Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Strawberry Genoise Cake

If cakes are measured by how long the name is and how delicious the cake is, then this one would deffinately fit the rule. I didnt want to just say strawberry cake because that brings up images of sheet cakes at Jewel into my mind. This cake is not the cake you would get at Jewel. We did a costing excersize on this cake and it turns out to be aproximately $3.24 per slice if you want to sell it and break even on product cost. That means that the cake would have to be roughly $32.00 to make you any sort of profit. I'll let you know on Thursday if its worth $32.00 taste wise.

Bravarian cream is a very time sensative cream. This makes the steps to this cake very important, its crucial that you have the cake set up before you make the cream. If you dont do this then the cream will start to get lumpy from sitting out and it will not fill smoothly at all when added to the cake.

Formula Yields: One 8" Strawberry Genoise Cake with Vanilla Bravarian Cream*

0.75 oz. Sheet gelatin
approximately 5oz. Cold water
1 pt Heavy Cream
Simple Syrup
(The following ingredients make Creme anglaise: Bravarian Cream)
4 oz. Egg yolks
4 oz. Sugar
1 pt. Milk
0.25 oz. Vanilla

Offset palette knife, serrated knife, pairing knife, rubber spatula or bowl scrapper, pastry brush, turntable, 7" template, 9" cake card, 8" mouse mold (ring), approximately 10" acetate (enough to line 8" mold), large bowl of ice, smaller stainless steel bowl to fit inside large ice bath, sauce pan, thermometer

*This formula is from Gisslen, pg. 463
**This formula is from Gisslen, pg. 534

MOP: assemble
First thing you want to do is take your frozen genoise cake out of the freezer, maybe an hour if you have that luxury, before you are going to use it. Remember that frozen cakes are harder to cut then chilled cakes. So what I'd do is take your cake out, scale your ingredients for the creme, wash your strawberries, get your cake boards and molds. 

Take your genoise cake and cut it into 3 equal layers.
Take two of the layers (the third one you are not going to use, but can be used for cake crumbs or to put in a brownie batter, or you can use it to make smaller individual desserts if you have left over bravarian cream...). Using a 7" cake pan or template trim the two layers you are going to use down to 7" circles.

Place the 8" ring on top of the 9" cake card, line the ring with acetate. Then put one of the cake layers in the middle of the 8" ring. Take your washed strawberries and cut off the tops, make sure to cut down to remove any white flesh as well. Slice the strawberries in half length wise. There should be a gap between your cake and the mold, place the strawberries in this gap with the cut side of the strawberry touching the acetate, and the bottom of the strawberries touching the cake card. Line the cake all the way around with strawberries. Dab the top of the cake with simple syrup and set aside for now.

Next you want to make your whip cream.
Take the 1 pt. (16 oz.) of heavy cream and whisk with with a wire whisk attachment in your mixer. Whisk to a soft peak, soft peak should look like the consistency of a milkshake, you'll be able to start seeing a whisk trail in the cream. Turn off mixer and place the cream in the refrigerator to set up, doesn't need to be covered.

Now that everything else is set up you can start to make the Creme anglaise. This is a creme that is used in a lot of different desserts. It is essentially a vanilla custard and is sometimes referred to as just custard or vanilla sauce.

Make sure you have a stainless steel bowl set up with an ice bath (ice and water). If you are using sheet gelatin place in a bowl with 5 oz of cold water (enough to cover it), start soaking to soften the gelatin. Heat 16 oz. of milk in a sauce pan, heat till it boils. While its heating you can start gently whisking your egg yolks and sugar in the smaller stainless steel bowl that you got out. Whisk this continuously but slowly other wise you run the risk of scrambling your eggs. When the milk boils remove it from the heat and half of the milk to the egg/sugar mixture. Whisk. When its incorporated add this mixture back into the saucepan, get a wooden spoon and bring the saucepan back to the heat. Mix with your wooden spoon, making sure to scrape the corners and bottom so the egg doesn't scramble while its heating up. Heat this until it reaches 180 degrees, no higher other wise the egg will start to cook.

Squeeze out the water from the gelatin while this is cooking. Place this into your smaller stainless steel bowl. Remove the saucepan from heat immediately when the creme reaches 180 degrees and pour over gelatin, mixing to melt the gelatin. Gelatin melts at around 100 degrees so it should melt immediately. Put this stainless steel bowl over an ice bath immediately to stop carry over cooking. You want to cool the creme/gelatin down to 55-60 degrees before you add the whip cream.

You also don't want to leave the creme/gelatin for more then one minute though otherwise it will start to harden and get lumpy. Continue mixing until it reaches 55-60 degrees fahrenheit. Take your whip cream out of the refrigerator, grab a clean whisk so you don't run the risk of cross contamination from raw eggs. Temper the whip cream into the creme/gelatin mixture in three portions to avoid temperature shock, each time you pour the whip cream in whisking to incorporate. When its all mixed together use your spatula to clean off the sides. Immediately pour the finished creme anglaise into the cake mold so its just covers the tops of the
strawberries. You can smooth it out to the edges using your spatula if you want. Place the second layer of cake on top of the creme anglaise. Push down gently to get out any air bubbles. Dab this layer of cake with simple syrup and then pour the rest of the cream on top, to the top of the mold. Use your offset spatula (or the straight side of your serrated knife), going back and forth over the top of the mold to flatten out the creme and to smooth out the top at the same time. Be careful you don't do this too many times because you will start to curdle the creme making it lumpy.

Freeze the cake for a minimum of 3-4 hours to set the mouse (creme anglaise)

A note about this cake. If you are going to freeze a creme cake you would not want to idealy use fresh fruit in this manner. When you take the cake out of the freezer the fruit is immediately going to start sweating. If you want to incorporate fruit in this kind of cake you could mix the fruit in with the bravarian cream. If you wanted to still have the decorative fruit shapes along the outside you could use candied fruit, or dried fruit. Or just serve to eat in one sitting.

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