Monday, December 11, 2006

Day 2 of BPT – Let them Eat Cake!

Well tonight we made 4 cakes. From scratch!! No I’m serious…stop laughing. No they weren’t my usual cakes of add 2 eggs, ¼ cup of oil, ½ water and mix well. Or my favorite standby – ¼ cup of water and microwave it for a couple of minutes Hahaha!!

So our cake festival began with a Butter cake. This was then cooled and frozen and will be decorated later on in the course. (that should be a fun experience) We also made an ‘angel’ food cake that will go towards our Boston Cream pie we’ll be doing on Monday. Next up was an Almond Financier. This is a buttery almond tort and stop the taste bud overload but it’s good. We also did a flourless chocolate cake. Considering how much chocolate goes into this thing it’s not overly sweet. My daughter loved it! Hubby is devouring the tort and I’m already sugared out.

Flourless Chocolate Cake –

10 oz dark chocolate (chopped)
10 oz butter cubed
10 eggs separated
6 oz sugar
Powdered sugar for dusting

Coat the bottom of a 10” cake pan with cooking spray. Place parchment paper in the bottom and coat again with cooking spray. (Be sure the paper only lines the inner circle and does not come up on the sides or it will bake into your cake). Set aside

Combine the chocolate and butter in bowl. Place over a saucepan with simmering water and gently melt them together. The bowl should not touch the water in the pan. Also the water should be simmering NOT boiling.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and 3 oz of sugar together until well combined. Whisk in the chocolate mixture and set aside.

In a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites till foamy and soft peaks form. Add in the remaining 3 oz of sugar and mix until all the sugar is incorporated and the whites form soft glossy peaks.

Gently fold in the whites into the chocolate mixture. Pour into pan and bake at 325° for 40 minutes to 1 hour. When ready the cake should start to crack on top, but still wobble in the center. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack. Once cool loosen the sides of the cake with a sharp paring knife or an offset spatula before un-molding onto a cardboard round or a serving plate. Dust with powdered sugar just prior to serving.

Almond Financier –

3 oz toasted almonds
6 oz butter
½ vanilla bean, split and scraped
5 oz egg whites
6 oz powdered sugar
¾ C. Pastry flour sifted

Coat the bottom of an 8” cake pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper and spray again with cooking spray.

Combine butter and vanilla bean in a 1 quart stock pot and cook until butter is brown. Do this over a low heat to ensure the vanilla has enough time to release its flavor.

In a food processor combine the nuts and powdered sugar and grind till fine. In a large bowl whisk in the nut mixture and egg whites. Once incorporated gradually whisk in the flour. Once flour is incorporated gradually add in the vanilla butter. Let the batter rest for about 20 minutes. Pour into cake pan and bake at 325° for about 30 minutes. A cake tester inserted into the middle should come out clean. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

This is great served with a favorite coffee or tea.

Our group consisted of Carey, Lynndy, Eddie and myself. Me being the weak link in this group because of lack of experience. But interestingly enough our group had all of our cakes in the oven, baked and out cooling while the other group had only just put two cakes in the oven and still had 2 to start. So we went over to APCA and had dinner oxtail pie which was very good.

This is one part of the course however that we cannot rush. I don’t care how efficient we work you cannot make something rise or bake faster. The key here will be “what takes more time and which item do I start now?” It might be better to take the longer item and save it for the end because of all the components that have to be done. Whereas some would rush to get that done but then can’t multitask out other items. I’m worried about one of our students as he seems to get more despondent with each class. He doesn’t know how to slow himself down or appreciate the finer details of cooking and plating. I’m hoping he can pull it together soon.

Well that’s about it for today. Monday we’re making Tarts.

Until Then…


At 6:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just bought a bunch of vanilla beans, the financier sounds like a good use for one. Did you use blanched almonds? I just bought some almond flour to make macaroons, I wonder if that would work.


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