Basic Tiered Cakes

Hey Y'all!

I kinda feel like Paula Dean today with all the butter we used in our buttercream cakes lol

I never got to show you the finishing touches we made to our flowers and basic fondant cakes.
I did not put the flowers on my cake because I didnt have space for the dummies in my apartment, so I only kept the flowers. Also, the orchids are being kept for our Croquembouche towers that we will be starting tomorrow.
So Ta-DA!

Wowie, purple overload.....and may I add never to put all the techniques you know on one cake- hence this is just a sampler to teach the class techniques.

Moving on now...

Sponge cake, reminded me of my "nonna" when it came out of the oven, smelt good, but never something I would think to pair with buttercream....but I wasnt about to blabber that out loud so I figured I would wait and taste it myself.
Here are the sponge cakes after baking:

Lets get that baby filled up!
Chef Kristen showing the class how to torte their cakes, fill, crumb coat, final coat and stack:

 I feel like I am in my first class again at Bonnie Gordon's- Baking and Buttercream-sweet memories!

Then we brushed up on some of our piping techniques:

                        My simple buttercream cake-no color-kind of sad.

Then time to taste it- And delicious....but too much sweetness, definitely needing an acidic or bitter offset to all the sugar. But nonetheless the sponge was delicious, and its too bad it cannot be used in multiple tiers of wedding cakes (because its too delicate).

Here are some photos of my fellow students with there cakes:)

Stay tuned for Friday- Croquembouche towers on there way....


Gumpaste Flowers & Fondant Basics

Wowie! Its been a while since I blogged.

Last week was exams...which I may say was not as scary as we all expected it to be. The pressure was on...yes forsure..especially when the chefs get together and speak French to one another about your products...you just don't know what they could be sayin! lol...But I made it out alive...and with an A if I may add!

 As for this week,we started the basics of fondant and worked alot on gumpaste flowers.

Every one keeps saying this is my week! But really I do not have that much professional practice in flowers like lilys and orchids, besides it is always interesting to learn new techniques and ways of working. The materials we use as well are different from what I am used to, some more useful others hard to adapt to because of my experience already.

Below are some photos of Chef Mark Seaman teaching techniques and process of how to make and work with gumpaste, as well as make the flowers. We have not yet completed them all yet. Monday we will finish them and put them on top of our 3 tier wedding cake.....

 Here are some of the girls dusting there flowers:)

Oh yes...we started fondant basics as well....and when I say basic..I mean basic!

The 24 week patisserie program only skims on the topic of wedding cakes, which is fine by me, I am here to learn all the other stuff, but I must say I picked up a few tips still from watching Chef Mark put together a 3 tier dummy cake.
He taught the class today how to assemble a dummy and a real cake, as well as how to work with fondant and showed some different techniques for borders with molds and stencils. 

Here are some photos of our basic cake...more a dummy for exploration and to allow the class to get familiar with the materials. Probably the most simple dummy I have made, but all in good fun!

                                Gabby so concentrated!:)

Next week should be exciting because we will learn some new cake recipes and work with Chef Kristen on a stacked real cake, which will teach the class how to make cakes meant for stacking and how to mask a cake in buttercream and assemble. Should be good!

Happy Weekend! 


Last Hooray for Bread!

On our last and final day of making bread we finished our sourdough, made country bread and brioche bostock.

Sourdough probably the most difficult bread to make..ok maybe not difficult, but time consuming and requires quite a bit attention to keep the starter/levain alive. Without a healthy levain, forget about it!

We made regular and multigrain- delicious- probably one of my favorite of the breads. 

Country bread is another bread where we were able to make different regional shapes.
The different shapes include:

- Couronne Bordelaise

Brioche Bostock is the use of day old brioche, which is then cut into slices, brushed with an almond orange blossom sugar syrup and topped with almond cream and sliced almonds....and then baked!
What a mouthful.
We actually do not know why it is called bostock, although we know its a  tradition in Alsace.
Im telling you, it is like a new french toast for me...so buttery, crunchy and the taste of rum is so light but yet adds so much flavor.

So I lied, bread is not completely finished, we have our exams next week!
Which means we have a written component, and then we have to make roughly 8-9 recipes from the petit fours and bread sections. So more bread for exams!

Stick around for Monday- we are watching a master chef demo from Chef Pierre!
Should be exciting and a nice break to working!



More butter, more croissants, more brioche...they just love it!!

And so do we, apparently!

A twist to the regular croissants that is, almond! Yum.
We slice opened our regular croissants,brushed them with an almond sugar syrup, then filled them with almond cream and topped them with delicious sliced almonds.


We also made a special request from Cristina, pain au raisin.
In France, it is typically a variant on the croissant made with a leavened butter pastry, with raisins added, shaped in a spiral with a pastry cream filling.
Very nice, and a new fun method.

We also practiced brioche again, as we did with the toast bread and the beer bread...
I am sure because it will be on our exam next week.
This time though we shaped our brioche differently, which was fun.
We go to make braids :)
So pretty once complete.

We also started our levain today!
A "starter" for our sourdough.
I would of never thought a sourdough was so difficult to make, it is like a baby!
Needing sometimes up to 2 feedings a day...of bread and flour that is.

So come on back tomorrow to see our regular sourdough and multi-grain sourdough..
im looking forward to that...grains..finally!



Does anything ever taste bad? I think NOT!

I wish I could dislike one thing, just one. It all tastes so amazing and authentic.

Today especially, with our flaky pain au chocolat!  I am sure my family will be very excited when I visit back home next weekend because they are in for some tasty treats.
The Pain au Chocolat especially!...hmm hmmm Alessan. lol

       Like we could sell this stuff in the streets...total overload!

We also made 2 different baguettes, same style only learning two different methods.
One with a traditional poolish (a starter) for the bread which we prepped yesterday and allowed to sit over night at room temperature, much more liquid-y and essentially breaks down the sugars more, allowing for a nutty, more caramelized note on the palette. The other starter was a prefermented dough which is much more spongy in texture and lighter. Both delicious, but my preference being the poolish method...go figure the more time consuming method lol- it needs 12 hrs minimum before the dough can be mixed!
All worth it in the end...I am sure my cousins are enjoying those beauties:)

                                          Scoring the baguettes
                                           Watching them bake!

                                          Comparing the crumbs!

We have also started to prep more dough for more croissants..(i know how many can one soul possibly eat...apparently alot! But we did make an almond orange blossom simple syrup to use for them)....and more danishes (I think a different flavor this time, possibly with a pastry cream versus the almond cream)

The more we learn, the better!

Au Revoir!