10 September 2011

Buttery, Sugary Heaven

A friend went to Paris during the summer and came back with tales of a Breton pastry called Kouign Aman. I had never heard of it and neither had my friend but after having it about three times during her week there she was a convert. I needed to try this new confection. My friend sent me the link to a blog by an American living in Paris with a recipe for the Kouign Aman and with visitors from France coming that weekend I had my opportunity.
My sister-in-law and my niece lent a helping hand, the former reading the instructions and the latter helping with the mixing etc. David Lebovitz's recipe was very easy to follow with pictures along the way to help you keep on track. This is just a mixture of water, flour, sugar, butter and yeast and what you get at the end is divine. I followed the cooking time and temperature to the letter of the recipe but it cooked in less time (30 minutes) and was a bit burned. I served it anyway (I had some other cakes too so not a disaster) and by the end of the evening there was none left, it was a hit.
After that weekend I was using the oven to bake some bread and noticed that there was a lot of solidified butter at the bottom of the oven and realised that it was butter that had escaped from the Kouign Aman! I had put it in a loose-bottomed tin.
I had cause to make it again the following weekend for a friends house warming. I learned my lesson about the oven temperature and timing but not about the loose-bottomed tin! I used a smaller springform tin and the tart rose better than the first time but there was butter escape again. I guess it gives me an excuse to make it again and this time I will steer clear of the loose-bottomed tin!
The reaction to the second one was similar to the first, there were people fighting for the last piece. It's great that you can create such a wonderful taste from just five ingredients isn't it?
P.S. I'm afraid I didn't take any pictures but they looked pretty much the same as the ones on the blog, really they did!

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