man vs. food VS. Us

My uncle was telling me about some television show where a man goes around to different restaurants and enters challenges that the restaurant is known for. An example would be that he had to eat 6 of these atomic wings in order to have his picture placed on the 'wall of flame.'

While in Los Angeles he visited Orochon Ramen in Little Tokyo (downtown LA). They have a dish there that (on the show) claim thousands of people of tried to finish, but only a few have succeeded. It's called the "Special #2." Their ramen dishes set up like this:
1. Choose a broth (salt, miso or soy sauce)
2. Choose a heat level (1-7; 7 being the mildest and 1 is "Extreme)
3. Choose extra fillings (i.e. egg, extra noodles, green onions, etc.)

In addition to the 7 heat levels there are 2 SPECIAL heat levels. Both are compared to 'the surface of the sun,' #2 being the hotest of the two.

So last night we to see what the place was all about, and if it lived up to it's hype.
I got a #2 (not the special)

Kristen got a #4 (punk)

Lil Chris got teriyaki chicken.....

and my husband... he attempted the Special #1 (yowwwzaaaa!)

We started off with some beers (yum) and then it was on to the dumplings (yum x2).
Finally the main dishes....

Let's just say that our noses were sweating, it got REALLY hot in that place, and most of us paid for that experience later.

Great place.... you should check it out.

"The Amber"

Another fine, elegant Geneva creation is The Amber. The cake itself is composed of (from the top to bottom) carmel glaze, carmel mousse, chocolate decoration, sponge cake, pears in syrup wiht hazelnut nougatine and lastly pear mousse. YUM!

Making the cake was fun, decorating it was even better. Enjoy.... be prepared to wait AT LEAST 24 hours before you can enjoy this masterpiece. (Sorry for the pictures, but all I have is my iphone during class)

Pain de Gene Sponge (sponge cake from Geneva):
(yield 2 disks 14-16cm of diameter - we cut the recipe in 1/2 yielded 1 ring)

400g almond paste
3g salt
400g eggs, room temp
75g a/p flour
5g baking powder
125g butter, melted

Directions: Beat almond paste and salt with paddle attachment until creamy. Slowly add eggs, 1 at a time, scrap in between each addition. Sift flour and baking powder together first, then add to mixture. Add in melted butter, do not over mix. Pour mixter into a lined ring, filled (no more than) 2/3 full; bake at 325 for 15 minutes. Cool completely.

Pears and pear syrup
500g pears, drained with syrup reserved.

Set aside.

Hazelnut Nougatine (we made 1/3 of recipe)
140g butter
60g glucose
175g sugar
2g pectine NH
250g hazelnut, chopped
3g cinnamon powder

Directions: Bring butter and glucose to a boil in saucepan. Add sugar and pectine, reboil. Keep mixture in a warm place until just about to use. When ready, add chopped nuts to mixture. Spread mixture on a baking sheet and cook until hardened and browned, approximately 8-12 minutes. Cool then break apart into small pieces.

Carmel Mousse (we made 1/3 of recipe)
100g pear syrup (reserved from above)
20g milk powder 0% fat
100g egg yolk
20g glucose
10g gelatin 180 bloom
50g water
100g sugar
70g glucose
1 vanilla bean
300g warmed heavy cream
350g whipped cream

Direction: cook pear syrup, milk powder, yolks and glucose in a saucepan. Meanwhile bloom gelatin sheets in water. In another pan cook sugar, glucose and vanilla bean to a amber/carmel color. Add in warmed cream and bring back to a boil. Add gelatin sheet to egg mixture and then combine egg mixture with carmel mixture. Fold in whipped cream, set aside.

Pear Mousse (we made 1/3 recipe):
90g pear syrup (reserved from above)
20g milk powder 0% fat
100g egg yolk
20g glucose
50g trimoline
16g gelatine 180 bloom
80g water
450g pear puree
40g pear alcohol
165g whipped cream

Directions: Repeat exact instruction from carmel mousse, except ADD TRIMOLINE to egg mixture. Set aside.

