Cakes and Tarts

Okay, so if you didn’t already know, I suck at updating my blog. School has been keeping me busy and by the time I get home, the last thing on my mind is updating my blog. But here I am, to give you a full update on the last 3 weeks of pastry school. For 2 weeks I studied cakes. No, not your good ol’ American buttercream frosted red-velvet cake, but French/European cakes or Entremets (on-tra-may) (mousse cakes). It was nice learning about this style of cake, and there were a few I really enjoyed. The ones I really enjoyed were the Hazelnut Chocolate Mousse Cake and the Raspberry Silk Cake. They were creamy-deliciousness, bites of heaven.

Hazelnut Chocolate Mousse Cake


don’t mind these craptacular pictures: layer of chocolate biscuit, chocolate mousse, hazelnut dacquoise and a hazelnut mousse. pure delight.

Raspberry Silk Cake

Raspberry Silk Cake: layers of almond dacquoise, hazelnut crunch, raspberry gelee, and a white chocolate diplomat mousse.

I learned how to make puff pastry! I thought this was super exciting, because I never thought I’d be making my own puff pastry one day. It’s just so easy and convenient to buy the frozen kind. Well, even though there were a few steps in making this puff pastry, it wasn’t all that difficult at all. I enjoyed making it, and would love to make it again and use it with a savory recipe. With the puff pastry we made a Pithivier (pi-thiv-ee-ay) or Almond Galette. it’s a puff pastry filled with almond cream. It was super delicious, flaky and buttery, and I felt that mine turned out beautifully.

Pithivier or Almond Galette

other cakes we made that are not mentioned: nougat mousse cake made with a pistachio dacquoise, an apricot/passion gelee, nougat mousse, and dried fruits and nuts — i could see this cake as being a nice fall or holiday cake, due to the use of pistachios, nuts and dried fruit. A coconut passion cake made with a coconut dacquoise, coconut mousse and passion fruit mousse. this cake was very light and refreshing, a perfect summer cake.

now onto Tarts.

I was weary about tarts when we were going into it. The only tarts I had in mind were the ones I made in Petit Fours class, and I was not a huge fan. Little did I know I would end up LOVING tarts class. I was super bummed that it was only a week long class, because I honestly had lots of fun. Sure I did wrestle with the dough a bunch of times, because one minute I’d be rolling the dough out, the next, it would be ripping and sticking to my roller. I learned that when working with the dough, it should be very cold, and you need to work fast. If you don’t, you’ll be wrestling with it for a while. I also learned some valuable things in this class, not regarding tarts, but just regarding organization. My chef instructor is very, and I mean, VERY, organized, and it really made me more aware of my organization skills. I thought I was pretty organized, but during this week, I don’t know if it was the nerves or what, my organization skills were off. I know I need to work on it some more, because in this field you really have to make sure you’re on top of things. Anyhoo, here are some of the beautiful and delicious tarts I constructed.

fresh fruit tarts


filled with almond cream, figs, and apricots.

lemon cream tart

lemon curd filled tart topped with french meringue shells.

lemon curd tart

i went a little too far with the torch on the meringue, but turned out great. very tart, similar to a lemon meringue pie.

chocolate tart

chocolate custard filled tart topped with a chocolate nougatine crisp.


with the leftover chocolate custard, i made pots de creme.

lastly, we made an inverted puff pastry, where instead of folding the butter into the dough, we folded the dough into the butter. with it we made a Gateau St. Honore and Mille Fuille.

Gateau St. Honoré

puff pastry topped with pate a choux filled with pastry cream, and center filled with a vanilla crème légère (pastry cream with heavy cream folded in). This was by far my favorite. Soo creamy and good with a bit of crunch from the caramel atop the chouquettes.

Mille Feuille (Napolean)

puff pastry layered with pastry cream. Simple and delectable.

This week begins Wedding Cakes, so stay tuned!

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    • Rachel
    • September 13th, 2010

    Girl, you are DEFINITELY in the right field…everything here looks AMAZING!!!! And DELICIOUS!!! WOW that is talent!!! :)

    • alexandria
    • September 14th, 2010

    Thnx sheena for posting these amazng pictures and updating us on your studies. I wanted to go to the french pastry school so I’m happy to see your work. The almond puff pastry looks delectable! Good luck with wedding cakes.

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