Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Days 15 and 16: Cakes, More Cookies, and an Experiment or Two

Yesterday we made an insane number of cakes. It's hard to keep it all straight but, as we were learning about sponge cakes and other similar cakes, we made about ten different types of cake. In insanely huge quantities. We made an immense batch of white genoise which made 18 cakes. The bowl in which it was mixed was big enough for a small child to sit in (we so rarely get to use that bowl!). There were also chocolate genoise, almond genoise, coffee biscuits (for Tiramisu), joconde (4 layers), Alhambra cake (like a chocolate joconde, 3 layers), ladyfingers (two kinds), a lemon-ginger cake, and another chocolate cake called a Sacher. Almost all of these were frozen, more gifts for the future when it comes time to assemble more cakes. The only one we used was the white genoise to make a Poeme cake. Here it is:
Buttercream on the sides and top, with a kirsch mousseline on the inside.
By the end of the day I was wearing a little bit of every ingredient we'd worked with. Even the strawberries. I had coffee extract on my face. Everyone, including the chefs, was amused. Amazingly enough, all those stains washed out.

After I got home it was time to make my project for class. I still have to hand in the written assignment but here's what I did. I made a tart using pâte sucrée dough, saffron pastry cream, poached Asian pears, and sumac. The sumac was sprinkled on the dough before pouring the cream and then again on the pears after the tart had cooled. The whole thing was glazed with some apricot glaze thinned with the syrup from poaching the pears. It was served with rose ice cream and garnished with candied rose petals. I would have liked to get organic roses because then they would have actually been edible but apparently I will just have to use my own roses in the summer if I want people to eat them. The tart was well received by my classmates and the three chefs who tried it. Everyone really liked the ice cream! It was a simple base of egg yolks, cream and sugar and then I added rosewater and a drop of red food coloring when it was cool enough.

Today's classes involved Italian cookies. We had 15 recipes to make and Chef asked each of us to work individually. I made Biarritz cookies which were almond and hazelnut with orange zest and sandwiched with hazelnut paste. My other batch was Rochers, essentially a Swiss meringue that was piped (the easiest time I've had piping so far, so I took advantage of it and made a bunch of shapes), topped with nuts and then baked at a very low temperature for a very long time. We were efficient today, finishing in enough time to start our evening lecture at 3-ish and we were out for the day at 6 pm.

Tonight's lecture topic was herbs. We were each tasked with making a chocolate ganache with some sort of herb or herb combo and then made them into truffles. Chef said there were only a few herbs that didn't apply well to desserts, one of them is chive. Challenge accepted! I decided to try to make a chive truffle. I used chives and some lemon zest. It was really interesting: after steeping the milk with the chives, you could really taste them. As soon as it went into the chocolate, the chive flavor disappeared. Chef suggested I add more chive straight into the chocolate ganache. His theory was he already knew it was going to taste bad so I couldn't make it any worse. They were finished with a little flake salt and cocoa powder. Since they were so controversial, I even drew skulls and crossbones on their tray so people would know they were eating it at their own risk. Even my own husband wouldn't try one. The elderchild did, and reported, "This should be a thing you don't do."

1 comment:

  1. I would have tried them! Love all your descriptions!


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