Monday, October 12, 2009


It is currently 49 degrees outside, so I'm snuggled up with a blanket and listening to some Gwen :)

As much as I like Chef W, I am so over mousse cakes!!!!

I remember how much I used to loooove mousse, of the chocolate variety. When I was younger, my parents would take us out to Sizzler for dinner. We loved it because we got to choose whatever we wanted to eat from the salad bar. I know for a fact that my mom ended up hating this because we wouldn't choose very well-rounded meals. I liked it because you could really load up on dessert! They always had a big bowl of chocolate mousse out and I'd stick it underneath my softserve ice cream. Yum!!! okay, I guess I could go for some of that now, as long as I didn't have to make it myself!

Here's another sampling of what I did last week:

This is a passion, pineapple, coconut entremet that I made. Here it is, freshly popped out of the metal mold (with a blowtorch) awaiting glazing on a wire rack. It was fun to have the pineapple slice "inclusions", but also difficult to keep them in place while we poured the mousse. Looks like the center ones moved a litttttttle bit. Oops. The ones on the bottom were cut in half and lined up against the mold.

Post-glazing and cutting shot. Since this is a "contemporary" (or "contompory" as Chef W says) cakes class, all our decor is asymmetrical and very modern. Off-center, off-balance, minimal.

And the cake components! From top to bottom - passion fruit mirror glaze, coconut lime mousse, passionfruit mousse with pineapple chunk inclusions, and coconut dacquoise. This one is my favorite! So good!

On Thursday, we had: "The Last Entremet: Throwdown Edition!" Haha! We came to class with no clue what we were going to be making. Chef W set molds out on our stations, and when we all came together for lecture, he doled out what we would make, some with formulas and some with things we had to figure out. My partner and I had a fairly easy one.

From top to bottom: Whipped cream quenelle, chocolate shiny glaze, chocolate mousse, chocolate flourless cake, pistachio creméux, pistachio crunchy base, and chocolate flourless cake again. The chocolate mousse was difficult to work with due to temperature issues, but everything else was okay. We made a basic creméux and flavored it with pistachio paste until it tasted how we liked. The crispy base looks really gross (think: baby poop) but tasted good!

In addition to our successful Throwdown! we worked on a side project for Chef W: an example of a crepe cake. Most people think of having crepes for breakfast or served hot, so it can be daunting to think of them eaten cold. On the contrary, it was quite delicious! The crepes were pretty plain, and then I made a mascarpone, whipped cream and anisette flavoring to stack between them. I didn't care for the anisette, but the whole thing was good regardless!

Many layers of crepes!

Last Friday I also had a little conference with Chef W to get his feedback on my class performance and what I could do for improvement. It was all positive stuff and I need to work on little things like not working too too fast and being more efficient. But he did say that he can definitely see me owning my own place someday, that I have the drive, I'm firm and I work hard and I can anticipate well. He also said I have a talent for watching and replicating well. Cool! I guess I never really realized that about myself.

I can't wait for this week to be over already! It is going to be very challenging! Tomorrow we start work on preparations for the Grand Buffet on Thursday. My partner and I are making a small type of doughnut as well as fruit tarts and assisting other groups. Wednesday is the BIG day: we are all making our own Entremet projects. From scratch. Out of our own noggins! Last week we submitted our ideas and drawings to Chef W. I am doing a twist on the crepe cake with Christmas-type flavors. I hope it come out like it looks in my head, or better!

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