It seems like it has been forever since I had class or wrote anything here! But today, finally, I had class again. I had my demo followed by my practical straight after. In demo Chef Nicolas showed us how to make:
*Succès (almond dacquoise with praliné buttercream)
Progrès (hazelnut/almond dacquoise with chocolate buttercream)
Russe (almond dacquoise with coffee buttercream)
It took just about the entire 3 hours for Chef to show us all three cakes, although he did stop to talk a lot. But at least the things he talked about were related to what we were doing in class. I can’t say that I have a favourite chef, although I do like them all for different reasons. I’m glad we had Chef Nicolas for demo today, it was fairly easy to follow and understand. Whenever he is finished his products always look really really nice. His style is a lot more “clean” (I think that’s the word I’m looking for). Anyways, the demo was good even if it did involve the use of hazelnuts. Here is what he made in the demo:Chef Nicolas’ progrès, succès, and russe.
Practical went really well I think. I didn’t mess up on anything, and I was the first person to present my cake. I’ve noticed that I’m not as scared of Chef Nicolas as I used to be, and that my hands don’t shake like crazy in practical anymore. I guess I’m just getting more comfortable in class. Yay! Anyways, My dacquoise, which is basically a nut cake (t’s nut powder+icing sugar+flour+egg whites. It smells really really REALLY good when it’s baking. yes, even though it had hazelnuts in it.) that you pipe in a spiral onto a baking tray turned out fairly well. We had to pipe three spirals, and had to make sure at least one of them was really nice and done without breaking the line while piping because it would be on top. I managed to get one that was really nice, but I think I sort of rushed on the last two so they weren’t as pretty. But when the baked they weren’t that bad in the sense that they were generally all the same size and shape, so that was good!
Making the praliné buttercream by hand was RIDICULOUS! It’s times like these I wish I was part machine so my arms wouldn’t get tired. Mine turned out fine somehow though, so I piped it onto my dacquoise layers. After you do that, you are supposed to mask the sides of the cake with leftover buttercream. Except I didn’t have any left…I had put too much in the middle so when I pressed down it didn’t come out the sides enough. So Chef came over with his leftover buttercream from demo and piped some onto the sides of my cake so I could mask it for the almonds to stick. Lesson learned! From now on I will always keep a little bit of my buttercream reserved for masking the sides. When I finished masking it I covered the sides in toasted slivered almonds, dusted the top with powdered sugar, and made the decorations.
The decorations were made of almond paste, and we got to use a blowtorch! It was actually kind of scary, but mine turned out fine. I did sort of burn one of the edges a little bit. All in all Chef said that my cake was nice, but to make sure that I don’t put too much buttercream in the middle. And that I need to work on my chocolate piping, but he said that to the entire class. So tomorrow a friend from class is coming over and we are going to practice piping together just for fun. Then afterwards we have an excursion with the school to tour the Hilton Hotel’s kitchens and whatnot. That could potentially be really boring, but I guess I’ll find out! Anyways, here is what my cake looked like after Chef cut it in half.
When I tasted this cake, I was expecting to hate it because of the hazelnuts but I actually liked it. It’s not a really strong hazelnut flavour and I really like the texture. I think this is a cake I would make in the future just for fun. Is this the start of Tara liking HAZELNUTS?!?!? Who knows! Maybe, maybe not. I still would not just eat a hazelnut and the thought of nutella still makes me want to vomit. But I do like this cake.
Butter used: 215gms
***UPDATE! This cake was GONE within 20 minutes. Thank god for hungry hungry hippos housemates. ***