Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cake of a Chocolate Mousse Kind

Chocolate Mousse Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Pistachio
"Oh now you're just showing off", is what I heard from chef as I presented my chocolate mousse cake for grading tonight. (Thanks chef Richard!). Yeah, she turned out pretty nice. I just ate a slice, and let's just say that it is as tasty as it is pretty.

So this week we have been working on this beauty, a chocolate mousse cake with chocolate ganache. We started off by making the chocolate butter cake, then we made a Japonaise. A Japonaise is essentially a meringue, or a nut meringue. I have heard of it being an almond meringue, but we used hazelnuts in ours. The Japonaise was made in the style of making a French Meringue, and then adding hazelnut meal, then bake it off until it is crispy. This provides a tasty, nutty, light crunch at the bottom of our chocolate mousse cakes. Oh yes, YUM.

Then we made the chocolate mousse, and the chocolate ganache. Each piece of the chocolate mousse cake puzzle was pretty simple enough. Once we learned the technique, it was smooth sailing, and just a matter of whipping our eggs to the proper peaks, and adding the sugars at the right time. Then it came time to put the puzzle pieces together. We had a Japonaise, a chocolate butter cake, chocolate mousse, and chocolate ganache. Not to mention a few additional garnishes.

We each grabbed an 8" round cake pan, lined the sides with acetate, and the bottom with a parchment cartouche, then we began the layering.....first went a nice thick layer of chocolate mousse, then a layer of chocolate cake, then a second layer of chocolate mousse, a second layer of chocolate cake, then the third layer of chocolate mousse, and topped it off with the Japonaise. We turned the cake pan upside down to release it from the cake pan, and thus bottom becomes the top. Meaning the Japonaise is now the bottom layer.

We finished the cake by pouring a nice layer of chocolate ganache over the the entirety of the cake, letting the ganache drip and roll over the sides until the cake is beautifully coated and glossy. Lastly, we melted some milk chocolate and white chocolate, and made some tiny piping bags out of parchment paper. Then tried our best to pipe out some straight lines of melted chocolate on to the top of our shiny cakes. I was having a hard time getting my lines to come out straight and not squiggly, and after many attempts on parchment paper, I was quickly over it, and just went to the cake. I braved it and ran the handmade piping bag over my gorgeous and shining cake. It wasn't success, but it wasn't complete failure! They were slightly squiggly, and my partner helped me to fill in some gaps. Then we ran a wooden skewer across the top of the cake to make the swirl-like design, and finished the sides with chopped pistachio. And....voila!! A stunning chocolate mousse cake was born. Now if only I could figure out what I am going to do with the rest of this beast, because I do not want it sitting in my fridge!

mmmmm Baking & Pastry!!
Oh, and because he said I is my class partner..... reveling in his joys of our baking and pastry goodies....

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