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Aug 1, 2007 | From the kitchen of Rose
here are the pictures you've all been waiting for from the amazing Hector!
Aca disfruten del link directo al fan site en Español de La Biblia de Los Pasteles con todas las fotos de The Cake Bible:
Oh sweet divinity! This is ambrosia! Hector, I am speechless. Splendid.
Hector just sent me Linzertore from the Pie and Pastry Bible. I TRULY appreciated this cake (this is what I call cake in Italy). No matter how long I live in the US, I still have a soft spot for European pastry.
I liked this version for a few reasons:
1. the sharp contract between the sweet dough and the tart jam
2. the "chewy" texture of the dough
3. the light consistency: you feel you can eat half of the tart without feeling full
Maybe for you this is just "a piece of cake", if you allow me to play in words, but here the Sachertorte I also wish Hector to make: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sachertorte
See what you can do :-)
Hector - dont know why my post showed up as anonymous. Thought I'd typed in my name. Hopefully this one would show my name "Amy". Anyway, I understand that there are things you'd rather not share. You've been very generous of your time and knowledge.
FYI - I'll make the Triple Chocolate cake this weekend for our get together with some friends. Am looking forward to tasting this cake.
I have a degree in Biology and a degree in Informatics, but I am a baker! Sorry, no other spreadsheet I should share.
Triple Chocolate Cake is a wonderful cake with 3 very useful cake components to learn: moist chocolate genoise, light whipped ganache, and chocolate pralines. Have any of you thought of trying using macadamia nuts instead of hazelhuts? I haven't yet but should as these are more readily available for me!
Hector - do you have a similar worksheet for the Panetonne? Is your current job connected with engineering or computers?
I am glad to see from the various posts that you have been working with the Triple Chocolate Cake. This is one of the cakes I want to try when I get a chance. I'll be learning from all these posts!
What a great idea - I should think about doing this.
Fellow blogger Rachel asked me about my spreadsheets. My answer is that I haven't organized this well yet, and basically each new project is a copy spreadsheet continuing from the previous project. Here is the one for Hawaii Way, please let me know if you see something inappropriate so I can quickly edit it before the world finds out!
I think spreadsheets are a great tool, specially if you make the same cake many times. I use extensively when calculating odd shapes, volumes, quantity of ingredients, etc.
Bernadette, I am so sorry you are trouble with this fantastic recipe. I follow EXACTLY the recipe on The Cake Bible. It does not call for cornstarch. All ingredients need to be at room temperature, it does not call for heating. I do use softasilk flour and bittersweet chocolate 60%.
The chocolate praline sheets crack if too cold, try warm them up a little so they become maleable.
The frangelico adds a hazelnut taste to the cake, and yes, it does not taste alcoholic.
I hope this helps.
I read that you have made the Triple Chocolate Cake many times. I had several problems with mine, but please let me ask just a couple of questions. First, have you ever been able to attach the chocolate praline sheets to the cake without them breaking, i. e. just folding over like they are supposed to? If so, what brand of chocolate did you use? Also, I used real Frangelico liquor, but I really couldn't taste it in the cake. Have you ever had this experience? I used the bittersweet chocolate. Maybe the taste overpowered the Frangelico? Lastly, the genoise cake didn't rise. I used 50% "Softasilk" cake flour and 50% cornstarch as Rose suggested. What a disappointment! I'd appreciate any hints you could give. Thanks very much.
well, i'm sure we all look forward to the development stage of this wedding cake.
a little over a month, you can check ALL the blog posts I did during its making:
no, I don't bake commercially, just big special projects, out of my cake studio at home.
Hawaii Way fed 1200 people, was 3 of us cutting cake non stop for 3 hours, including 6 additional 10" cakes we cut first (like the one with the mango rose). There was NOTHING left, and that is something I love.
Big cake project on its way, my cousins 7 cake wedding, September 13th. The catering menu and floor plan has just been finalized. Production will start at the end of this month, right now I've just spent 3 months looking for supplies and ingredients to design the menu.
Lucky the few customers that can have me, and even more lucky myself because my customers know that I need to be given lots of freedom, I can't do cookie cutter cakes, I don't know how!
just looked at "Hector's great undertaking" picture - that's humoungous! did all the cake get eaten?
how long did it take you to make this cake?
are you a baker - meaning do you have a bake shop? going thru some of the blogs in Real Baking - you are everywhere. If not commercially a "baker" where do you find the time? Sounds like you also have a regular job?
80 guests, not including my staff of 5!!!
I am taking 1 week off from my daytime job(s), shall I still have them by then...
...please come... and bring me a goodie bag from La Cuisine!
