Chocolate Centerpiece

I’m so excited to finally share this with everyone! It took us 3 weeks to complete, but our 100% chocolate showpiece is finished! This project didn’t fit into any specific class, but our chef said it would be good to try so we can gain some skills in this area. I learned so much by doing this and am glad to show you the result!

We tempered A LOT of chocolate to create the base and arms of the design. After it began to set we placed a cardboard cutout of our piece on the chocolate and cut around it.

After more setting time and a final cut this was the result.

This is after we glued the pieces together with more chocolate. Yes, we did use a level =)

Cleaning the seams to make sure they are perfect.

Next, we poured tempered chocolate through this tube. I made a small slit in the tube so the chocolate would release all the way around. The next week I cut through the tube carefully without bending the chocolate so it wouldn’t break.

The result!

After adding the circle and the rest of the arm.

We made ribbons using acetate paper and attached below the small base. This was after we sprayed it with a very fine layer of chocolate to clean our fingerprints and other unwanted blemishes .

Flowers Hui made by using the tip of a pairing knife, acetate paper, and white chocolate. She added gold dust, so pretty!

The completed project in the display case.

All in all I learned that with enough time and patience creating centerpieces is very rewarding. Tiny exacto knives are one of the best tools ever when doing this kind of project; hardware and baking go surprisingly well together. The best part is that since it is tempered, it will last for a very long time. Until next time, Happy Baking!

 

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S’More Cupcake, Zuppa Inglaise Tart, San Diegos, Doughnuts, Chocolate Cake, and Flemish Apple Tart

S’more cupcake. Chocolate filled and toasted meringue, great idea but not so wonderful execution.

Zuppa Inglaise Tart.

Notice the layers?

San Diegos with a white chocolate decoration.

Doughnuts pre-fried

Post fried.

This one is glazed with cinnamon sugar, we also made pastry cream filled ones and chocolate doughnuts.

Crumb coat on our chocolate cake with raspberry jam.

After we poured the hot ganache over the top, added the struessel, and decorated. I loved the chocolate waves.

Flemish Apple Tart, mini sized!

In petit fours class we have been creating a chocolate centerpiece. We should finish it this Wednesday so stay tuned to see that! I can’t wait to show it off!  Until then, Happy Baking!

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Marzipan Figure, Tuille, Biscotti, Croissant, Hazlenut Cookies, and Eclairs

My marzipan bear without the eyes. This could be placed on a cake or centerpiece to add a nice edible aspect to it. This was a lot of fun to play around with and it opens up so many doors for decoration.

Passion fruit tuille batter. Mostly these are used for decoration.

Biscotti with cranberries and hazelnuts, some with chocolate drizzle and some with chocolate and pistachio.

Croissants for our test.

Practice piped flower.

Piped cookies with a hazelnut paste in the middle.

The ends are dipped in chocolate for a wonderful tasting snack!

Eclairs.

We filled them with a coffee flavored pastry cream and dipped then in a silky ganache.

Until next time, Happy Baking!

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Butter Cookies, Linzer Tart, and an Apple Turnover

Last week I had the opportunity to attend a Callebaut and Demarle presentation. They are big names in chocolate and silicone molds. Such a great experience! They had examples of different desserts made with some of the newest things on the market. I have no pictures from this event, but here are the rest from the week.

Piped butter cookies with a candied orange peel, pistachio, cranberry, and toasted almond.

Almond tuile. It’s like a very thin cookie used mainly for decorations.

Linzer Tart. It is named for the city Linz in Austria and also is the oldest documented recipe in the world. It dates back to the 1600s

Close up of the lattice work and the raspberry jam filling.

These are  linzer cookies, also very popular. They are made with the leftover dough and are basically 2 baked cookies glued together with the jam.

In laminated dough, we made apple turnovers. After creating all the layers with the sheeter, we made the apple filling and egg washed the edges.

Up close of the apple and walnut mixture.

After folding and sealing the edges.

After baking, see the lovely layers?

So fluffy!

Happy Baking!

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Red Velvet Cake, Cat Tongues, Creme Brulee and Mousse Tart

Due to illness, Sysco conference, and overflowing drains, it seems as if this post is overdue. Last week we baked Red Velvet Cakes and froze them to decorate later.

This shows the crumb coat.

While waiting for that to set we practiced our rosettes.

The finished product! The main thing I need to work on is making the sides smooth without redoing it 3 times. It will come I just need practice. Overall I was very pleased since it’s only my second cake.

The day we had petit fours the Sysco conference was going on. Our class made these cat tongues quickly and dipped them in chocolate. We then got the opportunity to go to our first food show. A neat experience even if the desserts weren’t very impressive.

This is a tart with a shortbread dough, creme brulee base, and chocolate mousse topped with a cocoa gelee. It was very tasty and I loved the look of the layers.

I look forward to sharing more later, Happy Baking!

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Petit Fours- Irish Cream Creme Brulee

In Petit Fours we had a lot of creative leeway this week. We made a creme brulee, not the kind you torch, with a base formula and tweaked it to add flavorings of your choice. My group chose to add Irish (ok it was Kentucky but close enough) whiskey, chocolate, and coffee extract. It was very creamy and smooth. This was placed on a shortbread tart dough crust and decorated as we pleased.

This was our creation. We wanted it to be very modern yet pleasing to the eye, and more importantly have a great mouthfeel. The specks of yellow in the transfer paper help give character and tie in the sliver of apricot we added. Also, no one wants their mouth poked so the chocolate had to be just the right thickness to stay rigid enough to stand tall, yet thin enough to collapse when eaten.

Other groups’ interpretations. Mango and almond bases? I don’t exactly remember.

All the group’s samplings. It was lovely if I do say so myself =)

I enjoy projects like these where we can stretch our creativity. It is also nice to be able to see the different combinations and techniques that my peers incorporate in their designs. Today was a great day and I am encouraged to press forward. Truly, Happy Baking!

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Raspberry Tart, Palmiers, and German Chocolate Cake

We began with a shortbread tart dough and added a chocolate spongecake that was in the bottom of the raspberry tart.

This was covered with a chocolate raspberry ganache and decorated with strawberries and raspberries. It was a hit at the party this weekend.

These were called Palmiers or Elephant Ears. It is like a puff pastry with sugar. We chose cinnamon sugar. It still had the cold dough and went through the sheeter like the croissants.

After baking. I felt that they looked more like hearts than elephant ears, but still looked nice.

Playing around with other designs.

The flaky sheets I promised to show you this time.

This is a German Chocolate Cake. It tastes great and for my first cake to decorate I thought it went ok. This is the base.

View from the top. It is three layers all together. We learned about leveling cakes, rounding them out, applying crumb coats, and different piping techniques. I was ready to pull my hair out over the icing on the sides, but with practice it will be much better.

I have been learning many useful techniques this semester already and look forward to sharing my progress with you. Happy Baking!

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