I've been having a lovely two weeks working in the Chocolate Room (a relative oasis of quiet in the chaos of the bake shop) making European-style cakes for my cake rotation. I am under the guidance of the French Chef and have learned a lot, including The Right Way (i.e. the French Chef's way) to make chocolate mousse, lemon cream, and Bavarian cream, and how to caramelize the top of a mille-feuilles. I made two kinds of cake each week.
This one was perhaps my favorite, mostly because I made it up based on other recipes in our packet. Its flavors are citrus (lemon mousse, chocolate-lemon flourless cake, candied orange slice decor) and berry (a layer of raspberry & strawberry coulis). The wafers on the sides are some white chocolate decor we made earlier in the week in chocolate class. It was supposed to have lemon slices as decor but I forgot to candy them the day before assembling the cake.
This cake was also interesting because to put those orange slices on the top of the cake, I built it upside down: I wrapped the cake ring in plastic, and the slices went in first, followed by mousse, a cake layer, mousse, the berry coulis, more mousse, then the last cake layer. After freezing, it is turned right side up before removing the ring.
This cake is called "Riviera." It has dark chocolate cake, lemon cream, and dark chocolate mousse, and is finished with a shiny chocolate glaze.
Next is "Le Brazil" with orange cake, an orange creamy layer, filled with coffee bavarian cream. Very delicious flavor combination.
And finally, raspberry mille-feuilles. Mille-feuilles means "thousand layers." You may be familiar with this cake as a Napoleon pastry. The "cake" part is puff pastry that is rolled very very thin on the sheeter, then twice-baked to make it very crispy and light. Three layers of puff alternate with layers of fresh raspberries nested in buttery vanilla mouselline. The top is dusted with powdered sugar, and the caramel marks are made by heating a thin metal rod over the gas flame and then scorching the sugar to caramelize it.
My next two weeks are Tarts: one week of sweet (two kinds) and one of savory.