Laduree’s Sweet Recipes – Now in English!
It was back in July of 2009, with the excitement of a child, that I announced the sweet news that Zürich would have its very own Ladurée boutique. I nearly jumped out of my seat when I found out, being a loyal fan for over a decade. So you can just imagine how high I jumped at the opportunity to actually translate the new Ladurée cookbook! But first, back to the story we go…
In the fall of 2009, the Ladurée shop opened in Zürich’s old town just off of the bustling avenue Bahnhofstrasse, and the iconic pastel bags could be spotted left and right. I shared my surprise at seeing the extensive product line, including playing cards and cosmetic products, but simply stuck to the macarons and guimauve (marshmallows). There was something else I had my eye on though… Ladurée’s Pastry Chef Philippe Andrieu came out with a cookbook (in French), sharing his classic dessert recipes- a gorgeous tome, elegantly presented in a box that I had even mistaken at first for a box of macarons. This book quickly became part of my collection thanks to my belle-mère in France. But friends and readers kept asking, “when will it be coming out in English?”
One day, my question was finally answered in a funny twist of fate.
Not only did I find out when the English version would be coming out, but I found out who would be the translator? ME!
And so the adventure began: living, breathing, working and dreaming Ladurée recipes. This was the “sweet project” I mentioned to you all back in April that took so much of my time, it even kept me from my usual visits to the markets. But a dream project it was, one that I was thrilled to be working on. My time was spent thinking about éclairs, pastry cream, ice creams and sorbets, brioche and madeleines, not to mention temperatures, gas marks, grams, cups and ounces. What else you wonder? Ladurée’s famous macarons, bien sûr. Yes, the famous recipe is revealed! Four macaron recipes are in the book: almond, raspberry, lemon and chocolate. There are all together about one hundred dessert recipes, all photographed by the talented Sophie Tramier.
Ladurée Sucré: The Recipes is available in bookstores around the world and online. If you get a copy, I’d love to hear about what you’re baking…
Even before getting the assignment, my copy of the book already had a dozen pages marked for recipes I wanted to try. The first, without a doubt, was the kugelhopf (kouglof being Andrieu’s spelling of choice). Ladurée’s kouglof is a mini version of the traditional yeast-risen brioche, made with golden sultanas from South Africa and drenched in an orange flower syrup. It has been one of my favorite pastries in Paris for a long time, and it was of course exciting to recreate it at home.
I’ll be in Paris this week for the Salon du Chocolat (stay tuned for the annual “not to miss list” – here’s 2009 and 2008), and to pay a visit to my all-time favorite Parisian sweet spots. And you can be sure one of them is Ladurée, where I’ll be admiring Pastry Chef Andrieu’s creations with a whole new perspective. Hmm, I wonder if they’ll taste different too. Only one way to find out…
What Ladurée recipe would you want to try first?
Kouglof, by Ladurée Pastry Chef Philippe Andrieu
Makes 12 small kouglofs or 2 large kouglofs
Preparation: about 2 hours
Cooking time: 20 to 40 minutes
Resting time: 7 1/2 hours
1 cup | 150 g golden seedless raisins (sultanas)
26 oz | 750 g brioche dough: see recipe below
3 1/2 tbsp | 50 g butter for moulds + 3 1/2 tbsp | 50 g butter for kouglofs
Orange flower-scented syrup
8 cups | 2 litres water
1 1/2 cups | 300 g granulated sugar
1/4 cup | 25 g ground almonds (almond flour)
1 1/3 tbsp (20 g) orange flower water
Sliced (flaked) almonds for large moulds
Confectioners? (icing) sugar for dusting
12 individual kouglof moulds or 2 large kouglof moulds with a 7 1/2-inch | 19-cm diameter (Bundt pans can also be used)
1 Place raisins in a bowl of hot water and allow to soak for 1 hour. Meanwhile, prepare the brioche dough, following steps 1 and 2 in the recipe below. Knead the dough until ready, then add the raisins (drained and dried on a dish towel).
2 As you do for brioche dough, transfer the kouglof dough to a large bowl and cover with a damp dish towel or plastic wrap, and keep at room temperature. Allow the dough to double in volume (approx. 2 1/2 hours). Return the dough to its initial volume by folding it back on itself. Refrigerate for 2 1/2 hours; while chilling, it will once again rise. Deflate it again by folding it back on itself. The dough is then ready to use.
3 Butter the moulds. If making large kouglofs, sprinkle the inside of the large moulds with sliced almonds. Weigh out 2 1/2 oz | 70 g portions for individual kouglofs, or simply divide the dough in half for larger kouglofs. Press down on each piece of dough to slightly flatten it and bring the edges toward the center to form a ball. Dip your thumb in flour and press down in the center of each ball, turn upside down and place in moulds. Allow the dough to double in volume again (approx. 2 1/2 hours) at room temperature. The higher the temperature (without exceeding 86 F | 30 C), the faster it will rise.
Orange flower-scented syrup
4 In a saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil. Remove from heat and immediately add the ground almonds. Stir to combine. Allow to cool to lukewarm and incorporate the orange flower water.
5 Preheat the oven to 350 F | 180 C | gas mark 4. Place moulds in oven and bake individual kouglofs for 20 minutes or large kouglofs for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Remove kouglofs from moulds and place lukewarm syrup in a bowl. Roll the pastries around in the warm syrup, or place on a wire rack and drizzle syrup over them several times. Melt the remaining butter. Using a pastry brush, brush kouglofs so that they stay soft and moist. Dust with confectioners? sugar and serve.
Makes 26 oz | 750 g of dough
Preparation: 25 minutes
Resting time: 5 hours
2 1/4 cups | 280 g flour (type 45)
3 tbsp (40 g) granulated sugar
1 tsp (5 g) salt
1/3 oz | 10 g fresh yeast
12 1/2 tbsp | 180 g butter
1 Place the flour in a large bowl. Add the sugar and salt, placing on one side of the flour and the fresh yeast broken up in little pieces (using your fingers) on the other side. Important: the yeast must not come in contact with the sugar and salt before you start to mix the dough; otherwise it will lose its properties.
2 Cut the butter into small pieces. In a bowl, beat the eggs. Pour 2/3 of the eggs over the flour and begin by mixing all ingredients together with a wooden spatula. Incorporate the remaining third of the eggs little by little. Knead the dough with your hands, until it starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Add the butter and continue to work the dough until it once again pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
3 Transfer the dough to a clean large bowl and cover with a damp dish towel or plastic wrap, and keep at room temperature. Allow the dough to double in volume (approximately 2 1/2 hours). Return the dough to its initial volume by folding it back on itself.
4 Refrigerate the dough for 2 1/2 hours; while chilling, it will once again rise. Deflate it again by folding it back on itself. The dough is then ready to use.
If you have a stand mixer, make this dough in the bowl of the mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. This recipe will yield dough for 12 individual brioches (2 oz | 60 g) or 14 brioches (1 3/4 oz | 50 g). It can also make 24 mini brioches (1 oz | 30 g).