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Friday, November 7, 2014

Culinary School - Session 35: Jaconde, Creme Anglaise Bavarian, Charlotte Royale and Lemon Pound Cake

Culinary School: Session 35 (11.5.14)

Jaconde, Creme Anglaise Bavarian, Charlotte Royale and Lemon  Pound Cake

Cake waits for no man...

It's happening again. We're increasingly behind in class. The fridges and freezers are packed with partially finished pastries... and I blame Pound Cake.

There are certain items on the syllabus that simply make no sense to me, and I know the sentiment is shared with my classmates. 

Take Pound Cake. Yes, doing one serves a purpose. It's a very basic cake that every pastry chef should have in his repertoire. But if you've seen one, you seen them all. Maybe that's just my opinion, colored by the fact that I really don't like Pound Cake. But I'm certainly gaining no love for these loaves when they get in the way of completing my Marjolaine.

And in the Center Ring (and all the surrounding rings)...

Thankfully, the main event to the Lemon Pound Cake sideshow was an amazing looking Charlotte Royale. So visually distinct, it's surprising that they are not seen more often in Pastry Shops and Bakeries. One can only guess that the large number of components and significant time required for assembly is a major detracting factor.  

Interior of a Charlotte Royale

- Ingredients Running Tally -

Ingredients used to date (11.5.14):
  • Flour: 14,665g
  • Eggs: 7,350g (147x)
  • Sugar: 7,710g
  • Butter: 8,915g
  • Milk/Cream: 8,100g

- The Recipes -


Jaconde (Biscuit Joconde)

"Biscuit" is the French word for Sponge Cake. Joconde is a reference to Da Vinci's Mona Lisa, which is also known as La Gionconda. So the Biscuit Joconde is the sponge cake about which the Mona Lisa is smiling, having had it for dessert prior to posing for the portrait.

While that would be amusing (and a good premise for a Dan Brown novel), referring to this sponge cake as a Biscuit Joconde was a way of showing how highly regarded it was (and is) among pastry chefs.

It is a delicate and sweet cake made of almond flour folded into a French Meringue. When baked properly (it takes a mere five to seven minutes for a full sheet tray), it is highly malleable and can be used in countless applications including the Charlotte Royale and next session's Fruit Miroir.

Focus Techniques:
- Using a perfectly flat sheet pan for baking. Using a dented or warped tray (of which there are countless in any commercial kitchen) will result in an uneven and unusable cake.
- Using butter or an oil spray to attach a piece of parchment to the sheet tray. If the parchment is not tacked to the sheet pan, it will slide around when you try to spread the batter.
- Prepping the yolk and flour base by hand while you mix a French Meringue with an electric mixer. Given the time it takes for the French Meringue to reach the necessary stiffness, it saves time to multitask.
- Not over-whipping the French Meringue. If the peaks are too stiff, it will be impossible to smoothly fold it with the egg yolks and flour.
- Gently pouring and spreading the batter to avoid popping the air bubbles, which are necessary for a good mechanical rise. Pour the batter onto the sheet pan as close to the surface as possible. Pour the batter over as wide a surface area as possible so that subsequent spreading with a spatula is kept to a minimum.

Full Sheet of Joconde

Joconde with Raspberry Jam for a Fruit Miroir


Creme Anglaise Bavarian (Bavarois a la Creme Anglaise)

A traditional Bavarian made with a Creme Anglaise base (as a opposed to a fruit puree).

Like any Bavarian, the base is mixed with gelatin, to stabilize the mixture, and lightened with Creme Fouettee (Whipped Cream).

Focus Techniques:
- Adding vanilla or other flavor enhancers to make an Creme Anglaise that is more than just a sweet cream.
- Slowly bringing the Creme Anglaise to temperature to avoid curdling the eggs.
- Cooling the Creme Anglaise before adding the gelatin. If the base is too hot, the gelatin may break down and never set. If the mixture is too cool, the gelatin will not melt. It is also important to completely drain the water from the bloomed gelatin.
- Waiting until the Creme Anglaise and gelatin mixture is fully cool and beginning to set before folding in the whipped cream.


Charlotte Royale

Whereas a Charlotte is really any custard or cream-filled cake made in a mold that is lined with bread or a Biscuit, the Charlotte Royale takes this concept to the extreme.

A bowl is lined with individual slices of a jam or preserve filled Roulade (jelly roll) and then filled with a Creme Anglaise Bavarian. The cake is sealed with a layer of Genoise (which becomes the base of the cake) and placed in the refrigerator to set.

Focus Techniques:
- Making a Roulade using a fruit puree and a Jaconde. The Jaconde must be moist and pliable to roll without breaking. The layer of fruit puree must be thin and smooth to prevent seepage when rolling.
- Chilling the Roulade before it is slice. A cold cake will allow for cleaner slices.
- Fitting the mold with plastic wrap for easier unmolding.
- Placing the slices of Roulade as tightly as possible within the mold. Any gaps should be filled with small pieces of Jaconde before pouring in the Creme Anglaise Bavarian.
- Filling the cake with Creme Anglaise Bavarian up to where the layer of Genoise can be fit as the base of the cake.
- Chilling the cake in the refrigerator before unmolding. 

Inside of the Charlotte Royale Mold

Genoise Base Placed on the Charlotte Royale

Glazed Charlotte Royale


Lemon Pound Cake

A lemon version of a traditional pound cake. 

Not my favorite...

Focus Techniques:
- Using a liquid fat method in which the butter is melted and folded gently into the batter rather than whipped with the sugar. The end product is denser given the lack of air incorporated into the batter.
- Mixing the batter by hand to minimize gluten development.
- Adding lemon supremes to the batter, coating them lightly in flour to prevent them from setting to the bottom of the loaf pan.
- Glazing the cake while it is still warm so that it better absorbs the syrup.

Lemon Pound Cake

Take a look at the full syllabus

Questions? Comments? Send me an email or leave a comment.
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