buried treasure

Since it was such a busy week for cuisine, we only had time to squeeze in two pastry classes… and both just happened to focus on dome cakes.  Now, the art of sculpting a cake into a dome isn’t as easy as it sounds… the sides of the dome must be perfectly even and aligned… no half-domes or leaning towers here =P  The top of the dome must be rounded off nicely and the size of the dome should be, as Ben so lovingly put it, about a C cup size =P  I’m really going to miss his sarcastic and inappropriate remarks next term =(…

In just about every lesson, we have to make a mousse for our cakes and our wild strawberry and vanilla ‘treasure’ cake was no exception.  We used a strawberry puree to make the mousse, but for me, it lacked any real strawberry taste… perhaps it needed twice the amount of strawberry puree?  The ‘treasure’ inside these cakes were precious wild strawberries that truly are superior to plain ol’ regular strawberries.  Since fresh wild strawberries are hard to come by, even in France, we used frozen ones.  Along with the strawberry mousse, it tasted almost like Breyer’s strawberry ice cream =P

Continuing with our endless lineup of mousse cakes, our second cake of the week was a chestnut dome cake… and the buried treasure inside?  Why, chestnut mousse of course =P  I actually had a lot of fun making the outer layer of this cake, trying to sculpt it into the spiny burr that houses the actual chestnuts…. looks kinda cute at certain angles, don’t you think? ;)

To give it even more of a dimensional effect, we spray painted the entire dome cake with a chocolate spray. What an incredibly messy, yet kinda fun, way to finish a cake =)

As the final decoration, we shaped chestnut paste into chestnuts and dipped them in a chocolate glaze for the full effect. This must be, without doubt, an extreme chestnut lover’s cake =P

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