these factors and make adjustments as needed. Following the recipe instructions closely and practicing your pastry-making techniques can help you achieve the desired texture in your sweet pastry dough.

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Question number 9

The right way to ask:

How to make almond paste?

The answer you'll get:

Making almond paste professionally involves precision and attention to detail to ensure a smooth and consistent texture. Almond paste is a key ingredient in many pastry and confectionery recipes, such as marzipan, almond-filled pastries, and cakes. Here's a professional-grade almond paste recipe:


  1. 2 cups blanched almonds (about 300g)
  2. 2 cups powdered sugar (confectioner's sugar)
  3. 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  4. 1 teaspoon almond extract
  5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/4 cup water


1. Blanch and Dry the Almonds:

  1. Start by blanching the almonds to remove their skins. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the almonds, and let them boil for about 1-2 minutes. Drain and rinse them under cold water.
  2. Pat the almonds dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels.

2. Grind the Almonds:

  1. Place the blanched and dried almonds in a food processor. Pulse the almonds until they are finely ground. Be careful not to over-process, or you may end up with almond butter.

3. Combine the Ingredients:

  1. In a separate bowl, combine the powdered sugar, corn syrup, almond extract, salt, and water.

4. Make a Sugar Paste:

  1. Transfer the ground almonds to the bowl with the sugar mixture.

5. Knead the Almond Paste:

  1. Use a spatula or your hands to mix the ingredients until a crumbly mixture forms.

6. Knead the Mixture:

  1. Dump the mixture onto a clean, smooth surface (such as a marble pastry board or countertop) lightly dusted with powdered sugar.
  2. Knead the mixture together until it forms a smooth and pliable almond paste. This may take a few minutes of kneading.

7. Wrap and Rest:

  1. Shape the almond paste into a disc and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap.
  2. Let it rest in the refrigerator for at least a few hours or overnight. Resting allows the flavors to meld and the texture to become more uniform.

8. Use as Needed:

  1. Your professionally made almond paste is ready to use in various recipes. Roll it out to cover cakes, shape it into decorative figures, or use it as a filling for pastries.

9. Storage:

  1. Store any leftover almond paste in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month or in the freezer for longer storage.

This professional almond paste recipe should give you a high-quality product suitable for a wide range of pastry and confectionery applications. Remember that precision and care are essential when making almond paste to achieve the desired consistency and flavor.

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Question number 10

The right way to ask:

Why pain au chocolat looks wrong after baking, with collapsed layers, what could be the reasons?

The answer you'll get:

Collapsed layers in pain au chocolat (chocolate croissants) after baking can occur due to several reasons:

Overproofing: If the dough is left to rise for too long before baking, the yeast can produce too much gas, causing the layers to collapse.

Incorrect shaping: If the dough is not rolled or shaped properly, it can lead to uneven layering, which may result in collapsed layers.

Inadequate chilling: Properly chilling the dough between folds is essential to maintain the distinct layers. If the dough becomes too warm, the butter can melt and cause layers to merge.

Low-quality butter: Using low-fat or low-quality butter can lead to the layers not separating properly during baking.

Baking temperature and time: Baking at too high a temperature or for too long can cause the layers to collapse before they have a chance to set.

Humidity: High humidity in your kitchen or oven can affect the dough's texture and rise, potentially leading to collapsed layers.

To improve the appearance of your pain au chocolat, ensure you follow a reliable recipe, pay attention to proofing times, and handle the dough and butter carefully to maintain those delicate layers.

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Question number 11

The right way to ask:

How to make butter into a sheet by hand, also considering you work in warm temperature, will this affect the results? What options do I have?

The answer you'll get:

Making a butter sheet by hand can be a bit challenging in warm temperatures, but it's possible with some extra care. Here's how you can do it:

Ingredients and Tools:

  1. Cold unsalted butter
  2. Parchment paper or plastic wrap
  3. Rolling pin


1. Chill the Butter: Start with very cold butter. Place it in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes before you begin. You want the butter to be firm but not rock-hard.

2. Prepare the Butter: Place the cold butter between two sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap. The parchment paper helps prevent sticking.

3. Flatten the Butter: Use a rolling pin to gently pound and flatten the butter into a rectangular sheet. Start by pressing down with even, light strokes. Gradually increase the pressure, but be careful not to pound it too hard, especially in warm temperatures, as it can cause the butter to soften too much.

4. Shape the Sheet: Continue rolling and shaping the butter until you have a rectangular sheet that's about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Try to maintain an even thickness throughout.

5. Chill If Needed: If at any point during this process, you notice the butter becoming too soft or sticky, place it back in the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes to firm up. It's crucial to keep the butter as cold as possible without freezing it.

