The 4 pastry techniques to achieve perfect textures

Now that we have already introduced the importance of the pastry ingredients molecular composition and the need to understand it in order to formulate recipes from scratch, the next step is to comprehend how they interact with each other.

The interactions and unions between molecules offer us multiple possibilities to create any texture, it all depends on how we organize and work with them. At Jordi Bordas Pastry School, we have always focused on aqueous textures since, as we told you in our last article in which we talked about molecular pastry, controlling water molecules in your elaborations is a must in order to obtain optimal results in pastry. This is why our B·Concept method analyses raw materials, techniques, processes, physicochemical phenomena and reactions that take part in the creation process of gel, creamy and airy textures.

To obtain these textures, we have four basic pastry techniques that we will introduce below: emulsification, aeration, thickening and gelation.

Emulsification technique

Emulsions play a key role in pastry since they are the structures responsible for creaminess on, for example, ganaches, custards or ice creams. When understanding what an emulsion is, how is it formed or undone and what factors influence its stability, you comprehend why emulsions bring us a creamy mouthfeel, something already upholded in the article “Beyond the lines of traditional pastry – redefining the concept of creaminess”.

It is really important to note that creaminess is not directly associated with traditional ingredients, as it is obtained thanks to this texture creating technique: emulsification. You can find a very clear example of it in our chestnut creamy recipe, a vegan recipe developed with the B·Concept method containing no dairy or egg products, but rather builds creaminess by incorporating an emulsifier composed of citrus fiber (Natur Emul).

Aeration technique

Aerated textures, also called foams, are very representative in the world of pastry and bakery: from plated desserts foams, through several kind of meringues, guimauves, mousses and ice cream, to sponge cakes and even bread. There are many aerated textures with different appearance and mouthfeel, but they all have something in common: they are extremely delicate, so it is essential to learn how to create and stabilize them.

Thickening technique

Thickening is the process of increasing viscosity in recipes. But why is it so essential to control this parameter? Viscosity greatly influences the mouthfeel caused by food and this is as important as the flavour of the product itself. For this reason, when you master the thickening technique, you can improve and refine your textures to create a unique tasting experience.

Gelation technique

If you think of gelling, the first textures that come to mind are surely those that have a truly gelatinous texture, such as jams, marmalades, compotes or pâte de fruit. However, most pastry and bakery recipes are gelled to maintain their shape and stability, for example mousses, foams or even bread.

As you can see, it is a fundamental technique for the creation and execution of stable recipes and, to work with it, each ingredient and its parameters must be considered. Let’s take the case of working on a recipe with alcohols: their molecular composition will play a role when choosing which gelling agents combine them with, as well as their dosage.

Did you know these techniques and their importance in the creation of pastry recipes? We are so aware that the second module of the B·Concept Pastry Online Course will fully focus on these four pastry techniques. With the importance of the ingredients molecular composition learned in the first module, understanding the interactions and links between molecules and mastering the possibilities they offer based on how we organize and work with them will make you one step closer to being able to formulate your own pastry recipes.