Carmel Glaze:
(Note: this makes almost 4 gallons of liquid - we made an entire recipe for the class)
400g apricot glaze
1qt water
80g gelatine
150g sugar

Directions: In a LARGE and WIDE pan, cook sugar until it is a dark amber color (this will take a while and the sugar will clump together - be patient and create a liquid); it should boil roughly. Add water to stop the boiling process. The water will again make the sugar clump together.... just keep stirring. Add apricot glaze to mixture, stirring constantly. Lastly add gelatine bloom. Mixture will be extremely hot and need to cool down considerably. The mixture should be hotter than warm when using, but not this hot.

Assembling the cake:

Once the cake is cooled, cut in half. Working from the bottom up, and using the same sized ring used for cooking the cake, place ring on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Fill bottom of ring with carmel mousse, paying attention to allow some mousse to come up the sides (we want the exterior of the cake to have this mouse around it). Sprinkle some chocolate decoration on the mousse now (optional - we did not do this step). Place 1 layer of cake on top of the mouse. Fill the top of the cake with pear mousse (careful to all the 'carmel' mouse to still occupy the outside area). Chop and sprinkle the reserved pears on top of the mousse followed by sprinkles of the nougatine. Cover the top of the pears and nougatine with more pear mousse followed by the last layer of cake.

Cover and freeze the cake for at least 8 hours so that it's completely frozen.

Unmold the cake and place on a cooling rack (placed inside of a plastic wrapped lined baking sheet). Laddle the syrup over the cake completely making sure to work from the top of the cake to the sides. Shock the pan to make sure the syrup coats the cake, return to the freezer until ready to decorate (3-5 minutes). Keep cold until ready to serve.



"The Divine"

So this quarter I'm taking a European Cakes and Tortes class. Our first assignment was to make a chocolate mousse cake (basically). The problem is, there's nothing "basic" about this torte. It's 4 layers of the best of the best... CHOCOLATE.
Top layer = Milk Chocolate Glacage (glaze)
2nd layer = Milk Chocolate Cream (mousse)
3rd layer = Hazelnut Feuilletine (wafer crumbs)
4th layer = Almond Dacquoise (softer than sponge, cake)
The French really named this torte correctly... it's tastes DIVINE.

(the recipe is in order of how it should be made and assembled)

Milk Chocolate Cream
70g water
15g milk powder
75g egg yolks
15g glucose
4g gelatine 180 bloom (silver sheets)
20g water
450g milk chocolate
50g hazelnut paste
350g whipped cream

Directions: Combine water (1st listed) milk powder, egg yolks and glucose in saucepan and heat to 86 degrees celsius - do not boil (*if you do not have milk powder, use the combo of the 2 in liquid milk form - meaning 85g milk).
Bloom gelatin sheet in 20g water (roughly 2 sheets). Combine bloomed sheet to egg yolk mixture, whisk until fluffy.
Melt chocolate and hazelnut paste over double boiler (bain marie) until melted. Add egg mixture to chocolate. Set aside.
Whip cream until soft peaks form. Fold in cream 1/2 at a time into milk mixture. Place mixture inside of a small ring line with plastic strips that are higher than the height of the ring and place in freezer. Do not touch.

Almond Dacquoise (cake)
150g almond powder
200g powdered sugar
50g flour
215g egg whites
3g dry egg whites
125g sugar
2g salt

Directions: Sift together almond powder, sugar and flour. Whisk egg whites with dry whites. Sprinkle in sugar and salt with mixure becomes foamy and comes away from bowl. Pour in 1/2 flour. Fold slowly and carefully, do not overmix. Pour in remaining flour... repeat. Pipe this mixture into a medium sized ring (buttered and lined with parchment paper) creating edges around the outside first then filling in the middle. Bake at 325 for 15-20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Milk Chocolate Glacage
750g milk chocolate
70g cacao butter
200g clarified butter
100g roasted sliced almond

Directions: Melt chocolate, and butters together. Roast almonds and keep separate.

Hazelnut Feuilletine (wafer crumbs)
150g milk chocolate
300g hazelnut praline paste
300g feuilletine

Melt milk chocolat and paste together. Keep mixutre warm until right before using.
Crumble feuilletine, by hand and place in large bowl. Pour warmed melted chocolate over top and coat feuilletine completely. Should make a large paste-like mixture.


