Sunday, November 20, 2011
The Ends of Cakes
I have emerged somewhat unscathed. I passed my exams and assumedly my cakes final, the output of which you can see in these photos. I look at the cakes up close and cringe a little. They look so sloppy--look at that broken ladyfinger below. I swear none of the other ladyfingers broke. And that chocolate cake doesn't look polished at all. It's supposed to have these smooth finished sides. But, they did taste delicious.
For a project, our cakes instructor gave each of the students an artist to design two cakes and 20 petit fours for. I drew Maria Martinez, who is an American Indian pottery artist known for developing this amazing black on black technique. She is credited with being the artist to bring American Indian art to museums and collectors.
I enjoyed playing around with the Southwest theme and thought everything turned out alright, aside from the fact that I think the cakes are the equivalent of a third graders coloring book instead of a professional but whatever.
I really grew to adore mousse even more in this class. I hadn't realized how easy it can be to attempt, although I feel a long way from perfecting it. During my later examinations, I was chided for mixing the chocolate with the whipped cream when the chocolate was too warm, which causes the cream to break. But if the chocolate is too cool it seizes up and hardens mid-blending. It's such a subtle art this pastry, and I am not a subtle person.