Thursday, April 17, 2008

Let Them Eat Cake!

Génoise (whole egg foam cake) and Crème au Beurre (Buttercream) go together like Marie Antoinette and the guillotine. More adventures in pastry land, as we began the evening with the Génoise batter – which is relatively simply to make – what’s interesting here is that there are no leavening ingredients in this cake and airy beaten eggs helps it rise in the oven.

Each of us made our own 6” cake – we buttered and floured our pans carefully so the cake wouldn’t stick when trying to take it out. In the meantime, we made our Buttercream. For those diet-conscious readers, pay attention, because I’m about to share the recipe to show the obscene about of butter used to create Buttercream.

Crème au Beurre (enough for two 6” cakes)
300 grams sugar
100 ml water
6 egg yolks
600 grams butter (room temperature)

Our team consisted of four students and Chef instructed us to make a recipe and a half so we ended up using 900 grams of butter – it was a heart attack looking for a home.

Our cakes came out of the oven golden brown and sprang back when touched. We removed them from the pans and let them cool on racks. After toasting some sliced almonds we started decorating our cakes. The Génoise was cut in half lengthwise, frosted in the middle and capped off with the top of the cake. We had to practice our piping skills and the Buttercream I was using was too cold to pipe correctly. My cake’s frosting looked amateurish but I think the French peasants would have like the way it tasted; then again maybe it would be my head on the guillotine!

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