Another day, another cake. Pastry class is two days per week, and we managed to make a lot of stuff this week!! While I didn’t bring anything home yesterday, today was just production, production, production (as well as a written midterm today!!). Before going to the photos, here’s what else we made this week:
– Ham and cheese croissants
– Chocolate croissants
– Sausage rolls (which were delicious, and those I didn’t finish I gave to a homeless guy)
– Apple turnovers
– Swiss roll
And now, onto things with photos:
Which we later used to practice our buttercream piping. Already on each Wednesday class, we spend time working on our chocolate writing (i love it!!). Buttercream on the other hand, I don’t get along so well with it. We had to pipe 8 rosettes, 8 double rosettes, and 2 full lines of scallopped lines. I sucked at that one. My piping bag was covered in buttercream, and so although my hands are now super moisturized, I’d rather stick with the chocolate writing.
First dish today: creme brulee. I torched two (the top right one was already cracked for grading. The other one I enjoyed during a Friends repeat tonight. The rest are waiting for my friend who missed class today, but will get them next week). The key to making extra yummy creme brulee is to do a thin layer of sugar, torch it, then put it in the fridge for a minute to cool, before doing a second layer. Chef Mela also recommends for the perfect crunchy top, is to spread brown sugar in a pan, leave it in the (gas) oven overnight so the pilot light will dry it out, and in the morning, blitz the sugar in the food processor. It’s the super dryness of the sugar that gives a really crunchy topping….regular sugar does have quite a lot of moisture.
The first cake we made: this is a ring of homemade ladyfingers (around the outside), with a layer of kirsch (cherry liqueur)- brushed genoise cake on the bottom. It is filled with a raspberry cassis (black currant) mousse, with another small layer of cake on the inside.
These are called “Japonaises”, essentially, a meringue made with egg whites/sugar/ground nuts. We used hazelnuts. It’s to be used for the following cake. You pipe it in a circle….
And with the leftovers you make little cute ones like these, which I dipped in ganache just for fun!!
The final product: It has a layer of the Japonaise (hazelnut meringue) on the bottom, then a layer of kirsch-flavoured buttercream, then a 2″ thick slice of kirsch-brushed genoise cake, then buttercream, then a second Japonaise. The outside is coated in buttercream and sliced toasted hazelnuts, the top dusted with confectioner’s sugar, and rosettes piped on top.
Normally, we cook in partners so everything gets split in half. But my partner was gone, so not only did I do all the work today, I got all the product!!! My friend Jess was happy to unload some of the croissants from me (but not anticipating the rather large amount I gave her), but I needed to get rid of the 2 cakes as well. Definitely don’t want it at my house! En route home, it occurred to my that the neighbourhood fire department, right across the street from my house, would be a good bet. I let myself in, and soon enough had a dinner invite to join the boys next door for dinner, and they are more than willing to eat my goodies. A win-win situation! (No, I won’t be going there for dinner, but I will continue to feed my neighbourhood firemen!).