Monday, September 12, 2011

Chiffon Cake...You Little Tart!

Hazelnut Chiffon Cake with Coffee Buttercream Frosting
I have some catching up to do here, as I haven't posted in a few days. Last I mentioned we were about to finish our second practical exam in B&P. We were being tested on three different doughs and the makings of a quiche, almond tart, profiteroles and eclairs. 

The night went very smoothly for me and I managed to stay on track and on time. Chef Richard ended up giving us an extra 30 minutes though, as he said the class before us needed the extra time, and figured we would too as there was a lot to get done. I really didn't need the extra time, but since I knew I had it, I took my time in the assembly of the profiteroles and eclairs, and served chef my tray of baked goodies just 5 minutes after the original deadline. And chef Richard was pleased with my work at first sight, and after a second closer look, he said that I "rocked it"! I did get a small percentage off of the quiche because the dough was likely too thin on the bottom as it was a little gooey in the very center. Ah well! It wasn't a perfect score, but my work looked fantastic, and chef gave me great compliments. I was happy!
Almond Tart with Apricot

The next day I attended the daytime class which is the same class, chef and kitchen, but different students. It was a great experience getting to work with a new group of people. They were all mostly younger, quite chatty and friendly with each other, and they were all having a really fun time. So it was fun to listen to them as I did my work. That night we made a Chiffon Cake and a Buttercream Frosting. Finally, we got to learn about chef Richard's buttercream frosting! He told us about it at the start of the class four weeks ago, and I have been anxious to learn about it ever since. And of course, it's really simple. As was the chiffon cake. Chiffon cake is made differently from your standard cake, as it is a hybrid of a high-fat cake and a sponge cake. It gets it's light and airy texture by whipping together egg whites and sugar that make a meringue, then carefully fold in the meringue into the rest of the wet and dry ingredients. All of this did take up the entire evening, so we had to wrap up our beautiful little chiffon's and buttercreams, and store them in the walk-in for the weekend, (how sad!). There they waited patiently for us to come back to them tonight....

So tonight we got to assemble our pretty little chiffon cakes. And that alone took all our class time, as it was detailed work, especially given this was all our first times putting a cake together in this fashion. And we all enjoyed getting to pick and choose our own flavorings and colors for our individual cakes. For mine, I chose a coffee buttercream frosting, with a hazelnut liqeur simple syrup to add some extra moisture and flavor to the cake. It was a bit tricky to get the cake cut into 3 even layers, and evenly frosted in between each layer. And then to straighten out the top layer and the sides. I was having a hard time with mine because it seemed that my buttercream wasn't at the proper temperature to evenly coat the cake, but I did the best that I could with it, and I think she turned out pretty nice. Oh, and we still didn't get to take home our pet chiffon cakes, as we still had to leave them in that lonely dark walk-in, until tomorrow when we will meet again....

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