Unmold almond dacquoise (cake) and place on plate, cake ring, etc. Using same size ring as with chocolate cream (in freezer), center the ring on top of the dacquoise. Fill ring with hazelnut feuilletine, pat down to level off mixture. Place ring of chocolate cream on top of feuilletine. Using the glacage, laddle the melted chocolate on top of the cream and sprinkle the almonds on top of the melted chocolate.

Place everything back into the freezer until ready to serve. Cake should be out of the freezer for 20 minutes prior to serving (unless your house is hot as hell). :)

Petits Four Glace

So... have you ever been out to one of those "fancy-smancy" restaurants and they gave you a mini-dessert to "have" along with the bill? Not the after-dinner mints.
These small pastries, cookies and mini-desserts are known as "Petit Four" or miniature pastries. They are meant to be consumed in 1-2 bites.

Honestly you can turn amost any recipe into a 'petit four' just pay close attention to detail, and make them ALL LOOK SAME!

*2 part recipe - 1 for the joconde (dough layer) and 1 for the in between filling*

5oz almond flour
6oz sugar
1.5oz cake flour
4 eggs
3 1/2 egg whites
1.5oz unsalted butter, melted

Directions: Combine almond flour, 5oz of sugar, cake flour and 1/2 of eggs. Whip the mixture for 2 minutes. Stop, scrap the bowl then mix for another 3 minutes. Slowly add remaining eggs. In another clean bowl, whip egg whites and remaining sugar until medium peaks. Fold in melted butter to the almond mixture. Fold in 1/3 of egg whites to lighten the batter, fold in remaining 2/3. Spread mixture over silpat. Level off mixture and bake at 450 for 6-8 minutes. Cut joconde into uniform strips

4oz simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar)
2oz raspberry liquor/puree
raspberry jam, as needed
tempered chocolate, as needed

Combine simple syrup and raspberry liquor/puree together, set aside.


Directions: Place a strip of the joconde. Brush the simple syrup/ liquor mixture on top of the strip. Spoon/brush raspberry jam on top of liquor mixture, and repeat the steps. Finish product should be 2" tall. Cut the strips 2" wide and you'll end up with a 2x2 petit four. Shapes include squares, rectangles, diamond, rounds, etc.
Decorate the tops of the desserts with tempered chocolate (or if you're lazy, more of the raspberry puree - which is what I did)


*Please do not attempt this recipe UNLESS you have a madeleine molded tray/pan.

Nothing tooooooooo fancy about these cookies. They're ok. Easy to make and decorate.

RECIPE: (yield 12 cookies)
4oz unsalted butter
2 eggs
3oz sugar
1tsp lemon zest
1/4tsp vanilla extract
1/4tsp baking powder
3oz cake flour

Directions: Brown the butter (place butter in pan and cook slowly until it turns brown - do not burn). Set aside to cool. Whisk eggs and sugar over double boiler until warm. Remove from heat and whisk in lemon juice, zest and vanilla. Sift baking powder and flour together and stir into egg mixture. Stir in melted butter. Cover bowl and allow to rest for 1 hour at room temperature.
Butter and flour madeleine pan, spoon or pipe in batter to pan. Fill 3/4 the way.
Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, until light brown. After baking, invert pan over wire rack, cool completely.

Spritz Cookies w/Raspberry Preserves

So these cookies are sold everywhere. I know that I pick them up all the time. Peperidge Farm (sp?) sells them in raspberry, blueberry, etc. The trick in making them is just using a star tip during the piping process.

RECIPE: (yield 12 cookies)
4oz butter, softened
2oz sugar
1/4tsp salt
1tsp vanilla
1 egg
5oz cake flour
4oz raspberry preserves
powdered sugar, as needed

Directions: Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add salt, vanilla and egg. Combine well. Slowly add flour, until just combined - dough should not be sticky or stiff. Pipe dough unto ungreased sheet using large star tip.
Wet your index finger and create a "well" in the middle of the cookied. Place 1tsp of preserves in the middle of each cookie.
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes (until edges are lightly browned). Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired

Chocolate Souffle

So, we had to make these as a group, so it's hard to determine exactly which one is mine, out of a group of 20. I made 5 though, so THERE!

