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Sunday, May 3, 2015

Culinary School - Session 105: Baba au Rhum, Contemporary Tiramisu, Financier Plate and Lemon Pudding Cake


Culinary School: Session 105 (05.01.15)

Baba au Rhum, Contemporary Tiramisu, Financier Plate and Lemon Pudding Cake



A cornucopia of cakes...

It's likely that the word "Cake" conjures up rather standard images of vanilla or chocolate Birthday Cake. Simple.. straight forward... maybe from a box...


But it doesn't take hundreds of hours of culinary school to know that there are many different types of cake out there ranging from dense Cheesecake, pillowy Angel Food Cake or crisp Dacquoise. 

In a plated dessert, different types of cake can be used to play with texture, even when the cake is not the primary focus of the dessert. 

Baba au Rhum Dessert with Orange Supremes, Candied Lemon Confit and Rum Gelees



- Ingredients Running Tally -



So here is a little observation to temper any restaurant-dessert induced guilt out there. 

Compared to the quantity of ingredients that we were blowing through each day during the bakery-item focused sections of the syllabus -- all of those towering tarts and cakes and breads by the dozen -- it feels like we are now barely cooking at all based on how those volumes have declined. 

Refinement and quality over quantity... which is not to say that those earlier items were not great! It just proves that well-composed and balanced desserts can be completely satisfying even in restrained portions.  

Ingredients used to date (05.01.15):
  • Flour: 25,720g
  • Eggs: 17,450g (349x)
  • Sugar: 37,530g
  • Butter: 18,365g
  • Milk/Cream: 18,495g
  • Chocolate: 9,100g (since 01.12.15)



    - Recipes -



    Item:

    Baba au Rhum


    Description:
    A sugar, butter and egg enriched, yeast-leavened bread serves as the "cake" in a Baba au Rhum. To bring the bread or "Baba" into the undeniably-dessert category, it is soaked in a sweet, rum syrup

    Serving the cake with fresh citrus keeps it lighter. And a couple of rum gelees (more or less refined Jello shots) add quite a kick!

    Baba au Rhum Dessert with Orange Supremes, Candied Lemon Confit and Rum Gelees

    Muffin Tins with Baba au Rhum Batter

    Rum Gelees

    Plating Baba au Rhum with Rum Gelees

    Candied Lemon Confit

    Baba au Rhum Dessert with Orange Supremes, Candied Lemon Confit and Rum Gelees

    Plated Baba au Rhum Dessert with Orange Supremes, Candied Lemon Confit and Rum Gelees

    Plated Baba au Rhum Dessert with Orange Supremes, Candied Lemon Confit and Rum Gelees



    Item:

    Contemporary Tiramisu 


    Description:
    Lady Finger Sponge, or Biscuit a la Cuillere, soaked in a syrup of Espresso and Marsala is the base for a traditional Tiramisu. 

    Like the Baba au Rhum, the soaking process transforms both the flavor and texture of a potentially dry and bland cake. Compared to the Baba, Lady Fingers are more like an actual sponge and more easily absorbs the Espresso soak. 

    However, a problem with soaked Lady Finger Sponge is that, over time, it can weep -- the soak seeps from the cake, making it difficult to store for more than a day or two. 

    This Contemporary version adds Gelatin and Agar Agar to the soak. The result is a more fridge-stable cake. The problem is that this recipe adds too much Gelatin and Agar Agar, and the texture of the cake is noticeably altered... and not in a good way. 

    Plated Baba au Rhum Dessert with Orange Supremes, Candied Lemon Confit and Rum Gelees



    Item:

    Financier Plate


    Description:
    A Financier is typically a bite-sized bakery item made with Almond Flour and Brown Butter. It is rarely found in a plated dessert and perhaps with good reason. This type of cake is denser and becomes quite firm as it cools, particularly when made in a larger format.

    In this particular dessert, Caramelized Apples and decidedly modern slabs of Creme Anglaise Gelee both tasted great, but the Financier itself may be best left in the Patisseries.

    Financier Plate



    Item:

    Lemon Pudding Cake


    Description:
    Is it a cake or is it a pudding?

    By cooking this eggy batter in a water bath, the resulting cake takes on two distinct textures. The portion of the cake mold that sits below the level of the water bath retains a soft, pudding-like texture while the air-exposed portion of the cake leavens to a more standard crumb.

    With two distinct yet complementary textures, the cake is balanced on its own. However, given the high ratio of eggs required for the technique to work, there is a residual eggy flavor that is a bit too dominant. This can be mitigated by pairing the cake with another strong flavor, such as a dark chocolate sorbet. However, on its own, the cake may be off-putting to those who are sensitive to egg flavors.

    Lemon Pudding Cake with Chocolate Sorbet

    Lemon Pudding Cake

    Chocolate Crumble

    Tempered Chocolate Decor


    Next - Session 106: Chocolate Mousse, Panna Cotta and Semifreddo


    Previous - Session 104: Maple Phyllo Napoleon and Chocolate Fruit Mousse Kataifi


    Take a look at the full syllabus




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