A Delicious Success At Will Torrent's Pâtisserie at Home Book Launch...
For a charming young pastry chef who has won many awards over recent years, another speech to a room of peers and mentors should hold no fears. But on the evening of the 18th April, Will Torrent felt both particularly nervous and excited. He chose to hold the launch of his début cookery book, Pâtisserie at Home, at the University of West London from which he graduated in 2007 with a first-class degree in Culinary Arts Management. There were speeches by the university’s vice-chancellor, Professor Peter John and chef Brian Turner CBE, raptly heard by more than 100 guests including chocolatier Paul A Young, The Great British Bake-off winners Edd Kimber and John Whaite, as well as host of very proud friends, colleagues, family and of course, publishers.
When the time came for Will to speak, his outstanding combination of determination, drive and perseverance became apparent. Coupled with the stunning, meltingly good chocolate-themed bowl-food and dessert canapés created that day by Will and a group of the university’s trainee chefs, it was clear that his success and popularity are down to an awe-inspiring talent, as well as his continuous gratitude to everyone who has helped him in his achievements. “Wow! What a night!” he said, with a big smile on his face. “This has been such a special and emotional evening and I would like to thank everyone who has helped make this book launch a great success.”
His passion is infectious, his talent impressive, and as he is always eager to share his knowledge with others, to show them that anything is possible with the right support and commitment, he wrote Pâtisserie at Home to take the fear factor out of French pastry. The book looks good enough to eat, and with Will at the helm, it won’t be long before you are whipping up the kinds of éclairs, tarts and macarons that would make Will himself proud.
Why not try one of Will's delectable fruity creations for yourself with one of his simple recipes for Framboisiers perfect all year round!
300 g raspberries
120 g egg whites (about 4 egg whites)
80 g caster sugar
130 g ground almonds
75 g icing sugar
40 g plain flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
50 g flaked almonds
250 ml whipping cream
250 ml double cream
500 g storebought crème pâtissière
2 Swiss roll pans, lined with greaseproof paper
20 x 30-cm rectangle frame
Start the recipe the day before you want to serve the framboisiers.
For the almond cake
Preheat the oven to 190˚C (375˚F) Gas 5.
Put the egg whites and sugar in a stand mixer or in a bowl using an electric whisk and whisk until stiff peaks form. Whisk in the whole eggs.
Gently fold in the ground almonds, icing sugar and flour using a large metal spoon.
Finally, stir in the melted butter.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared Swiss roll pans and spread level with a spatula. Sprinkle the flaked almonds evenly over the top.
Bake in the preheated oven for 5–10 minutes or until springy to the touch and golden on top. Flip each slab of cake onto a sheet of greaseproof paper dusted with a little semolina. Peel the baking paper off the top and allow the cakes to cool.
For the crème diplomate
Put the whipping cream and double cream in a stand mixer or use a mixing bowl and an electric whisk. Beat until soft, billowing peaks form.
Be careful not to over-whip it otherwise it will become thick and grainy and it will split when mixed in with the crème pâtissière.
Gently fold the whipped cream, in stages, into the crème pâtissière until smooth and irresistible.
Fold the raspberries into the crème diplomate. If I am making this for children, I love to crush the raspberries first and ripple them through the cream.
Press the rectangle frame down on top of one cooled cake slab in turn to cut out equal rectangles of cake. Leave the frame pressed into one cake and spread the raspberry crème diplomate over the cake layer within the frame. Spread level with a spatula Place the second cake slab on top (almond-side down) and press down gently with your hand.
Freeze overnight, still in its frame. This will make it easier to cut smoothly.
The next day, gently ease the frame away from the framboisier and cut it into 12 neat fingers using a hot, sharp knife.
Allow to defrost before serving, then dust with icing sugar.
You could also leave the framboisier whole and serve it as a lovely birthday cake.
Pâtisserie at Home by Will Torrent is published by Ryland Peters & Small and is available to purchase here.