1pt orange juice
8 egg yolks
4oz sugar
3oz A/P flour
8oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
2oz orange liquor
Butter, melted - as needed
Sugar, as needed
16 egg whites
Powdered sugar, as needed

Directions: Heat OJ to lukewarm in saucepan. Whisk egg yolks with 3oz of sugar in mixing bowl. Whisk in flour and warm OJ, return mixture to saucepan. Cook on med-low heat until thick - do not boil, remove from heat. Stir in chocolate until completely melted. Add liquor. Cover mixture with plastic wrap (touching the mixture) keep at room temperature.

Prepare ramekins by brushing with melted butter and dust with sugar, coat completely.
Preheat oven to 425.

Whip egg whites to stiff peaks with 1oz of sugar (remaining). Fold whites into chocolate base and spoon mixture into ramekins (filled to within 1/4" of rim. Bake immediately, for approximately 12 minutes.

Sprinkle powdered sugar over the tops.

Chocolate Pistacio Biscotti w/Cranberries

Warning, the making of biscotti resembles something you make when you're alone in the bathroom. It's a very tricky process that can go wrong easily.

.2oz cinnamon, ground
.3oz baking powder
10oz hazelnut flower
3oz almond flour
1lb pastry flour
5 eggs
1lb sugar
8oz butter, melted
10oz whole pistacios
10oz dried cranberries
4 oz cooled, melted chocolate
warm, melted chocolate (as needed)

Directions: Sift together cinnamon, baking powder. Stir in hazelnut, almond and pastry flours. Whisk together eggs and sugar until thick and pale, and has doubled in volume (3 minutes). Add butter. Stir in flour mixture, then stir in pistacios and cranberries (start with half, then keep adding until you like the consistency). Hand gather all of the ingredients on a table to make sure everything is incorporated evenly.

Divide dough into 3 parts, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll dough into a log approximately 12" long (leave 3" in between each log).

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Cool, then slice logs into desire width. Place sliced cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place that sheet pan on top of anothe sheet pan, upside down inthe oven.
Reduce temperature to 325 back until thoroughly crips, 30-40 minutes.

Note: you can dip the biscotti into melted chocolate once it has cooled.

Eclair Paste (Pate a Choux)

Best made using a convection oven, these treats can be made and frozen in advance.
Use pastry cream (see a previous post for recipe - or ask) to fill and dip/drizzle with melted chocolate.

Eclair Paste Recipe:
8oz water
8oz milk
.3oz salt
.3oz sugar (optional)
7oz butter
10oz bread flour
10-11 eggs

Directions: Bring liquids to a boil, with salt and sugar (if using). Sift dry ingredients. Turn off heat. Add dry ingredients, combine well, then return to medium heat. Cook mixture until it thickens. Place mixture in bowl of standing mixture, with paddle attachment. Mix on low until mixture has cooled, add eggs one at a time. Mixture should be soft and "pipeable."

Pipe small-medium sized balls. Use a star tip to pipe a "donut" design and you've made a Paris-Brest. Bake on 325 for 8-15 minutes.

Note: If making Paris-Brest, you will then need to slice the donut in half, fill with cream, then re-top with other half.

Paris-Brest Cream Recipe (optional filling cream):
12oz butter, softened
4oz praline paste (or hazelnut paste)
1lb 8oz pastry cream

Directions: Cream butter. Add paste and combine. Mix in cream until well combined. Use immediately.

I'm Back!

Ok.... so it's been a while.
School really kicked my butt last quarter, and softball and the family didn't help ease the pain when I wasn't in school.

Anyhoot... I'm back. Here to share the greatest recipes (from school) ever and also here to try out some of yours.

