19 June 2014

Playing catch-up, with Cakes and Chocolate

So, it's been a long time since my last post. Tuesday was my last day of classes, which I spent doing a thorough cleaning of the bakeshop kitchens, along with all my fellow pastry students. The cleaning was well-organized, but still took all of us (about 80 people) nearly three hours. Later Tuesday afternoon I took the ServSafe restaurant manager sanitation test, which I'll write more about in a future post. I have 10 days off until starting summer quarter on June 30th, and I'm going to spend part of my summer break trying to catch up on this blog. Starting with CAKE!


My fourth rotation was cakes, with Chef James, who is cheerful and relaxed, so it was a nice change from doughs. My notes tell me that we made five cakes, though I only managed to remember to take a photo of the one above. All the cakes that we made are American style cakes. The recipes are all from the photocopied packet of school recipes that I got at the beginning of the quarter. We made:

Ladyfinger batter, piped into ten inch rounds and baked, which we used as a layer in tiramisu cheesecake

Chocolate sponge cake and german chocolate cake filling, for the cake above (it's topped with shaved chocolate)

Chocolate Basque cake, which is cake batter layered with pastry cream before baking (very rich and dense)

Coffee cake

Espresso pound cake

I liked the espresso pound cake. The others were tasty but very rich, especially the tiramisu cheesecake.

On one of our Baking 101 class mornings, we went to the bake shop instead of the classroom, and practiced writing and making decorations with piped tempered chocolate. We learned to make piping bags out of parchment paper cones. It was very messy and fun.



  1. You are making me want some cake, and I don't really care much for cake. The exception would be pound cake or carrot cake.

    1. The carrot cake recipe in our packet is really good - I got to taste some when some of my fellow students made it. I'll scale it down and make some for you one of these days. I think you would like the espresso pound cake too - it's not too sweet.

  2. Oh man, I'd never even heard of Chocolate Basque cake before, and now I want to eat it. Your chocolate writing looks great! I know Lara here at ABC uses parchment paper to decorate, but I just buy the plastic bags at JoAnn. I guess I'm lazy. :)

    1. We've been using the parchment cones only for chocolate writing (so far). For other piping we use semi-reusable clear plastic bags - they are quite sturdy and last for perhaps 20 uses/washings.