Monday, March 14, 2016

Day 19: French Cakes, Pi Day, and an Excess of Gravity

Citron Cake
Today and tomorrow are focusing on French cakes, particularly cake construction. We had almost all the cakes made already but to assemble them into beautiful creations we have to make all the other components. Between the two days there are five cakes to assemble. Today we completed the Citron cake, which is lemon based and incorporates a white genoise and an almond meringue layer, and the Triomphe cake, which is a walnut cake with caramel based cream and mousse layers. Each has a glaze on the top as well. We needed to make a lot of things:  a triple batch of buttercream, pastry cream, lemon curd, caramel extract, lime mousse base, chocolate mousse, a batch of ladyfinger batter but baked flat with red and green batter designs, strawberry syrup, Italian meringue, whipped cream, cake crumbs for the outside of the Citron cake, candied lemons, and I lost track of all the rest.

I will admit that today was a day of challenges for me. I added the cream to the caramelizing sugar too soon and then, in an effort to fix it, the caramel kind of exploded. All over the stove. And a bit on me. Fortunately, I only got a tiny burn, not enough to do anything but annoy me for the rest of the day. The stove was easier to clean than I imagined. While I was dealing with that I missed out on a few of the things my classmates were doing although I was able to catch up.

Triomphe Cake
The worse challenge was that I dropped an entire tray of 6 cakes. Yes. I did that. I felt terrible. I still do feel terrible. They were coming out of the freezer to finish getting glazed and then decorated and the tray hit the edge of the door. Chef was able to resurrect them and we were ultimately able to decorate them and take them home however I'm quite unhappy with myself. Tomorrow, I resolve to be more focused and do better.

Even with all these lovely cakes, we already had a pie made for today, Pi Day, so the cakes are going to hang out in my freezer for a few days until we can eat them. The pie, too, was lovely.

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