This week the Petits Chefs baked from one of the many, many books that arrived on my desk last fall that I am slowly working my way though. Duchess at Home caught my eye because it’s French food for home cooks (you know, right up my alley 😉 )
From the publisher:
In Duchess at Home–a beautiful new cookbook from the founder of Duchess Bake Shop–Giselle Courteau draws on her French and French Canadian heritage to share the food she loves to make most for her family at home. Warming soups and stews, hearty breads, and flavourful preserves fill the pages of this beautiful volume–plus, of course, plenty of recipes for her delicious sweets and desserts–from tourtière to tarte au fraises, and everything in between. With chapters for breakfast and lunch, French favourites and Quebecois cuisine, dishes for Christmas and special occasions, and even recipes inspired by the produce in Giselle’s own garden, this is a cookbook that you’ll turn to for inspiration all year long.
Every recipe is quadruple tested, and completely achievable for home cooks. Even crafting a croquembouche becomes attainable with Giselle’s careful step-by-step instructions, process photos, and templates! Cooks and bakers everywhere will enjoy cooking their way through every one of these 75 mouthwatering French-inspired recipes. Withits thoughtful writing, stunning photography and design, and classic, fail-proof recipes, Duchess at Home welcomes you home to Giselle’s kitchen–and is sure to become a mainstay in yours for many years to come.
The first recipe I happened on when I flipped through the book was a gorgeous pear and blueberry galette with a cram cheese layer – so, like a cheesecake galette. I know the boys LOVE making galettes and knew this, with some careful planning, would be do-able in an hour. We set up three stations – fruit filling, cheesecake and pastry.
The boys on the fruit station pretty much worked unsupervised…
And the boys making the dough got a quick lesson from me about making dough in a stand mixer versus in a food processor versus by hand (we used a food processor for this session but the book calls for a stand mixer, which we don’t have at school).
Because we were making mini galettes, it was important to make sure each boy had the same amount of dough so the boys used a scale to weigh it out 🙂 The recipe calls for “1 quantity” of the pie dough but it makes just over 1kg of dough (and the dough recipe says it makes enough for three 9-inch pie shells so, while it was enough for 10 small galettes, it was more than you need for one galette. The recipe calls for the dough to be chilled (for 30 minutes) before it’s used. We used our makeshift fridge (it was COLD on Monday!):
The dough was chilled but not really chilled enough (we only have an hour!) so the boys knew to work super carefully with it. This dough contains butter AND shortening (a lot of both) and it’s very very soft when you first make it and when you handle it with hot hands 😉
We managed ok but would definitely have benefited from a little more time…
Meanwhile over on the cream cheese station, things were smelling AMAZING:
And then we got to assembling…
We also taught some of our new cooking club friends the meaning of the word “rustic”. “It’s what you call things that don’t necessarily turn out like the photo” (according to one of my veteran Petits Chefs!). We LOVE rustic in cooking club!
A little egg wash to finish things off…
Duchess at Home is a great book for new-ish cooks and bakers because it includes a lot of step-by-step images and information that curious cooks ask. “What’s egg wash for?” asked one newer member of club. Voilà – in the dough recipe there’s a photo of eggwashed and non-eggwashed pie crust and an explanation. Such great information for home cooks and bakers. And, I mean if we can make these mini galettes from start to finish in an hour, you can surely bake French treats at home, right?
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Disclosure: I received a copy of Duchess at Home from the publisher for review purposes. I was not asked to, nor have I been compensated for writing this post and all opinions are my own.
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