Stay tuned... for a lot of catching up :)


Sacher (not soccer) Cake

So, when I was first told that I would be preparing this cake, the instructor said the name so fast I thought we were making a cake, in the shape of a soccer ball. I quickly found out that that was not the case. I give a CHOCOLATE CAKE to end all chocolate cakes. Sorry some of the pictures didn't come out so great, I'm taking pictures in class with my iPhone, and well... get over it.

RECIPE: Chocolate Glaze

4oz unsweetened chocolate
4oz semisweet chocolate
4oz unsalted butter
4 tsp light corn syrup

Melt all ingredients together over a double boiler, remove from heat and allow to cool - stir occasionally. Use immediately before the glaze dries or stiffens.

RECIPE: Sacher Cake

10oz A/P flour
3oz cocoa powder, alkalized (more expensive chocolate than sometimes available)
12.5oz unsalted butter, softened
18oz sugar
14 egg yolks
hazelnuts (I used pecans), toasted and finely chopped
14 egg whites
18oz apricot jam/glaze (or as needed to glaze tops of cake)

Grease (2) 9" spring foam pans, line with parchment.
Sift flour and cocoa powder TWICE.
Cream butter and 7 oz of sugar until light. Slowly add egg yolks and beat well.
Fold in sifted flour mixture and nuts by hand (mixture will be really hard/tough).
Whip egg whites to soft peak, than add remaining sugar and whip until stiff.
Stir in 1/4 of egg whites to flour mixture, to lighten mixture. Repeat.
Fold in last 1/4 of egg whites.
Pour batter into pans, bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes. Cool cakes before removing from pan.
Split cakes in half (or thirds) and glaze the tops and sides of each cake with apricot jam/glaze. Cool cakes completely.

*OPTIONAL- frost tops and sides of cakes (additional) with chocolate ganache.
Layer cakes on top of each other, and "ladle" chocolate sauce over sides and then top of cake.
"Shock" the pan the cake is on, making the chocolate even out over the top of the cake. Replace cake on a clean surface, and refrigerate to set.

"Torch" the top of the cake when ready to serve, in order to have a nice shiny cake.

Use a HOT knife to cut through all layers and give a clean cut.

(Ladyfingers were used to decorate the cake, and you can also use some left over ganache to write on top of the cake, and on a random piece of paper -see????!?!!?!!!)

Ganache filled Ladyfingers

Even though I wasn't a really big fan of the ganache we made, I still think it turned out pretty good. The ladyfingers could have been piped better, there was way too many different shapes (meaning some were longer, fatter than others) but HAY! ... they all tasted the same when I dumped them into my mouth.

RECIPE: Ladyfingers
3oz cornstarch
4oz bread flour
6 egg yolks
6oz sugar
6 egg whites
1/2 tsp lemon juice

RECIPE: Ganache

1 lb bittersweet chocolate
1 pt heavy cream
1 fl oz almond/coffee liquer

(bring cream to a boil. Pour hot cream over chopped chocolate stir with rubber spatula to blend; stir in liquer. All to cool before using)

Sift flour and cornstarch together.
Whip egg yolks with 2oz of sugar until thick and creamy.
Whip egg whites until foamy. Slowly add 2 oz of sugar and lemon juice.
Whip until soft peaks form, then add remaining sugar until soft peaks form.
Fold 1/3 of whites into whipped yolks, then fold in remaining whites. Fold in
the flour mixture.
Place mixture in pastry bag, and pipe as desired.
Bake at 425 until lightly browned.
Flip cookies on back side. Pipe ganache in center and sandwich between two cookies.
Sprinkle with powder sugar.

Orange Chiffon w/ Chantilly Cream

This cake is wonderfully light, and has a great orange/lemon compliment flavor.
The normal chiffon cake is suppose to be made in a bundt pan, however we decided to make it into a 'jelly roll' and have a little fun. You could also fill this one up with a lemon curd... and it would equally as great!

8oz cake flour, sifted
12oz granulated sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
4 fl oz vegetable oil
6 egg yolks
2 fl oz water, cool
4 fl oz, orange juice
1 tbsp orange zest, fine grated
2 tbsp vanilla extract
8 egg whites

Sift together flour, 6oz of sugar, baking powder and salt.
Mix together oil, yolks, water, orange juice, orange zest and vanilla. Add to flour.
Beat egg whites until foamy. Slowly beat in remaining sugar.
Stir 1/3 of egg whites into batter. Fold in remaining whites.
Pour mixture into parchment lined baking sheet or jelly roll pan.
Bake on 325 for about 8-10 minutes.