Wow... too bad my hubby doesn't work for the airlines anymore... I could have flown there for next to nothing. The timing isn't quite right for me anyhow, but too bad you are so far away!
So how many guests are expected at this wedding? Are you going to take time off work for this massive project?
EVERYONE, I have whispered that I am doing the catering and cake"S" for my cousin's wedding on September 13th, 2008. It is confirmed.
I am seriously posting this for help. Can you come to help? I won't be able to pay you, but can offer room and car at my place in Honolulu and/or in Hilo.
If you can be with me, fly yourself to Honolulu and then to Hilo, please email me directly at email@example.com
So you know (I think you expect it), I will blog this event, and your effort/work will become public.
Menu is posted at
Aloha, and hope to SEE YOU!
Matthew, thanks for the great idea. I will use Rose's method for purees when I make the ice cream. Blueberry ice cream.......interesting. I would never have thought of that. Do you use wild blueberries? I've only seen frozen wild blueberries here (Toronto).
Hector, I'll definitely let you know how the strawberry ice cream turns out when I make it. I don't like presevatives and additives too that's why I make whatever I can at home rather than using the store bought stuff. I especially don't like giving that type of food to my kids. It's a good thing I'm a stay at home mom and so my kids have come to expect "home-made". Yes, I know they are pampered.
Thanks for the tips re moisture content, flavour etc....
I have the Lello--I like it a lot.
Matthew, which ice cream churner do you use? I've had the KA mixer attachment, the Panasonic in-freezer, and the Lello Junior. The Lello Junior seems to be the best for my warm kitchen, although one cool day the KA one was great!
I believe that churning directly on a frozen surface is best, than on a canister insert. The Lello Junior uses a canister insert, which is handy, but.....
Another tip for ice cream/sorbet--you can treat fruit, such as strawberries, as Rose does in her purees. Reduce the juices to remove some of the water content and intensify the flavor. It also makes the colors more vibrant. I've done it with strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries--the color and flavor of the blueberries were amazing.
Excellent Rozanne. For ice cream, my main take is to avoid ice crystals, it is easier to do commercially than at home because of commercial faster freezing churners. The amount of sugar, fat (cream, yolks), and alcohol, helps prevent ice crystals at home. Experiment, your goal is to use the least amount of these without having to use additives like corn syrup.
Strawberries have similar water content to kumquat skins plus juice, but are much sweater. Also you need 'more' strawberries than kumquats because strawberries are less flavorful. I also believe that the acidity in kumquats curd the fresh cream, making it creamier like yogurt.
You will be surprised when using a different fruit, and do report back.
Hector, just wanted to let you know that I tried your kumquat ice cream recipe and it tasted wonderful. I used some of it to make popsicles for my kids and they loved it. Thank you for the recipe. I want to try it with strawberries the next time I make it.
Elicia, good to hear from you. I have 2 nearby neighbors with kumquat orange trees, fruits on the ground, I must collect!
Very interesting and yummy Hector - thks for sharing!
I saved 1 cup of Creme Anglaise form the posting above (August 4th, 2007, Flaky Pie Crust Mango Rose) and turned into the most perfect ice cream. Here is the recipe:
1 cup of partially thawed Creme Anglaise with grand marnier
1 cup of cold heavy cream
1 cup of sugar
3/4 cups of processed kumquat oranges (peel and save skins, slice-squeeze-strain the fruit, measure skins and strained juice)
Process creme anglaise, sugar, and kumquats in the food processor until fine. Add heavy cream and process for a few seconds only until incorporated. Churn in ice cream maker for 30 minutes. Freeze for 4 hours.
I think the consistency was great, smooth and creamy. The grand marnier keeps the ice cream scoopable right off the freezer. The taste was very natural, since cream and fruit are not heated.
Fernando - we all wish we could be in Hawii to sample Hector's fine baking. Consider yourself quite fortunate!
well, i couldn't tell all of you much other than the cake extravaganza was one to die for!
hector was such a great host to the very event, i was impressed! thank you sir.
and for as much a volunteer myself, the opportunity to pose next to the cake, and have a piece of it, -i tell you... yummy! well done.
Hector, love your delicious pics! And Patrincia, I love your toastwith butter/honey idea! Was frustrated as I had problems logging in yesterday - blogging withdrawal, haha!
The passionfruit looks gorgeous - sadly we hardly get fresh passionfruit here! Even the juice is hard to find.
Made the mango rose finally - I must say the arrangement of the mango slices makes the cake simply breathtaking. Unfortunately, in my haste to deliver to a friend, I forgot to take a photo!
