Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Days 21 and 22: Cake and Ice Cream

Mimosa Cake
Yesterday we assembled three cakes that had a more Italian flair to them: Tiramisu, a Mimosa cake, and a "Mara" cake (so named, per chef, because Mara is a brand of strawberries). For all of these, we had to make the creams and syrups but the actual cake parts were already made. The tiramisu and mimosa cakes were made in bowls that were placed in the freezer so the creams would cling to the sides. Each bowl then had three layers of cake in them. For the tiramisu, we'd made coffee biscuits (a kind of sponge cake) and these were soaked in a coffee syrup and layered with a mascarpone cream. It was finished with cocoa powder and pieces of chocolate (which we also made, marbled white and dark chocolate). The mimosa cake was a lemon-ginger cake, soaked in a ginger-citrus syrup and layered with a citrus mousseline. That one was topped with lemon-ginger cake cubes and fresh fruit. For the Mara cake we used rings and there was a Grand Marnier cream that was used for the outside and the layers; the rest was a layer of meringue and a layer of almond cake soaked in strawberry syrup. We made a strawberry glaze from scratch, which was a lot like making jam. Ultimately, the Mara cake became one of the prettiest things I've done so far. See if you agree:

Black Currant Sorbet
Today's class was all about ice cream and sorbet. For the sorbets, we each had to make one; I chose black currant. It was an opportunity to use a saccharometer, which measures density of a liquid using the Baume scale. This device works exactly like the one we use to measure the specific gravity of beer. Because black currant purée is so thick, I ended up adding a lot of sorbet syrup and even a little water to get the density correct so I ended up with a LOT of sorbet. I thought ahead for the first time, oh, ever, and brought containers. So I packed up a quart for myself and left even more for tasting.

For the ice cream, we could each choose a flavor. I made an ice cream that I always ask for at the local ice cream shop and they never make. See, they make Earl Grey ice cream and Vienna Finger Cookie ice cream. All I ask is that they combine them. And they don't. For me, one of my comfort foods at work was to dip Vienna Finger cookies in Earl Grey tea. I think they go great together. So today I made it. I even had to run to the grocery store to get the cookies! Anyway, I steeped milk and cream with nine tea bags and got a nice flavor, then finished making the base and chilled it. After it was in the ice cream maker and the texture was right I added crumbled up cookies and put it in the freezer.

The next task was to come up with a way of presenting it. I immediately wanted to serve it in a teacup. But it needed to be more than that. One of the other students and I made tuile cookies and, after a few tries, I got what I wanted - a little teacup and saucer made out of a cookie. Here is the plated ice cream:
Ultimately, we set out all 14 of our ice cream and sorbet flavors for the savory students to sample, and they brought us lovely shellfish and salmon for dinner: ceviche, mussels, calamari paella, salmon baked in a puff pastry, pasta with clams. Mmm.
Back row: Black currant, Pineapple-apple, Vanilla, Strawberry, Macadamia
Middle row: Cinnamon Graham Cracker, Chocolate Coconut, Passion Fruit, Cherry
Front row: Caramel, Apricot, Blackberry, Earl Grey-VFC, Pine Nut

1 comment:

  1. Love your teacup and saucer! Um, could you make me a maralou cake? Pretty please...


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