Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Contemporary Cakes at the CIA

By student blogger Morgan

My final cakes class at the CIA was yet another mouth watering experience with plenty of photo ops to share with you. In this class you will find no butter cream, fondant or gumpaste as in Confectionery Arts. Instead, we learned how to make a different type of cake frequently used in upscale restaurants to celebrate a guest's special occasion: the entremet.  An entremet (meaning 'between meals' in French) is a type of mousse cake that is built in a metal ring and contains layers of multiple different textures and flavors encased by an exterior mousse. It is garnished with the purpose of serving it whole to a person or party, who may then slice it up and share it (...orrrr not). For the first six days of Contemporary Cakes with Chef Rossomondo the students create six different entremets, culminating in a project in which they get to design one completely on their own. 

Entremets are one of a kind in the cake world because of the different textures and flavors you can incorporate. Because the cake is built using a metal cake ring, it lends itself to be filled with anything from a crunchy cookie to a soft creameux. You can layer the same flavor in many different ways (cookie, cake, mousse, etc.), or blend a mixture of flavors and mediums for an entirely new effect. The entremet pictured below has a spicy gingersnap cookie on the bottom, a blueberry jam, an almond cake and a marscarpone mousse on the exterior. The colored band is a decor sponge cake that we 'camouflaged' using brightly dyed cake batter, and there is a raspberry glaze on the top to finish. Each student garnishes every entremet to their own liking using different decor pieces also created in the class out of meringue, chocolate, sugar and dehydrated fruits.

The next one was definitely a class favorite and is modeled after the flavor profile of the popular Take 5. It has a chocolate cookie crust followed by a chocolate pretzel crunch, a caramel cremeux (like a soft and creamy mousse), chopped peanuts, a chocolate flour-less cake and a peanut butter mousse. Then the whole thing is en-robed with caramel glaze and garnished with chocolate.

Entremets come in all shapes and sizes like this buche de noel mold. The ends are sliced off to reveal the gorgeous layers inside of sugar cookie, blueberry jam, citrus chiffon cake, blueberry compote, basil mousse and lemon mousse. This one is also glazed with a raspberry glaze and garnished with sugar decor items.

My personal favorite: the Modern Carrot Cake. From bottom to top is a hazelnut cookie crust, raspberry jam, carrot cake, strawberry gelee (almost like a jelly), and cream cheese exterior mousse. To finish this cake I sprayed a hot glaze of white chocolate (dyed orange using cocoa butter) onto the frozen cake using a paint spray gun. The warm chocolate sets instantly when it makes contact with the frozen cake and creates a velvety, slightly crunchy texture. It's garnished with chocolate and dried, candied orange slices.

Here's a sampling of my class' individual entremet project cakes. We had free reign over the shape, decor, flavor and concept of our cakes.

The second part of the class is production to cater the graduation buffet on the last day of each block. As a class we created a frozen dessert, three different petit gateaux, three dry petit four items, and two different types of pops. We then displayed our desserts on the trays below and decorated dummy cakes to pass around to the guests at the buffet. 

Chocolate praline, blueberry coconut and caramel mousse petit gateaux alongside baked puff pastry rolled in butter and vanilla sugar.

Dulce de leche filled bi-color French macarons. 

 Two of my classmates displaying their pops they passed around on decorated dummy cakes. The pops were white chocolate dipped cheesecake and a take on lemon meringue pie.

This class had a little bit of everything and touched on many different techniques we've learned in the past as well as a few new. It is very similar to the class we took in the same bakeshop prior to externship, Individual Production Pastries, in the sense that it is a step up in pace from most classes and you are turning out beautiful and tasty products. It was so much fun to be a part of graduation and see the guests' reaction to the desserts we had worked so hard on!

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