BTW, Hector, I have to say that the fruit in the picture looked more like jackfruit than durians - and jackfruit is sweet, crunchy and slimy as you described! Durians, on the other hand, is creamy, never crunchy and bittersweet! You may have been misinformed!
Oh yes, Rozanne - I got some of my stuff and more is coming in Oct/Nov, when other relatives arrive!
Hector - sounds good to toast and top with butter and a drizzle of honey.
hector--i hope you didn't trim the crust--it makes the beautiful stripe!
Hector - with a little cup of tea, sounds like the best breakfast ever! :)
I've just had to share!
Goldenly over baked, ignored in the fridge for one week, here is the last from the 3x batch of Golden Wheat Carrot Ring.
There is something to say about 'dry' carrot cake. This one is dry, but I think 'I have' invented a whole new type of carrot cake. Sitting in the fridge for one week, the flavors have aged into something multi-dimensional! It is a carrot cake sans the guilt (sans the greasy fingers!)
You just need to bite it to believe me.
Rose, quick question. When making the Ethereal Pear Charlotte, do you trim the top and bottom crusts of the Biscuit Roulade? I don't see it mention on the recipe =) So sorry, to doubt!
I know what you mean about the delightful aroma that fills the air when cooking with raspberries - mmmmm! I love your delicious descriptions!
Patrincia, soon my household will collapse from neglection due to baking addiction!
The raspberry layer was PERFECT. I applied the exact quantity as written on the recipe, and I used Cordon Rose Raspberry Conserve, which has no pectin, is concentrated but very little cooked, and it is naturally tart and lightly sweeten. Even the little raspberry seeds were welcomed! Rose insists there is no better filling to use (unless you find a commercial highly concentrated lowly sweetened raspberry jam which I found but don't plan to use since I love the colors and scents that appear in THE YELLOW KITCHEN when making your own).
Perhaps, the flavors balanced because I did use a generous layer of the Linzer dough, little balls and all. Also, in my opinion, the flavor of the bitter almond skin offsets well with the sweet raspberries.
Hector - Oh how I wish I could devote as much time as you do to baking/entertaining. I take it from your post that you didn't think the raspberry layer was too much in the Linzertorte? Did you use conserve or jam?
I can't wait to see your Ethereal Pear Charlotte photos.
Rose's Xmas Cookies is the "ONE" book I don't have from Rose! On its way!
Thanks for 'fixing' my Linzer. I thought I was going crazy!
hector i meant to answer your posting about the linzer dough. it should be very tender but not so much so that it's crumbly--in fact it can't be that tender or it wouldn't hold together to make the strips! but here's my suggestion: make a small batch of just the dough so you can see how it behaves if you grate the nuts more finely or try adding more butter as for the linzer cookies in the xmas cookie book which uses 8 oz/227 grams. you could also add a little egg white. but try first just grating more finely as that really should work!
confession: i wanted so much to like durian but it just didn't work for my taste buds. i had it in many versions on a visit to singapore and the way i liked it best was in a mousse cake or should i say disliked it least. it's one of these intense flavors that leaves no one impartial.
Hi all, I was told that was durian, fresh! I bought them already peeled like this, and it wasn't terribly stinky! Amazingly sweet and tridimensionally flavorful, a little slimy, lovely crunchy, and most definitely each bite I took was telling my brain to bake this, bake that, etc, etc. I think Elicia is right when saying the durian is great for desserts. I've spent all weekend reading TCB's pages of Ethereal Pear Charlotte. On one section regarding raspberries, Rose says raspberries are the culprit of the fruits for baking. I think durian is up to par with this!
Matthew, I got complaints that the Linzertorte was too crumbly and not chewy enough. Must be that I under-processed the almonds or that I should have used more. Perhaps the fat content of almonds may vary; and perhaps the fat content of butter may be critical, too, or even the egg yolk! The 'lantern fruit' is what we call 'Poha berry' it is new to me!
Here is a picture of 'Lilikoi' (passion fruit), I took at the farmers market: http://www.hectorwong.com/roselevy/LilikoiFarmersMarket.html
Patrincia, thank you for looking at 'everything' I do!
Elicia, the durian lady! nooooooooo....... OMG, now I need to start exploring cheesecakes, from your wonderful descriptions. You Canadian friends must be gaining weight!