Allow to cool (can place in refrigerator overnight).
Line the entire top of cake with chantilly cream.
Roll cake, sprinkle with powder sugar, slice and enjoy.


Vennoise Baguette

The last of the projects made this week in bread class was the "Vennois."
At first glance its made almost exactly like a standard baguette.
It has an egg wash (that you first brush on; refrigerate the bread for a couple of minutes, and then re-egg wash the bread) that makes it incredibly shiny.

The other difference is in how you "slash" the bread. If you slash it almost straight across it looks like mine (pictured here). If you slash it downward, towards the length of the bread, it almost made an "S" curve down the bread (which was very beautiful... sorry no pics).

1 kl bread flour
20g salt
100g sugar
40g yeast
2 eggs
500g milk
150g butter, cold and cubed.

Again, just make this bread dough as you would any other. Add butter last.
Allow to rest for 1 hour. Portion your dough into 300g. Preshape into baguette
shape. Final shape bread into baguette and egg wash. Refrigerate for 3 minutes, then egg wash again. Slash bread and proof for 20 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Baguette Rolls

Using pretty much the same recipe as in my previous post HERE, we made some baguette rolls, to be served with dinner at the local bistro (on campus).
There is a slight difference in the recipe, but basically you make the baguette the same way, however after you slash the tops of the bread, you then cut the bread into smaller pieces to create the "roll" effect.

RECIPE: baguette roll
1 kl flour
650g water
25g salt
350g fermented dough
30g yeast


(unbaked) Brown Sugar/Cinnamon Curls

You would think that as much money as we (all of the students) are paying to go to school all, or most, of our ovens would work properly - EVERYDAY. Well for the past few days only the bottom layer of our 3-tiered deck oven have worked. This only truly affects the classes that bake bread. In addition to that oven not working, only (1) layer of our convection oven is working also.

With this in mind we had to decide which bread we were NOT going to be able to bake, and who would wait until next week to go into the oven. The choice was either chocolate or cinnamon/brown sugar (what a choice)... alas the chocolate won.

Using the MILK BREAD RECIPE from the previous post (chocolate chip swirls).
Using the other half of the dough from the recipe.

Spread pasty cream over the entire 1/2 of the dough.
Sprinkle a mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon all over the dough and then fold 1/2 of the dough ontop of the other.
Cut the double folded dough into long strips and separate.
Holding both ends of the stips, begin twisting the dough into tight twists.
Circle around one edge until the dough makes a circle round.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
You can top the bread with more pastry cream and fresh fruit.

(we didn't, because we couldn't bake them... so they just went into the fridge).

Chocolate Chip Milk Bread Swirls

I really enjoyed making these in class last night, mostly because I was able to eat large portions of quality chocolate chips while waiting around to do "stuff."

Again, the steps to making bread by hand are far too long to list (and my arm is damn near numb from doing all of the kneading).

1 kl bread flour
20g salt
100g sugar
40g yeast
6 eggs
275g milk
200g butter, cold and cubed

After mixing and kneading the dough, leave out in a floured bowl for 30 minutes. Then refrigerate dough overnight.
Remove dough from refrigerator, divide in half and begin rolling it out on a floured surface.
Roll out the dough until it covers the bottom of (2) sheet pans (cookie sheet).
Place pan back in refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Place dough onto countertop and egg wash the middle of the dough (about 3-4 inches).
Brush both sides of egg wash center, with pastry cream all the way to the edges.
Sprinkle chocolate chips over the pastry cream and roll in both sides to the center.
Refrigerate for 20 minutes, then slice roll into sections; twist the center and
place back on the baking sheet flat side down.
Egg wash tops, and bake for 10-15 minutes on 350.

Brioche Braid

So... because I truly hate having to make bread by hand, I'm not going to write down instructions on how to prepare... trust me, you'll thank me later. Just make this bread the same way you would any other loaf, except add the butter in last, after the dough comes together for the first time.

