Sunday, May 4, 2014

"Once in a young lifetime..."

" should be allowed to have as much sweetness as one can possibly want and hold." - Judith Olney

We have been quite busy lately, making new desserts and practicing ones we already know. Our exam for the modern desserts module is in 2 weeks (May 13)! For that exam we will have to prepare an opéra and a mousse aux fruits des champs. The day that we were doing the practice, there was no berry fruit purée left, so we made mango mousse cakes instead.

We also recently made a dessert called, simply, pomme caramel. It had a sort of pie base, with almond cream and caramelized apples. On top of that is a dome of caramel mousse, with a disc of almond cake in the middle. There are chocolate stars decorating the outside (made with modeling chocolate) as well as cigarettes on the top. The whole thing was glazed with clear mirror glaze, and chopped nuts "glued" around the edge of the pie base. :)

This week we made quite a few desserts. The first is called a Frisson. It starts with a hazelnut cake layer, soaked with rum syrup, then a chocolate mousse, a crunchy layer (caramel-like ganache with chopped hazelnuts in it), followed by another cake layer and more mousse to even out the top. The decoration to finish it off is actual what the dessert gets its name from. You chill a baking sheet in the freezer for at least one hour. In the meantime, you melt milk chocolate and dark chocolate to 45*C. When it is completely melted and smooth and at the right temperature, remove the sheet from the freezer. You pour a line of each chocolate onto the sheet, and then quickly smooth the chocolate over the sheet, mixing the two colours together int he process. Once the chocolate is set (which shouldn't take long), you cut a long strip, scrape it off the sheet (it should come up easily and behave a bit like leather), quickly wrap it around the cake, and let the top fold in onto itself. Voilà! A chocolate frisson. We were supposed to finish with a light dusting of cocoa powder... My light dusting turned out a little heavy...

Next we made a Mentonnais. It has a chocolate-almond cake in the bottom, then a bitter chocolate mousse, a layer of sour lemon cream filling in the middle, more mousse, and then topped off with a chocolate glaze. The mousse had little "crispearls" in it - they're like little puffed rice beads covered in chocolate. We could decorate it however we wanted, but we had to use crispearls in the decoration. Really yummy! Something about the bitter chocolate mixed with the sweet-n-sour lemon, and that little crunch of the crispearls, just works really well. :)

Opéra - exam practice

Mousse à la mangue - exam practice
Pomme caramel

Crème caramel renversée - exam practice

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