Monday, November 22, 2010

Chocolate Genoise with Peanut Butter Whipped Ganache

This cake was without problems for me. The genoise was baked at 355' instead of 350', for 35 minutes [mid-range]. This temperature seems to be the best for this oven and me.

The syrup made with Chambord was delicious. I let it soak overnight and made the ganache the next day.
The ganache went just fine.

Everyone liked it this cake ~ We kept half and gave half to friends. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Woody's Lemon Luxury Layer Cake aka 'WLLLC' - for my daughter's 50th

For our free choice week, I am re-posting this elegant cake because on Wednesday I flew to San Diego and baked it for my daughter's surprise 50th birthday party. There were four days of surprises for her, culminating in the 'Closing Ceremony' dinner, including her cake.

Here, I am not posting pictures of the steps of baking since I did that the first time I baked the cake in August. Nothing was different this time except that when I made the buttercream the temperature in San Diego was 98'. I had no problem with the buttercream itself, but thought I would set in in an ice bath for a few minutes just in case. I was taking its temperature when the bowl dipped and a slight amount of water leaked over the side into the mixing bowl. I removed as much as I could, then refrigerated it covered with plastic. It was hot and I was tired. I really didn't want to remake this frosting.

Hastily, I went to the Forum and asked what to do. Charles showed up quickly, and said to uncover it and the water would most likely dissipate. Julie also helped, as she always does in times of crisis. I had been curious if, like stabilizing whipped cream, one could do something like that with gelatin. Of course I had no idea how much water really went in. I was short on time since there were many activities scheduled and it would really be better if it worked the first time. There were many questions and answers on the Forum about problems and solutions so I always turn there. This time I shall post the cake to say thanks.

The cake sat wrapped in plastic in the fridge overnight and Friday it looked fine. In whipping it to soften for frosting it was soft, but in that heat, why wouldn't it be, I reasoned. My hostess was kind enough to torte it and put on the curd that I had made at home, frozen and carried with a blue-ice in a zip-lock bag in the suitcase. That way, I only had the custard and completed buttercream to do the day after arrival. We crumb-coated it Friday and waited until Saturday to frost it. All went well.

The cake was light and tender; the curd was just tart and lemony enough, and the buttercream-lemon- white chocolate delicate and delicious. Everyone enjoyed it. Personally, I love this cake, even though I do think it is easier to make it in two sessions.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Bostini [I had posted this out-of- turn so here it is again]

Since I first came across The Bostini in "Rose's Heavenly Cakes", I have been captivated by the thought of the patisserie cream, fluffy orange chiffon muffins, and splendiferous chocolate glaze cascading down the cappuccino cup. How Italian, insouciant, and romantic, at a tiny marble table in the candlelit garden after dinner - I waxed enthusiastic. I thought Rose's rendition of the Boston Cream Pie would be even more decadent. And so I chose it to create for our Heavenly 'free week'. I thought of the history of the recipe so protected by it's creator that he required a contract from his restaurant, guarding his inception of it. All that being said - I had no doubt that anything named "The Bostini" would be great!
So, today, we approached the baking as usual, setting up four mis en places: One for the orange chiffon cupcakes; one for the patisserie cream; one for the chocolate butter glaze [chocolate and butter adornment. All the trays looked very neat and colorful on the table.
I went into the kitchen for a moment, leaving my camera on the tea cart since I planned to take a few pictures during activities. And when I passed back through the door into my workstation [which is more aptly the dining room table covered with a thick plastic cloth], I was met by sous chef, "Mercurious Sublimatus," the Baking Cat.

He was hard at work weighing and measuring.
The following work involved tasting and his
decision that whatever it was did not appeal
to him. Mostly, however, what didn't appeal to him was the realization that the Chef
was not only in the
house, but watching him!

Setting up!


I should taste it!


Oops! Chef in the house ~~~~~~~

The Bostini is not actually difficult at all. One must put together the orange-zested batter by folding stiffly
beaten egg whites into it.

I use the large balloon whisk from J. Prince. The Lekue muffin pan works well with foil liners with the paper left in and sprayed with Baker's Joy.

You may see them rising nicely in the oven.
I had enough batter to make some Madeleines, that were exquisite. Light bites of faerie delicacies. The muffins, themselves, were light and airy with their fragrance of orange. They were beyond compare. It was hard to believe.

The patisserie cream was lovely with its vanilla pod and seeds.
Clearly, the Bostini is becoming more than the sum of it's parts. The little cappuccino cups are filled over half with the custard, covered with plastic, and placed into the fridge to chill.

Next the glaze - The chocolate Valrhona and butter are set to melt. Chocolate in a Lekue bowl over hot water and butter in a small pan, whisked together and cooled. I was pressed for time so I cooled the glaze in the fridge for a short time.
And last, but not least, the cups of patisserie cream emerge from the fridge to receive their muffin. Rose suggests they be placed upside-down for a cork-like effect to keep the cream from over flowing when the cake is eaten. Now to pour the chocolate over the tops, hoping they resemble the photograph of the gorgeous one in "Rose's Heavenly Cakes".

Of course, it didn't really matter because they were so marvelous and unique. The flavor and consistency beyond belief - How could one adequately describe how airy, filled with fragrance of orange,
this melt-in-the-mouth confection truly is? Is it possible?
Come and experience the essence of chiffon!