1 kl bread flour
20g salt
150g sugar
40g yeast
12 eggs
125g milk
500g butter, cold and cubed
*egg wash (brush right before proofing - before baking)

This recipe will yield 2 large, braided loaves.
Bake at 220 degree celcius for about 20-30 minutes... be sure the bread is cooked
in the middle... this will mean the outside of the bread will look a little dark, due to the egg wash.

Armaretto Genoise

Last week in pastry class we were focusing on specialty frostings and unique cakes: genoise and classic sponge cakes. Both can be flavored to taste like just about anything, and both are used in a variety of designs and ways.

We also had our first lesson using gelatin sheets (these looker boogers are fun and interesting). To bad you can't purchase them locally, only in UBER-specialty stores. If you're located in the Los Angeles area, "Surfas" (corner of Washington/National) is the only place that will sell them to the public.

They are these long, see through sheets that add texture and more structure to whatever they are added too (mostly frostings).

Lastly, we worked on a variety of frosting and fillings: Chantilly cream, Bavarian cream and pastry cream (the latter can be used for almost anything).

The result was Armaretto Geniose w/ Bavarian cream filling & Chantilly cream frosting

RECIPE: (to dissolve gelatin sheets)
- Place hard gelatin sheets in a ice bath to soften; 15-20 minutes
- Mise en place the remaining ingredients
- Use about 1/4 of "whatever" liquid that's in the recipe, warm it up in the
microwave (be sure to get it hot - not boiling)
- Place dissolved gelatin in hot liquid and whisk until it dissolved, completely
- Add dissolved gelatin to the egg mixture/custard (whichever you're preparing)
- Whip the cream until stiff; use right away

Here is a picture of a dry gelatin sheet... very thin, with ridges in it.

RECIPE: Classic Genoise
10 eggs
8oz granulated sugar
1.5oz butter, melted
.3oz vanilla extract (or whichever one you want to use)
9oz cake flour

Sift flour, set aside.
Whisk the eggs and sugar together in large bowl. Place bowl over double boiler and heat mixture until 100 degrees (don't cook eggs) - stir frequently.
Replace the bowl back on the mixer and whip until mixture is triple in volume.
Fold sifted flour into egg mixture (gently - do not deflate mixture).
Add melted butter into vanilla extract. Pour vanilla/butter mixture onto the sides of the bowl and fold into the batter. Use batter immediately.
Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 8-15 mixtures (time vary dramatically).

RECIPE: Chantilly cream
1 qt heavy cream
2 ea gelatin sheets

Bloom gelatin sheets, dissolve sheets in small portion of (hot) heavy cream.
Add gelatin to rest of cream. Beat on high until stiff peaks form.

RECIPE: Bavarian Cream
3 lb pastry cream (see recipe below)
1 qt whipped cream
3 ea gelatin sheets

Bloom gelatin sheets, dissolve sheets in small portin of (hot) whipping cream.
Add gelatin to rest of cream. Beat on high until SOFT peaks form. Fold in
pastry cream until well blended.

RECIPE: Pastry Cream
1 qt milk
1 vanilla bean
7.5oz sugar
6oz egg yolks
2.5oz cornstarch
2oz butter

Warm milk with 1/3 of sugr, until hot (do not boil).
Combine egg yolks and rest of sugar in a bowl, and whisk until sugar is dissolved.
(never leave sugar alone in yolks, it will begin to cook them)
Add cornstarch to egg mixture, slowly; make sure there are no lumps.
Temper hot milk mixture into egg mixture slowly, and the pour egg mixture into
hot pan.
Continue whisking cream on the stove until it begins to thicken.
Remove from heat and then add butter, whisking until well combined.

NOTE: you have to chill pastry cream before using, either place in bowl and cover with plastic wrap (be sure and place a film directly on top of cream; place the entire pan/bowl in a large bowl of ice water (to chill quickly); or pour hot cream into plastic wrap and wrap up and refrigerate until needed.
To reconstitute cream, just re-whisk cold cream until smooth again.