Saturday, March 13, 2010

Petit Cakes

4" Little Tiny Cakes

These were done sort of as a grand opening to my new Kitchen Aid Pro 600 mixer.  I pawned them off on my parents.  Actually, I asked them, rather, forced them to choose a cake for me to make.  Meow Mother only asked for a Raspberry Bavarian Cake, the Orange Buttercream cake was my idea for Meow Father as he's lactose intolerant and I have leftover orange buttercream from my maca-lols.

Personally, this is more for me to play with decorating cakes.  I know I have a long way to go in that department.

So here we go.

Raspberry Bavarian Cakes
adapted from Baking by James Peterson

According to his book, Bavarian Creams is one way to make a fruit mousse.  You can substitute any fruits in there, just be careful about tropical fruits such as pineapples or kiwis.  They have enzymes that breaks down gelatin so your mousse won't set.

Part A
Cake base

See my recipe on mini cupcakes hereI used the same vanilla cake layer recipe for these mini cakes

1. Bake for about 20 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.

2. Remove cakes from cake pan.  Slice the cake lengthwise with a long knife to make layers.
I made 2 sheets of cake from 1.

3. Wrap the cake sides with a strip of acetate collar (or wax paper) at least 14" long by 3.5" high.  Secure the top with a stapler or paper clip.
Wax paper is a pain in the ass to secure with tape.

4. Line the inside of the cake pan with plastic food wrap to prevent leakage.

5. Put the cake with its collar back into the cake pan.

Yield: Four 4" cakes


Part B
Creme Anglaise
adapted from Baking by James Peterson

1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups of milk (I used Homogenized 3.5%)
4 egg yolks
3/8 cup of sugar

Preamble: Because creme anglaise is just milk and egg yolks, it will curdle if you let it come to a boil.  But if you don't crank the heat high enough (say, 180F), it won't thicken and become silky.  Done-ness is usually done by swiping the back of the spoon, then tilting it and see if the creme anglaise is staying in place.  Or you can use a thermometer, or even learn to recognize the ripples it makes when you stir it at the done stage - it will go from small ripples to think creamy waves.  Though creme anglaise will not thicken dramatically, it's very subtle.

1. Heat the milk.  Keep an eye on it as it loves to boil over quickly.

2. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla together until pale.
You can use a handheld mixer, but it will create quite a bit of froth.

3. Slowly stream in about half of the hot milk into the yolk mix while stirring constantly and getting the corners.

4. When it is well combined, pour it back into the rest of the milk.

5. Slowly heat over low to medium heat and stir and stir and stir.
You cannot be impatient about this stage as it will quickly cook the yolks and you will have chunky creme anglaise.

6. Creme anglaise is done when you make a line on the back on the spoon with you finger and the line stays in place.

7. Remove it from heat.  Keep stirring as it chills.

8. Strain the creme anglaise to obtain a smooth silky sauce.

Yield: about 2 cups
Part C
Bavaria Cream
(Can be for any fruits)
adapted from Baking by James Peterson

1 1/2 pounds fresh raspberries
20oz pack of frozen raspberries
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp of cold water
2 cups of creme anglaise (warm)
2 cups of heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of sugar

1. Puree the fruits in a food processor and strain into a large bowl with the help of a spoon.

2. Sprinkle gelatin into 2 tablespoons of cold water and let it bloom for 10 minutes (absorbs the water). 
It may be a brilliant idea to melt the gelatin in hot water so you can use it right away, but heat can damage gelatin, so be patient.

3. Stir the bloomed gelatin with a fork to break up any clumps and then stir it into the creme anglaise until completely dissolved.

4. Put together the heavy cream, vanilla and sugar and beat to soft peaks.  Keep it in the fridge until needed, otherwise whipped cream may melt.

5. Stir the creme anglaise into the fruit puree.  Work quickly so the gelatin does not set because of the temperature.
If it starts to set, slightly heat it over a pan of simmering water to melt the gelatin

6. Fold the whipped cream into the neither-cold-nor-warm creme anglaise until well combined.


Part D
Sugar Syrup
adapted from Baking by James Peterson

3/4 cups of hot water
3/4 cups of sugar
3 tbsp of any fruit brandy

1. In a bowl, stir the hot water and sugar until it is completely dissolved.

2. Let the syrup cool.

3. Add the booze.
Part E

1. Baste each cake layer generously with sugar syrup.
This will help moisten the cake, making its texture much better.

2. Ladle the Bavaria cream onto the bottom layer of the cake.  About as thick as the cake layer will do.

3. Gently knock the cake pan on the counter to even out the cream.

4. Place the second layer on top and ladle more Bavaria cream on top.

5. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until the Bavaria cream is set.

6. Reserve any left over Bavaria cream and put it in the fridge for covering the sides and piping decorations later.

Orange Buttercream Cake

Orange compote or marmalade (store bought is fine)

Orange buttercream (recipe here)

1. Between the cake layers, generously slather on the marmalade.  Replace the top cake when done.

2. Add a couple drops of orange food coloring to the buttercream until you get desired depth of color.

3. Smooth on the buttercream on top, on the sides, in your mouth...
Becareful when spreading the buttercream as it is a bit stiff and can move you top cake layer.  The marmalade doesn't hold the cake together very well.

4. Decorate as desired.

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