Our new Italian assistant pastry chef Alessandro Bartesaghi joins us straight from Peck, one of the world’s leading delicatessens in Milan, Italy. In the short three months he’s been in Melbourne, he has set about applying his European style and skills to the pastries we have started serving at MCEC.
Alessandro has been taught a very classic European style of pastry making, so there’s a lot to be learnt from these traditional techniques. And he’s had to adapt the particular ingredients we use here at MCEC including our locally sourced organic flour, butter and Green Eggs from Great Western.
We use laminated dough for these pastries, which results in a light, flaky puff pastry. Lamination is a specialised technique where many layers of dough and butter are created by folding and turning the two together. Unlike short pastry, the butter is not incorporated into the dough but folded into the layers.
The guys make the dough in the morning and after resting for an hour in the fridge, they put it through the pastry sheeter which acts as a giant rolling pin so the dough is perfectly flat. Then the process of laminating the dough with butter begins. This involves rolling the dough and butter in layers and folding the pastry, while leaving the dough to rest for an hour between each fold. After the laminating process we have more than 800 individual layers of butter and dough, which gives us the light and flaky pastry that the croissant and danish are renowned for.
Our pastries have been really well received in MCEC’s coffee shops and delegates attending our breakfasts, morning tea/afternoon teas, so we’ll start to roll them out at all our events soon.
Our executive pastry chef Mike Belcher and Alessandro take us through making some of our pastries including pain au chocolats, pear and almond twists, croissants and windmills.
When you’re next visiting MCEC, make sure you drop into one of our cafes for a coffee and one of these new pastries. They are both worth the visit!
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