Monday, April 18, 2016

Day 29: European Classic Cakes

Today and tomorrow are devoted to the European classic cakes. We've already tackled Tiramisu but this week it's the Opera cake, the Sacher Torte, the Alhambra cake, Black Forest Cake and a "Yule Log" of sorts: a spring log.

For most of these cakes we made the cake a long time ago. We only had to make the cake for the Black Forest cake. While my classmates made the red p√Ęte decor and the chocolate almond genoise cake, I made ganache with 10 pounds (yes, TEN) of chocolate. In that crazy huge bowl we almost never use. Other things got made today. Lime mousse and raspberry syrup for the Spring log (Buche de Printemps). Chocolate glaze. Coffee syrup and coffee buttercream for the Opera cake.

We were down a few students today so we had to stop a lot more often to clean up since there was the same level of mess and fewer hands to clean it. But ultimately we assembled the Opera cake and the Sacher Torte. The Alhambra is mostly assembled as well and the Buche de Printemps is rolled and waiting to be cut. Oh, and I made meringue mushrooms.

Meringue was made so we could have flowers for our Buche de Printemps but I also wanted to learn how to make mushrooms. After Chef taught me the basics I went a little crazy and decided to make morels. They're spring mushrooms, so why not? I grabbed a star tip and more meringue and piped taller, twisty peaks. After they dried a bit, I dusted them with cocoa powder and painted the edges with concentrated coffee. Unfortunately the oven was a little too warm so they split a little but they are adorable. At least, I think so!
The Opera cake is seven layers: Joconde cake, coffee buttercream, cake, ganache, cake, buttercream and a chocolate glaze. It's the size of a sheet pan and then we each got a rectangle (nine cakes in total). Decorating is always a challenge for me and today was no exception.

The Sacher Torte has ganache on the sides of the rings and then two layers of Sacher chocolate cake separated by apricot jam and ganache. It is topped with ganache and then with the chocolate glaze and finished with chocolate slivers.

The rest of the ganache went to assemble the Alhambra cake which we will finish tomorrow.

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