6. Use Immediately: Once you have your butter sheet, use it immediately in your recipe, such as for laminating dough for croissants or pastry. The goal is to have the butter sheet be similar in consistency to the dough you're working with.

Warm temperatures can make this process more challenging, so working quickly and being mindful of butter softening is essential. If you find that the butter is softening too quickly, you may need to work in a cooler environment or use a marble pastry board, which naturally stays cooler. Additionally, you can use shorter, more frequent chilling periods to keep the butter cold during the rolling process.

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Question number 12

The right way to ask:

Why butter can be leaking during proofing when laminating pastry?

The answer you'll get:

Butter can leak during the proofing process when laminating pastry due to a few different factors:

1. Temperature: The temperature of the laminated dough and the surrounding environment can play a significant role in butter leakage. If the dough is too warm or the room temperature is too high, the butter inside the dough can start to melt and become more liquid. This can lead to leakage during proofing.

2. Overworking the Dough: Overworking the laminated dough during the folding and rolling process can cause the layers to break, which can result in butter escaping from between the layers. It's essential to handle the dough gently and not roll it too thin or too aggressively.

3. Inadequate Sealing: Properly sealing the edges of the laminated dough is crucial to prevent butter leakage. If the layers are not sealed correctly, the butter can ooze out as the dough expands during proofing.

4. Butter Quality: The quality of the butter used in laminated dough can also affect its stability during proofing. High-quality butter with a higher fat content is less likely to melt and leak compared to lower-quality butter.

5. Resting Time: Allowing the laminated dough to rest in the refrigerator between folds and turns is important to relax the gluten and allow the butter layers to firm up. If the dough is not given enough resting time, the butter can become too soft and lead to leakage during proofing.

To prevent butter from leaking during the proofing stage when laminating pastry, it's crucial to pay attention to these factors and ensure that you are working with the right dough temperature, handling the dough gently, sealing it properly, using quality butter, and giving the dough adequate resting time between folds and turns. Proper technique and temperature control are key to achieving the desired laminated pastry without leakage.

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Question number 13

The right way to ask:

Difference between glucose syrup and glucose powder?

The answer you'll get:

Glucose syrup and glucose powder are both products derived from glucose, a simple sugar (monosaccharide). However, they differ in their physical form, composition, and uses:

1. Physical Form:

  1. Glucose Syrup: It is a thick, viscous liquid with a high concentration of glucose. It is often clear or light in color and has a consistency similar to honey.
  2. Glucose Powder: Glucose powder, on the other hand, is a dry, crystalline or powdery substance. It is typically a fine, granulated powder.

2. Composition:

  1. Glucose Syrup: Glucose syrup is primarily composed of glucose molecules, but it may also contain other sugars such as maltose and dextrins. It can vary in sweetness depending on its composition and may contain 20-30% water.
  2. Glucose Powder: Glucose powder is almost entirely glucose in its purest form. It contains little to no water and is usually 100% glucose.

3. Uses:

  1. Glucose Syrup: Glucose syrup is commonly used as a sweetener in a wide range of food products, such as candies, desserts, and beverages. It is also used in the production of certain food items like ice cream, jams, and baked goods to prevent crystallization and improve texture.
  2. Glucose Powder: Glucose powder is often used as a quick source of energy for athletes and individuals who need a rapid energy boost. It can be added to drinks or used in recipes for energy bars, gels, and sports supplements. In some culinary applications, it is used to add sweetness and a smoother texture to recipes.

In summary, the primary difference between glucose syrup and glucose powder lies in their physical form and composition. Glucose syrup is a liquid with various sugar components, including glucose, while glucose powder is a dry, nearly pure form of glucose in a powdered state. Their uses also differ, with glucose syrup being a common sweetener and texture modifier in various foods, while glucose powder is often used for its rapid energy-release properties.

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Question number 14

The right way to ask:

What is the problem if Brioche Dough broke/exploded in the oven?

The answer you'll get:

If your brioche dough breaks or explodes in the oven, it can be due to several factors. Brioche is a rich and tender bread that relies on a delicate balance of ingredients and techniques. Here are some common reasons why brioche dough might behave this way in the oven:

1. Overproofing: Overproofing the dough can cause it to break or collapse in the oven. When dough is allowed to rise too much, the gluten structure becomes weak and cannot support the weight of the dough, leading to a collapse. Make sure you follow the recommended proofing times.

2. Too Much Fat: Brioche is known for its high butter content, but excessive fat can weaken the dough's structure. If you added too much butter, it may have caused the dough to break apart during baking.