BTW, I have secured a supply of William's Pear Liquor! the real thing with pear inside and all. I think pears are starting to arrive in Hawaii. I also found apple jelly (very rare I think). And I am almost done memorizing the multiple steps of the Ethereal Pear Charlotte. I will start pre-making all the things that can be done ahead for this recipe (unfortunately not that many). Perhaps this week I can make the wonderful raspberry sauce! I am also tempted to make the creme anglaise part of the bavarian cream and freeze ahead, but not sure how well this will reconstitute after thawing since it has gelatin, perhaps I can reheat it? In any case, I am COMMITTED to make this my next showcase dessert! Stay tuned!
BTW #2, the cupcake party needs to come first since my freezer is full of these wonderful left over buttercreams from the Hawaii Way big cake. I've decided (against my promise) that I will bake Biscuit de Savoie cupcakes! I will bake 2 or 3 one inch layers, to fill and stack into a 2 or 3 layer cake. Then use a round cookie cutter (perhaps a commercial pastry cutter or sharp pastry mold) and cut them in 'cupcake' shapes! topped with roses of course. Gamed?
And somewhere in between, weather permitting and seasonally timed, I need to make the passion-mango tart! Mango season is finishing as passion season is starting!
Please don't mention any other wonderful treats from Rose because I feel I am overdoing it already! My friends are starting to think I am going crazy since I mention 'baking' and 'rose' almost between every other sentence! Just yesterday I was participating on some intense scientific-technical training for this 'real job' I am pursuing (the side of me not related to baking), and guess what: while this was happening I could not help but grab my whisk and a paring knife to work on some heirloom tomatoes of different colors, some fresh sweet corn, and turn them into a nicely plated salad with olive oil basil vinaigrette! It certainly kept me awake and the training became indeed lovely! I took a picture but I am not ready to share such personal part of my life yet! I wish it is May already so I can whip something really really special for my own birthday!
Elicia, did you get the Knox gelatine and all the other things that you needed from Canada?
Oh I hope I don't get labeled the durian lady!
It's jackfruit right? Just had some 'cempedak' - a sweeter and creamier sister to jackfruit - delicious!
LOVE your cupcakes Hector - just can't get enough of your roses! Have been busy entertaining some friends from Canada, and it was a joy to see all those lovely photos after awhile!
BTW, our Canadian guests loved the durian cheesecake I made (a variation based on Rose's banana cheesecake in TCB) - with lime curd topping of course! Will probably get back to baking more this week after they are gone!
Hector - everything looks fantastic!
The linzertorte looks delicious! I will take a stab at identifying your props: conserve, jack fruit (although maybe durian since you mentioned Elicia), wheat sourdough, lichee,and lantern fruit? Glad to hear you will be working with passion fruit.
The Linzertorte was absolutelly heaven on Earth, what such perfect breakfast pastry! The crust was very clumbly, perhaps I underprocessed the almonds? Felt that could use more egg yolk, almond fat, or such, to make it more chewy. Picture here, and if you dare try guess the props around it. There is something on the photo specially for Elicia! (BTW, Matthew: Lilikoi season have started so I have no choice but making the PBB 'best pie' the mango-passion tart! Lilikoi is passion fruit).
Rozanne, no idea, I made 3 batches and filled a mini cupcake pan, a ring mold, a small bundt, etc.
Nice job with the carrot cupcakes Hector. I like your "lemon rings", very creative. By the way how many cupcakes were you able to make with one carrot cake recipe?
Ok, I trust you. I'll make a dark chocolate ganache. And macadamias are a good idea, i've used them instead if hazelnuts for a torte. They're a bit greasier, but after toasting, much of the grease is gone.
Silvia - I was going to suggest almonds as a good substitution for the hazelnuts, but Hector is right - you could really add any nut you like.
Silvia, white chocolate is always sweet because it is mostly sugar, milk and butter, and 'usually' has no chocolate AT ALL. Unless you find high quality white chocolate which has about 25% of Cacao, but it is still sweet! See, all the 'white' is sugar! I think now the chocolate manufacturers are advertising a bitter white chocolate, but I am not an expert on this.
Not sure exactly how are your chocolates. Don't get lost with the names, perhaps you can just taste it. Chocolate is a personal thing. The best chocolate I prefer for the Triple Chocolate Cake is bittersweet or bitter. When you eat bitter chocolate by itself you can taste the bitter (tastes like burned cake!), a bittersweet has a hint of sugar. If you are a candy eater, you won't be able to eat so much of bitter chocolate, it just becomes too bitter and dry in your tongue. Now, a sweet chocolate is one that you can eat and eat by itself, like candy.
I started making my Triple Chocolate Cake with semisweet chocolate chips! A Nestle one used for the generic chocolate chip cookies. It was sweet. And guess what, people still loved it! I find most of Rose's recipes on the low sugar side, so if you are using so sweet chocolate, you could do ok by serving a smaller slice of cake?
