Friday, April 3, 2009

Italian Desserts, Ice Cream and Tuiles Rematch

The Mimosa

Whew! What a busy week it has been. Monday started out early with an interview..... and I have been hired, but more on that to come. In Monday evening's class we tackled 3 Italian desserts: Tiramisu, Mimosa and the Mara. I had been looking forward to this class specifically for the Mimosa.

Two years ago when I was working seasonally for Godiva, I worked with a girl who was enrolled in the pastry program at CSCA. She would bring her desserts from class to work for us to eat. Imagine working in a chocolate shop and then having someone bring you more decadent desserts. I recognize many of the desserts that we have made so far, from the ones she brought to Godiva. However, the Mimosa stands out in my mind. It was such an odd looking cake. It reminded me of a pineapple, with the yellow cake crumbs on the outside, and the pineapple leaves sticking up out of the top of the cake. The taste was addictive. Alternating layers of light lemony, citrus cream and moist lemony cake- I think I almost ate the entire cake myself. I had secretly been waiting to make this cake since I started the program.

Along with the Mimosa we made a non-traditional Tiramisu. It was molded into a stainless steel mixing bowl and placed into the freezer. To unmold it, we floated the frozen bowls in larger bowl of hot water for a few seconds and then upturned them onto cardboard cake circles. It you timed it right, it slid out with a few shakes. If you didn't, you ended up with your hand accidently in the cake like one of my classmates. We had a good laugh over it and our chef managed to smooth over the marscapone cream. Once it was completely garnished, you couldn't even tell it had an accident.

The final dessert was the Mara. It was constructed very similar to the French cakes. We lined our rings with a Grand Marnier mousse, then alternated layers of Strawberry syrup soaked genoise with more of the mousse. After an hour or so in the freezer to set, we applied ample amounts of Strawberry glaze to the unmolded cake, and topped them with white chocolate decorations and fresh Strawberries.
The Mara

I have a confession to make. Tuesday night I was not looking forward to our class on ice creams and sorbets. I like ice cream and sorbet, but feared the class would run similar to the jams and jellies class, ie making the similar recipes over and over, just changing the flavor, and not much creativity to be expressed. I was happy when our instructor for the evening said we only had to make one ice cream and one sorbet, which ever flavor we wanted, and then we should think about making something to go along with the icecream for plating. I choose the coffee ice cream and the pear sorbet recipes. Then the wheels started turning.

Remember my post on Tuiles? Did I mention how those ridiculous cookies almost reduced me to tears? How I wanted to hang up my apron and go home? Well I decided that a nice lace Tuile with a chopped hazelnuts and a hint of Grand Marnier would be the perfect accompaniment for the cinnamon coffee icecream I was planning. I was ready for a rematch. I measured everything perfectly, creamed the butter till it was almost white, mixed the ingredients, filled my pastry bag and crossed my fingers.

The first batch came out of the oven light and caramelly colored. I let them cool for a few minutes and then began the tedious process of lifting them ever so lightly from the silpat. They came right up! Light, crisp, perfection. I did a happy dance with my spatula, popped one in my mouth and then pipped more rounds onto the sheet and returned it to the oven. 3 days later, I'm still basking in my triumph over the Tuiles.
Lace Tuiles

Cinnamon Coffee Ice Cream with Lace Tuiles

Pear Almond Sorbet with Caramel Sauce

1 comment:

JJ said...

Your tuilles are gorgeous, Jenni
Tres bien. Ils sont magnifiques!