3. High Temperature: Baking brioche at too high a temperature can cause it to rise and set too quickly, leading to a cracked appearance. Make sure to follow the recommended baking temperature for your brioche recipe.

4. Insufficient Gluten Development: Brioche dough should have a good gluten structure to hold its shape during baking. If the gluten was not adequately developed during mixing and kneading, the dough may not be able to withstand the pressure created by the gas expansion during baking.

5. Lack of Support: If you are making a brioche in a shape that requires support during baking, such as a brioche à tête, and you didn't use the appropriate molds or supports, the dough may spread or break apart.

6. Incorrect Mixing Technique: Brioche dough is typically mixed using the "indirect" or "sponge" method, where a pre-ferment (sponge) is created before mixing the final dough. If you didn't follow this method correctly, it can affect the dough's texture and structure.

To avoid these issues, it's important to carefully follow your brioche recipe, paying attention to proofing times, ingredient quantities, and mixing techniques. Properly developed gluten and balanced ingredients are key to a successful brioche that doesn't break or explode in the oven.

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Question number 15

The right way to ask:

How to store buttercream and what are the reasons it can turn yellow?

The answer you'll get:

Great question! Swiss meringue buttercream can indeed face challenges in different temperatures. Here are some tips from our pastry experts:

1. Room Temperature: Swiss meringue buttercream is safe at room temperature for a short duration, typically up to 2 days in a cold city. Beyond that, it's advisable to store it in the refrigerator.

2. Refrigeration: In the fridge, Swiss meringue buttercream can be stored for up to two weeks. Before using it after refrigeration, allow it to come to room temperature and then re-whip to restore its smooth consistency.

Stiffening and Yellowing:
1. Stiff Buttercream: If your buttercream becomes too stiff, it may be due to the butter being too cold or the meringue being over-whipped. To soften it, let it come to room temperature and then re-whip. If needed, add a small amount of room-temperature milk or cream while whipping.

2. Yellowing: Butter can turn yellow due to factors like the temperature and the type of butter used. To address this, whip the buttercream for an extended period. If the yellowing persists, you might consider using a butter with a lower carotene content, or you can add a tiny amount of purple food coloring to counteract the yellow tint.

Remember, the key is patience and gradual adjustments. Feel free to experiment in small batches to find the perfect balance for your Swiss meringue buttercream.

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Question number 16

The right way to ask:

What could be the problem when you make eclairs and they are dense, not airy?

The answer you'll get:

If your éclairs are turning out dense and not airy, there could be several factors contributing to the issue. Here are some possible reasons and solutions:

1. Overmixing the Dough:

  1. Problem: Overmixing the dough can lead to dense éclairs.
  2. Solution: Mix the dough just until the ingredients are combined. Overmixing can develop too much gluten, resulting in a dense texture.

2. Incorrect Flour Measurement:

  1. Problem: Using too much flour can make the dough dense.
  2. Solution: Ensure you measure your flour accurately. Use a kitchen scale if possible, or fluff the flour before measuring and then level it off with a flat edge.

3. Incorrect Egg Incorporation:

  1. Problem: Not incorporating the eggs properly can affect the texture.
  2. Solution: Add the eggs one at a time, ensuring each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. This helps in achieving a lighter texture.

4. Oven Temperature:

  1. Problem: Incorrect oven temperature can affect the rise of éclairs.
  2. Solution: Preheat your oven properly and bake the éclairs at the recommended temperature. Too low a temperature can result in underbaking and a dense texture.

5. Underbaking:

  1. Problem: Not baking the éclairs long enough can lead to a dense interior.
  2. Solution: Bake until the éclairs are golden brown and have a hollow sound when tapped. Make sure they are fully cooked through.

6. Moisture Content:

  1. Problem: Excessive moisture in the dough can lead to a dense result.
  2. Solution: Ensure that your ingredients are fresh, and avoid adding too much liquid. The éclair dough should be a smooth, but not overly wet, consistency.

7. Piping Technique:

  1. Problem: Incorrect piping technique can result in uneven éclairs.
  2. Solution: Use a piping bag with a large enough opening and pipe the éclairs evenly to ensure uniform baking and rising.

8. Filling Technique:

  1. Problem: Overfilling or underfilling the éclairs can affect the texture.
  2. Solution: Fill the éclairs with the pastry cream or filling of your choice evenly. Overfilled éclairs may not rise properly.

9. Cooling:

  1. Problem: Improper cooling can affect the texture.
  2. Solution: Allow the éclairs to cool completely on a wire rack. Cutting them open too soon can cause them to collapse.

By addressing these potential issues, you should be able to achieve lighter and airier éclairs.

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