Since you do live in the real chocolate heaven, find those nice ones made in small batches by farmers perhaps, I am sure you will find a 'whole' chocolate bar that is so bitter you can't eat it alone. This I would treat like GOLD. What you can do, is use half of this and half of sweet chocolate, and you have a nice bittersweet chocolate!
I have made dozens of Triple Chocolate Cake, and I am still having fun with what chocolate to use. The last one was with Jacques Torres baking chocolate, it was just average "ok." I will use Callebaut next since I have about 3 more kilos. Rose prefers Valrhona! I know I am making you upset with these brand labels, don't be because I am certain you could find something way better than this in your country! the real chocolate!
Send me some chocolate!
BTW. I am thinking for you on the hazelnuts. The chocolate praline sheets are just so much fun to not do! Perhaps almonds? Pecans? Brazil nuts (castan~as o nueces del Brasil?). What kind of nut do you find chocolate candy with in your country? In Hawaii is a lot of macadamia nuts, hmmm, I have to try it!
hector, you gave ne the idea of the triple chocolate cake, but I''ll have to forget the chocolate praline (no hazel nuts available). Glad you warned me about the white chocolate ganache being too sweet. As semisweet or bittersweet chocolates are hard to find, i was planning to use a mix of milk and dark chocolate (I find the term "dark "chocolate really confusing, because there's also something called "whole" chocolate. Are both the same thing?). Is it possible? what % of each would you recommend me to use? My familya doesn´like too sweet cakes.
hector, I think nobody ca n get ever used to quakes (quakes are also common in Central America). we are waiting for a "big One" in Guanacaste (Pacific coast) and another big one in San Jose, where I live.
very imaginative presentation (what else is new from you!)--makes me think of the ring of roses around the winner of the kentucky derby--i mean this in a poetic sense.
Thank you Patrincia.
Here it is, the 3 item bible!
Hector - I'm sure your guests will love the baked goodies you've made for your dinner party, but you're brave to assemble the Linzertorte in front of your guests when they won't be able to partake - hopefully there won't be a mutiny!
Love the photo by the way - we're going to have to start calling you Hector "The Rose Man" Wong!
byw, glad to hear your family is all okay.
Rose, I have a tattoo on my neck that says "TCB page 175"
I don't know how I run into baking marathons, here I am on the middle of one! Earlier this week was spent pre-measuring ingredients. Then yesterday, I baked all evening for assorted cupcakes with Golden Wheat Carrot Ring. Why does baking cupcakes take so much time? I am just not a cupcake expert! Or perhaps was the 3x batch I whipped, making a full tray of 24 tiny cupcakes, 4 heart shaped cupcakes, 1 standard ring, and 1 little 2 cup star bundt! And not to forget that I was 160 grams short of shredded carrots, and I had to shred these extra carrots by hand 'cause my food processor was busy!
Having some friends over for dinner tonight. They are bringing NY steak to grill, some fine wine, and salad greens. I am offering the baked goods: the Golden Wheat Carrot Ring cupcakes and a braided 75% whole wheat Basic Sourdough Bread. I am also offering the entertainment since I will be assembling the Linzertorte during dinner which will be baked and delivered tomorrow (if not stolen tonight!)
Here are 'your' cupcakes: http://www.hectorwong.com/roselevy/CarrotRingCupcake.htm
Silvia, I think I've read somewhere on Cake Bible or PPB that orange liquor goes well with chocolate. In fact, I have tasted several chocolate bars with orange peel, or even gelato, and it is a good match!
The white ganache will look beautiful against the chocolate genoise. But honestly, I would prefer something less heavy/sweet like regular bitter chocolate ganache -) Whenever I want to make this white contrast, I use stabilized whipped cream instead.
Are you trying to make your own version of Triple Chocolate Cake? It is MY FAVORITE chocolate cake in the world, I have not found any chocolate cake that would compare with this! Now that you are finding your own chocolate, this cake is really a good way to showcase the taste of the chocolate!
Earthquake was bad, but my family is ok. About 500 plus people died, sounds horrible, but for some reason you get used to that since earthquakes are common there.
Héctor, I was thinking of moist chocolate genoise filled and topped with white chocolate ganache, for a colour contrast (Í couldn´t find the nuts for the chocolate praline). perhaps i could even use another milk chocolate ganache, to have ivory, light brown and medium dark brown. I have a Triple sec that doesn´t taste very much of oranges, a reasonably good locally made Coffee liqueur and plenty of rum. One day, there was Frangelico at the supermarket, the next day there wasn't.
perhaps the best would be a very good rum, if i can´t find the Frangelico.
