Thursday, February 21, 2008

I'm no Martha Stewart

Cakes are definitely not my forte. I wouldn't say I hate this unit, but I'm not enjoying it as much as I hoped I would. Everything is tasty, but I just can't get the decorating down. And it's just simple icing techniques at this point! Nothing fancy at all. But, if you can't get the basics, then how do you move on to the more advanced techniques? Ugh.

Classic Genoise (sponge) cake with buttercream icing

Dacquois with coffee buttercream - holy smokes this was delicious!

Chocolate Ganache Cake

Marjolaine - a very complicated cake consisting of about 6 entirely different layers, including chocolate genoise, dacquois, praline buttercream, whipped cream, whipping ganache, etc. However, once complete, it's quite tasty.

Cassis Cake - raspberry jam between layers of cake, with a cassis fruit mousse.

Inside of the cassis cake

Chocolate Cupcakes

Carrot Cake, complete with marzipan carrots

White and Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake

Sachertorte - lots of chocolate, with apricot jam

Dobos Torte - thin layers of cake with chocolate buttercream, and caramelized discs on top

"Enchanted Forest" cake - I ran out of the logs of chocolate meringue, so I added my little meringue stars on to fill in the space

I am missing pictures of the angel food cake (delish!), the lemon cakes (Dave ate about a dozen of them this past weekend), the pound cakes, the pecan coffee cakes, our ladyfinger cake and another fruity creamy cake, and the mess of a chocolate mousse cake we made today. The lemon cakes were almost a disaster, because the power went out while they were baking. There was a collective cry of dismay around the classroom, because we were so looking forward to them. Thankfully, half of mine were done baking, and all of Katy's, so she donated them to my pile so I could take them to my parents last weekend. Also, the chocolate mousse cake was a disaster from the get-go. Our tray was underbaked, so after cutting them into circles and discovering the raw middles, we had to go back and rebake them to dry them out, cut and piece them into squares, try and make a cake without cake molds, and then there was the mousse...oh, the horror. My partner and I made a beautiful mousse - it was perfect. But, since we had to make a cake without the mold, as ours was now square instead of round, we needed a firmer mousse. So, the chef swapped our perfect mousse with another team, giving us this terrible (but firm) mousse that had chunks of chocolate in it because their temperature wasn't right when making it. It was disgusting, and we were laughed at because everyone thought we had made such a terrible product. I'm already not good at cakes, and then that thing had to come along, which makes everyone think I'm even worse than I actually am. Sigh.

Our last test in Pastry 1 is tomorrow, so please pray that I'm able to produce a pretty cake! Then, on Monday, we move onto Pastry 2. I can't believe that I'm a third of the way done already.

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