It's important for all chefs - pastry included - to have great, sharp knives. Don't forget, we slice fruit, breads, cakes, etc. If your knife isn't good, your beautiful hardwork suffers. Here are a few articles about knives:
Bon Appetit: http://www.bonappetit.com/blogsandforums/blogs/projectrecipe/2008/05/14/lets-talk-knives.html
Food & Wine: http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/kitchen-knives-guide
- If you have a little time, cut the butter into small cubes and let it sit out at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes.
- If you have less time, try microwaving the butter in 5-second bursts. Be careful not to let the butter melt.
- If the butter is frozen, try grating it. The small pieces will soften almost immediately.