Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Week 13: Cakes, Cakes, Cakes

First of all, this is my 100th blog post!!! I can't believe I've had that much to say on the topic of cupcakes, and other desserts (although my parents probably can).

Moving on... Week 13 (which didn't feel as unlucky as the number would suggest) was a continuation of the first half of our cakes unit. The cakes we've made have been really beautiful, and pretty delicious.

At the beginning of last week, I had a lot of cakes stored in the freezer from the weekend. The fruit mousse miroir (French word for mirror) was one I was really looking forward to making. It's on the cover of the French Culinary Institute's Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts, it's definitely an eye-catching dessert. Mine wasn't quite as perfect looking as the book cover, but everyone at my Easter was pretty impressed. I also had the pate a cornet chocolate mousse cake I showed a picture of last week. In order to properly finish it, I woke up early Tuesday before work to hand whip cream to add to the top. That's dedication to my coworkers.

Fruit Mousse Miroir (made with cassis)

Completed Chocolate Mousse Cake -dark & white chocolate

Tuesday was a day of more traditional American cakes - chocolate cupcakes, carrot cake, and crumb cake.

I almost always prefer vanilla over chocolate, but these chocolate cupcakes surprised me. I mostly find chocolate cake to be just "eh." These were really moist and fudgey. Instead of a heavy frosting, we topped these with a chocolate glaze. They made a pretty good dinner that night.

I don't think I've ever eaten carrot cake. It's usually filled with nuts, which makes it off limits to me. This one had walnuts, so I had to rely on my coworkers to test the finished product and vouch for it. I wasn't a huge fan of this cream cheese frosting. I like my cream cheese frosting simple - butter, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. This one had some lemon zest, which I don't like in frosting. I've made my peace with it in cakes, but not frosting.

We also made tiny marzipan carrots. My classmates and I find modeling things out of marzipan hilarious for some reason, and it always make us giddy when we get the chance.

The pecan crumb cake was another one I couldn't try, but it got pretty good reviews from my coworkers. With all the pastries they're eating these past few months, they're becoming pretty critical, in a good way. I feel I can rely on them to tell me what should be on the "bake again" list and which I should start looking for a new recipe.

This was a sachertorte, which is apparently well known as being able to keep for a very long time. Like for months. You can send this sachertorte around the world and back. It's a pretty dense chocolate cake (which I found to be a little too dry...especially after those awesome chocolate cupcakes), filled with apricot jam, covered in the jam, and then covered with a chocolate glaze. Traditionally, the word Sacher is written on it, as it was created by the Sacher hotel in Vienna. The hotel actually still sells sachertortes, and you can order them online.

This Dobos torte is a Hungarian cake that is comprised of 5 layers of sponge cake (they reminded me of pancakes), chocolate buttercream, and a 6th layer of sponge cake covered in caramel and cut in wedges.

Sunken flourless chocolate cake

Can't even tell it fell

The flourless chocolate cake came out of the oven and it looked like it rose so high while baking. Just as Chef Cynthia warned us though, it immediately began to deflate, sinking in the middle. It's supposed to do this, but to "cover it up," we covered the cake with creme d'or (chocolate whipped cream), and then chocolate meringue rods we had baked. It sort of looked like a forest to me. This was one of the 3 cakes I served for Easter.

The third and final cake that was served on Easter was this chocolate hazelnut mousse cake. In order to do the outside of the cake, we had splattered some white and milk chocolate down on a sheet pan, then when that set, spread dark chocolate on top. When that was hard, we cracked it into pieces to attach to the sides of the cake.


Anonymous said...

I gained 10 lbs just reading this. Everything looks wonderful. And I was lucky enough to taste some of these!

Cooking Foodie said...

Beautiful cakes all of them!

F. J. Bliss said...

omg the cake looks so yummy

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