Like, what happened? How did I manage to make a pastry that grew tumours?
This is supposed to be a Galette des Rois, an almond-cream-filled pastry the French traditionally eat around Christmas. Taken from Young Mo Kim’s A Collection Of Fine Baking, this recipe had me making the puff pastry by hand to achieve a monumental 144 layers. But after the absolute torment I went through, I couldn’t care less how many layers it had. I just wanted to run away and never see it again.
I’ll spare you the details (like how the dough was so rubbery, trying to roll it out was harder than getting my husband Z to change the bedsheets).
Because the highlight of this experience was how, after popping it in the oven for 5 minutes, the butter in the dough melted and gathered into a pool on the baking tray – thereafter frying the pastry.
Then, after another 10 minutes, the almond filling followed suit, growing, bubbling, mutating into three menacing globs – like unwanted, out-of-control appendages. In fact, if aliens were taking over Earth, I’ll call Will Smith and tell him that ground-zero is my oven.
Even more infuriating, the damn thing refused to be cooked. After baking for one whole hour, only the outer layers were turned a crisp golden yellow. The inside remained disgustingly gummy. Then again, it didn’t matter either way because the texture was so hard I could barely cut through it.
I felt like whipping out my mobile and putting it next to the baking tray. I want this E.T. to phone and go home.