Good to know that your loved ones in perú are fine, though quakes are very very traumatizing.
oh yes--another in my top 100 parade!!! hector you are going to swoon with joy and what with all the components you have and have mastered it will be child's play. only invite your fav. ppl--you may not want to share!
Hi all, I've just remember that for the carrot ring rose cake, I did not pipe the centers of the rose with tube 5 or so! So, these 'open' roses are simply petals or 'flat' roses! It served the purpose! Elicia, you read.
Jen, I've not starter ethereal pear "yet," lets just say that I have the raspberry conserve done, have the really nice William's pear liquor, and have practiced enough on biscuit that I think this will come along fast! Is it pear season now or what? Hard to tell living in Hawaii. I see pears at pretty good price in my supermarket, imported of course. Barlett variety it says.
Hector, inquiring minds need to know if you've started the Ethereal Pear Charlotte....?? Boy oh boy are you in for a treat
:-) Jen N
Hector, you always put a smile on my face! Love those rosy cakes! Am still learning to 'bunch' them together, and I think less petals look better!
Yep, you got me 'rosing', and I'm definitely more confident with my cakes, now that I can pipe roses as well. It seems to be the ultimate measure of piping ability (although there are more difficult piping designs, it is the rose that melts the heart!) Thks!
THANK YOU, HECTOR. great tips, and brilliant sense of humour!
another Big Baking!?!
without much announcement, I think I am in the middle of another baking marathon!
por fin, se pone el acento en mi nombre H'ector. Cuando vivia en el Peru son~aba de dia y de noche con los libros de Wilton. Y nada habia en venta. Te entiendo. Pero me contento porque la comida en general es mas deliciosa en mi Peru, las frutas, las fresas, las papas, todo fresco!
Ok, my personal preference is: ganache on genoise, or buttercream on butter cake! Since I am married with Genoise and Biscuit, I would like to see you try a White Chocolate Ganache on a Chocolate Genoise! Be sure to moisten the Chocolate Genoise with syrup and Frangelico (perhaps rums will do, too)
Héctor you're full of surprises! imagino que sabés bien lo que es vivir por estos lados y no conseguir equipo ni ingredientes... Tus queques (pasteles, bizcochos) de verdad aparecen últimamente en mis fantasías...
now that I know which chocolate to buy, tell me, would a white chocolate ganache or cream cheese frosting go well with a chocolate butter cake? or is it better to use genoise?
I can´t imagine it...
Abrazos, vení a a visitarnos!
Silvia!!!!!!!!!! yo naci y me crie en Lima, Peru! Vine a Hawaii con toda mi familia cuando tenia 18 an~os. Pura Vida!
Gracias por todos tus carin~os.
I live in Costa Rica. Yesterday I read the specs of the local chocolate factory I mentioned. Just one of the white chocolates (the "organic" one) has cocoa butter, I'll have to look for it. Even if the chocolate is locally made, it's not easy to find all the different varieties in every supermarket.
Usually I use another locally processed chocolate and cocoa, that's a lot cheaper, easier to find and reasonably good, but its white chocolate doesn´t contain cocoa butter.
Hector, your cakes always make me drool
Patrincia, no Trader Joes's in Hawaii =( but Whole Foods is coming!
Nushera, THANK YOU! You are indeed right, and I have been doing it without paying attention. My roses have less petals than the textbooks! It is a hybrid Rose-Gardenia. I make them purposely open faced to cover cakes more tightly. As indicated on Cake Bible, use sizzors to lift the roses out of the rose nail and when you place them on your cake wiggle them a bit, so the bottom petals fall naturaly on the cake. No special technique really, but I can say, it depends a lot on 'my mood, my kitchen temperature mood, and the icing consistency.' Your daughter should not be fooled -)
Rozanne, and everyone else 'rose free.' It is EASY to do, just get started, you will be surprised how many good roses you will pipe on first try! Give it a little flexibility, a rose does not need to be perfect to look beautiful. I am glad to share that Elicia got started rosing from one of my comments!
I could not resist to share these pictures together. In order: white chocolate cream cheese buttercream, mousseline butercream, super-super stabilized whipped cream, and mousseline again. I like to call the collage of these picture: Hector's Rose factor!
whenever i am not around, something great appears in the blog. OH HECTOR- u r a genious! pls give us some tips on piping rose in yr style(i think # of petals r less in yr rose than shown in wilton or like classes). btw, showed the carrot cake's pic to my 5yr old, and she asked: "where are the leaves?" she thought it was a bunch of real roses!
