Bake Like a Pro

February 20, 2015

Toronto-based pastry chef, Asima, has quite the story to tell. She left her HR position in the financial industry to move to Paris and attend Le Cordon Bleu, where she graduated with top honors. Her culinary adventures continued there while working at the Michelin star restaurant, Les Ambassadeurs, alongside Chef Jerome Chaucesse, as well as with Chef Claire Damon at the boutique patisserie, des Gateaux et du Pain. Upon returning to Toronto, she worked at one of the largest Canadian pastry companies, and now she has five pro tips to share with us on how to elevate your baking!

Tip #1

When baking meringues or macarons, it's always best to use aged egg whites. This can be done by simply separating the eggs and leaving the whites in a covered glass container or small stainless steel bowl on your counter for a few days. Leftover yolks make delicious creme brûlées!

Tip #2

Salt. It's an essential baking ingredient that elevates and enhances the flavours in your final product. Whether it's in your pastry cream, cake, or caramel, a little pinch goes a long way.

Tip #3

Take your boring french toast to new and delicious heights by creating a caramelized maple glazed crust. Simply brush maple syrup on either side of your prepared toast and sear it on high heat in a buttered skillet for 1 min on each side. Delicious!

Tip #4

Always keep ready to bake puff pastry in your freezer. On a moments notice, you can create fancy hor d'oeuvres, a main course tart with fresh vegetables, or turn it into a quick dessert. The possibilities are endless, let your imagination run wild!

Tip #5

Aging your cookie dough overnight (at least 24 hrs) really elevates the flavours and allows the gluten to relax and creates a nice and tender baked cookie. Any remaining unbaked dough can be rolled into balls and freezed in a ziplock bag for a later time when that craving hits. Just be sure to add a few extra minutes to your baking time if baking from frozen, and don't forget to sprinkle on a bit of your favourite sea salt — it takes the cookie to a whole new level!

To learn more about Asima, please check out her blog or Instagram.

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