Cake number one is the poires au caramel religieuses. It consists of: a chocolate sponge that is sprinkled with nuts before baking, caramel poached pears, a rich chocolate mousse, a chocolate glaze and, lovingly piped, chocolate pear decoration. The mousse and pears are layered inside the nutty sponge case and the combination is a real winner. It looks a little something like this:
In order to make the chocolate pears for the top we had to temper not only dark, but white chocolate too. White chocolate is the hardest to temper because it is the lease pure chocolate and thus can be a bit tempremental. Having said that, I followed the chefs advice, showing my chocolate a bit of TLC and even whispering it a few sweet nothings, until it set with the required snap and shine. Generally I'm quite pleased with how the cake turned out. I kept my piping simple again: a tactic that seems to be working a bit better for me. The only qualm I have is that I forgot to give my chocolate pears a good taps before they set so they are mottled with pesky air pockets. Nevermind, another lesson to learnt.
The second cake of the week, white chocolate and pistachio entrement, is the real sugar kick. Although I think the cake is reminiscent of a childrens party, it would probably be a nightmare to have at one, unless your preared for some seriously hyper kiddies. Not only is this cake made with a wonderful white chocolate mousse, but it has a hidden layer of red berry jelly waiting inside. The posh twist that moves this away from the toddlers menu is the pistachio sponge and the tempered dark chocolate decoration. The cake is finished with a white chocolate glaze with dark chocolate marbling.
As you can see from the rather galactic finish on the chocolate, we got to play with a little bit of shimmer this week. Having pots of gold and silver glitter in the kitchen was a bit like being allowed to play with your Mum's make up when you were younger. Should I go for silver-violet or silver-pink? Decisions, decisions. Once the big choice was made, we brushed this onto an embrossed acetate sheet, poured over some tempered chocolate, and scored in the shapes we wanted. I had a slightly scary moment when I was removing my cake ring which caused the mousse to drag a bit but other than that it was smiles all round.
What I like best about this cake, apart from the taste, is that from the ouside it looks quite grown up and posh, but when it is sliced the inside has fun layers of green, white and red hiding under the surface.
Now who wouldn't want to dip their fingers in those mixing bowls?