Hey - speaking of chocolate, has anyone tried baking with any of the Trader Joe's chocolates? I have a pretty good supply of chocolate currently, so I haven't purchased it from them yet, but I've been pretty impressed with all of the other items I've purchased there - btw, their nuts are fabulous!
Hi Silvia - this is just my personal opinion, but I think Baker's chocolate is hideous stuff. I bet your local chocolate is much better.
Silvia, which country do you live?
>You need to fit baking in your life and around it!
seems that it's what I've been doing lately...or soo my daughter tells me!
This local chocolate I found seems pretty good to me, and it's about 4 or 5 times cheaper than imported one (and the only imported baking chocolate, if you can find any, is Baker's).
Anyway, I'll print the specs of their products and compare them with the ones you recommend.
Silvia, it isn't as easy in the USA neither. I walk into a grocery store with a well supplied baking isle and find several brands and packagings of 'baking chocolate.' Also, at the candy or gourmet wine isles I find lots of nicely wrapped chocolate which by reading the brand, cacao and sugar content it can be used for baking, certainly.
But, I gave up on the above 'grocery store chocolates geared to consumers,' instead, I get my chocolate from a local pastry supply wholesaler. They have many Valrohna, Callebout, Suchard, etc. Normally the dark chocolate (bitter) comes in 11 lb blocks, and the white in 6 lb blocks. Seems A LOT, but if I factor the cost per gram, it is comparable with the 'grocery store kind.' Since I've started 'stocking' chocolate in these quantities, I am giving chocolate blocks are Christmas and birthday presents! Dark chocolate stores well in a cool room. And for my white chocolate, I just freeze it vacuum packed.
You need to fit baking in your life and around it!
ha ha, you´re turning Hawaii into a cake lover´s destination, Hector!
I found a local factory that proceses chocolate and claims, all of it has cocoa butter. It is an irony that in the geographical origins of cacao, it is so difficult to find good baking chocolate!
Very pretty cake, Hector! It would be nice for an anniversary party or shower (or even a small wedding celebration).
Silvia, Hawaii awaits you with lots of baked goods under your arms! Look for a white chocolate with cacao solids. Here a reference:
Very elegant cake Hector. I love the roses. I wish I can pipe roses that well.
I should move to Hawaii and be your neighbour! Eating the screen is difficult
Hector, The white chocolate here says it contains "vegetable fat", but doesn't specify which fat, which I consider suspicious...you can also find fine european white "eating" chocolate, but this usually contains nuts, vanilla and more sugar. In this case, what would you suggest I do?
Elicia, thank you, and absolutely!
There is a day and night difference between 'plain white chocolate' and 'high quality white chocolate.' Plain white chocolate doesn't have any cacao butter which is fundamental for texture and consistency for buttercreams and piped decorations. Without the cacao butter when using plain white chocolate, you would be adding mostly cow butter which has a lower melting point! What does this mean: a buttercream done with 'plain white chocolate' will melt sooner than a buttercream done with 'high quality white chocolate.' Of course, high quality white chocolate has superior flavor too!
Silvia, sorry to disappoint, but all I can share is the picture, and I tried my very best to somehow take a picture that you could almost eat!
I want a piece...NOW!
Hector, I have to say you do have a way with roses! That was beautiful! Yes, I love the carrot cake and the white choc cream cheese buttercream too! Best white choc is a must!
Cindy, YES and YES. I feel the balance of ingredients is perfect. There is no strong honey taste nor strong whole wheat taste, they counterbalance each other! pure heaven. Be sure to use high quality white chocolate ok?
Hector, Is it the recipe in TCB that used all honey (250gm) and the frosting the white choc creamcheese buttercream? looks very yummy!!!
Hector - your cake is absolutely beautiful! Great close-up - I can taste it now!
Patrincia, that is a young man with taste! I truly believe that a youngters palate is developed from home!
Here is "my" version of carrot cake. Rose's Golden Wheat Carrot Ring. A carrot rose ring for Rose on a rose tablecloth. Should I stick with roses and Rose?
I love the closeup picture where you can see the golden and the carrot!
Good summary, but you forgot to mention how cool the whisk looks.
I'll be baking cheesecake for one of my son's birthday tomorrow (we'll celebrate on Sunday). Peanut butter is his favorite flavor of cheesecake, but his personal chef (me) isn't fond of it. He does like standard cheesecake, so maybe I'll make Rose's recipe with a Nutter Butter crust (I can't handle that).
Guess what he requested for his birthday dinner - Shrimp Linguini Alfredo, Sauteed Green Beans with Garlic Mushrooms, Crusty Dinner Rolls, and Rootbeer. Some selection from a 14 year old huh?
