Sunday, November 24, 2013

"Cooking Is Love Made Visible"

Wow, it's been a while! Crazy busy... and it's not even December yet! *Sigh*

Well, let's get to it. Again, in no particular order...

Apple desserts & mini Paris Brest
These little apple guys had many steps! First we piped an apple mousse into dome molds & chilled. Then we put in a drop of apple-rhubard compote, more mousse, an apple-infused cookie, and smoothed with more mousse, then froze. Once frozen, we unmolded, covered with ivory ganache, and airbrushed with green, then made little chocolate stems (which taste like Tootsie Rolls!).

We also made miniature Paris Brest, which were super cute, and the same as the big ones - choux pastry rings, hazelnut butter cream. :)

Apple desserts

Mini Paris Brest

Mint meringues with chocolate-raspberry mousse & maple tartlets
Simple meringue with fresh chopped mint, piped out in curly-q's, chocolate mousse made with raspberry pulp. Sandwich the mousse between 2 meringues and a raspberry on top finishes them off!

Nothing special about the tartlets, they were yummy. :)

Mint meringue sandwiches

Maple tartlets

 Framboisier Christmas log
There were lots of steps involved in this log. We started by baking 2 thin sheet cakes (they're called cookies in French, but...), one strawberry, the other pistachio. Then we made mousseline and a gelled raspberry coulis. We cut the cakes into strips, and using a half-tube mold, alternated the pink and green strips at a slight angle. Then we soaked with a raspberry syrup and put some mousseline in the bottom. Then we placed the raspberry gel in the mousseline, added more mousseline, and more cake to seal it all in, then froze it. Once solid, we unmolded, cut into 2 logs (12-inch & 8-inch), glazed with apricot and decorated with the decorations we've been making!

"Framboisier" log

Oh my goodness, pretty sure these are the prettiest and tastiest things we've made so far! We start with a cookie with chocolate on the bottom, cover with coffee butter cream, next layer cookie, chocolate mousse, cookie, coffee buttercream, chocolate glaze, and then decorate with treble clefs! :)

 Raspberry-pistachio macarons
I was really excited to be making macarons, but I was slightly disappointed with the results, I think because of the size. And the flavours. We will be making more at some point - hopefully they will meet my expectations! ;) French macarons are made with powdered almonds, the dough resembles that of choux pastry. Pistachio mousse between the cookies, with raspberries around the outside. To finish off, we airbrushed half of the top with red colouring, and dusted the other half with powdered sugar, with a little more mousse on top to stick a raspberry and a mint leaf to.

Raspberry-pistachio macarons
Really, they should be called triangles or maybe mountains, but anyway... We started by making a flourless chocolate cookie cut into rectangles. We then layered cookie with coffee butter cream and chocolate butter cream and chilled. Once set, we cut diagonally and attached the now triangles back together and cover with more butter cream and chill again. Then cover with chocolate ganache and drizzle ivory (white chocolate) ganache along the crest for snow, and cut in slices. I didn't manage to get a picture of mine before putting them in the store, so then I just took a picture of one of the trays in the window, so these aren't mine, but mine resembled more the ones on the left.

Pyramids (my work not actually pictured)
Barquettes are kind of strange little confections. I guess they can be decorated in many different ways, but basically it's half tart and half butter cream. We made 2 models, little boats (coffee flavoured, pictured) and little hats (chocolate flavoured, not pictured). We covered the bottoms of the molds with pie dough, added a dab of raspberry preserve, then filled with the same almond creme we used for some of our apple tarts. Immediately out of the oven, we pressed another pan onto them to ensure a flat surface. For the boat ones, we covered with coffee butter cream, creating a ridge along the middle, then chilled. Once the butter cream was solid, we dipped half of the butter cream in coffee fondant, and pressed sliced grilled almonds into the other half. For the hat ones, we covered with chocolate butter cream, creating a cone on the top and chilled. Once set, we dipped the whole cone in chocolate fondant and decorated with butter cream. Again, I forgot to take pictures of my own barquettes before putting them in the store, so then I quickly snapped a shot of these in the window, and didn't get the other model, but did get the rum balls!

Coffee barquettes, rum balls on left (my work not actually pictured)

Hazelnut butter cream logs
Fairly straightforward, we made a white sheet cake (or cookie?) and covered with hazelnut butter cream, then rolled. These ones we also cut into 12-inch and 8-inch logs. We covered with butter cream and made "bark" with a fork. We cut off little ends of the roll to use as limbs on the top. Then we used a special little tool dipped in cocoa powder for the cut ends of the logs & limbs. We made chains around all the edges (mine are kind of messy, my butter cream was pretty soft for some reason), and added a vine with leaves and red berries... and then decorated with more of our decorations. It seems a bit overwhelming, but this apparently what people want. :)

Hazelnut buttercream logs

Black Forest log
For this log, we baked a chocolate genoise in a half-tube pan, then cut length-wise into 3 layers, and proceeded as usual - chocolate mousse in the first layer with cherries, Chantilly cream in the second layer. We covered the logs (two 10-inches) with Chantilly and made bark with a comb tool, then did the chains around the edges again and used the spiral tool. Then sprinkled with chocolate shavings and decorated. I like my almond paste reindeer heads :)

Black Forest log
Chocolate-pear-cherry log
For this one, we made a chocolate sheet cake, covered with chocolate ganache, then mousseline, then sprinkled with cherries and chopped pear, rolled, and froze. Once solid, we cut (12-inch & 8-inch), covered with meringue, piped chains around the edges and piped spirals for the cut ends, then toasted with a torch, and added decorations. I took the picture before adding the decorations.

Choco-pear-cherry log

I guess that's all for now, that more or less covers the last couple weeks. Next week we are making a third batch of dark fruit cake, making more Christmas logs, and much more. Monday is a make-up day, but I am still all up to date, so I get a (much needed) day off. :)

Saturday Mom and my sister and I went to the annual Christmas craft sale in Magog at my nephews' school. It was really stressing me out because I haven't had time to make new stuff, but I still had lots of leftovers from other years. I did pretty well, Mom didn't sell much, I think Rebecca did pretty well. It was a fun day, but I'm glad it's over with. Now to start preparing for next year!!

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