Let me summarize this discussion, regarding the whisk and how we inferred. The primary factor of the whisk listed on TCB is the circumference of 14.5" Now we assume a whisk this size ‘does not come’ with thin wiring or flexible wiring, so this would be the second factor. The JB Prince is very lightweight compared to any whisk of this dimension! You can find other whisks with this circumference, like your Kitchen Aid whisk attachment or a commercial whisk, the first lacks of a handle; the second is heavy in weight.
I do not consider the whisk mandatory for a successful genoise or biscuit de savoie. A large spatula or a straightened slotted skimmer works just as well, as indicated on TCB. If you want to use a whisk, it needs to be one as indicated above; a smaller whisk or one with non sturdy wires will do a terrible deflating job.
Of course, if you will whip 100 plus eggs for genoise or biscuit de savoie, or if this type of cake is your primary specialty, then get THE WHISK. TCB lists the use of this whisk for other flour folding recipes, like a Chiffon for example, it is good. And, by the way, I don’t use this whisk for anything else that I could be using it for, like mixing sauces, displaying it on my showcased gadget corner, a fly bat, etc.
Silvia, we are baking each other, I mean making each other bake! What a support group that works in favor of more addiction =)
The whisk will be next on my wish list. In this moment, I am waiting for a friend who'll bring me my new digital scale... Finally, a *real* scale!!!
Thanks, hector, patrincia, nushera.
Now, the idea of White Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream and Golden Luxe Butter Cake make my mouth water. Perhaps tonight...
Silvia, the whisk is ballooney and listed as a 18" which is the lenght. The diameter is 14.5", Patrincia got the correct part number U605. And indeed it fits the 4 qt, 5 qt and 6 qt, and it is extremely lightweight, yet sturdy just right. GET ONE!
Silia - here's the info you want:
JB Prince - 212-683-3553 or 800-473-0557
the model # is U605 18 at $27.90.
Oh yes, the Golden Luxe Butter Cake is divine!
hector, I've been looking at the whisks in JB Prince (http://store.webstorepackage.com/jbprince/virtualWeb/33962883CB4746D1BE511C0E1252C63D.asp?sc_id=). I found a balloon whisk, 18", and another, not so "ballooney" looking, 14". I compared the 14" one with yours, and they look a bit different...is this the one You recommend?
Oh Hector, I made it once, and it was heavenly! Since you have white choc on hand, don't forget to try the Golden Luxe Butter Cake!
Hector, i'll definitely try to find this whisk, as it seems so versatile.
Nushera, thanks for telling me about the lightweight whisk, I was considering the possibility of trying one, because it seemed kind on my hand.
hector, will the 14.5" whisk fit into a 4. qt bowl? I have the smallest KA mixer
Does this qualify as white gold? I could not resist to report this scene while making White Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream. Sometimes price is proportional to quality: this is the best tasting cream cheese buttercream!
I DO AGREE, Hector. Dont misunderstand me. i threw my spatula away when found Rose describing the large balloon whisk as best for folding. just wanted to "warn" Silvia abt getting the wrong type of whisk (with vibrating ultra-flexible wires). i wish i could be folding with the JB Prince one.
Believe me and Rose! Rose has been using the 14.5 Matfer/JB Prince whisk all her life and she names it "essential piece of equipment" very much under appreciated. I assure you that there is NO better instrument to fold Biscuit de Savoie or Genoise!
Hector and Silvia- i have something to tell you abt large balloon whisk. i have been finding my 9" hard nylon whisk quite satisfactory as i dont have to bake larger cakes. recently i found an extremely lightweight 12" rubber/plastic whisk and bought it(from an all-under-$2 chinese shop) with a hope of getting Hector-like results. BUT the batter of the Genoise seemed to be deflated. i followed Rose's path and made another(honestly speaking, the total number of my 'another' is 3) to see what went wrong. finally and for sure i discovered my larger whisk was the culprit. the rubber strings/wires are SO light and flexible that they are vibrating continuously with the minimum movement/shake and thereby causing the deflation! eventually i went back to my old tefal one and said,"sorry, mate"
Patrincia, I enjoy this blog and have this opportunity to interact with Rose, so I am putting the opportunity to best use. I am baking my life away with the bibles (sounds almost right!). First, I made dozens of Triple Chocolate Cakes (on the days before I knew about this blog). Then I made dozens (40 ea to be exact) of panettone. Shortly nearby I made so-many pizzas. Then the now infamous Biscuit de Savoie. And now I am itching for the Flaky Pie Crust! I've just got a cake order from somebody that has seen my recent work, they want to pay up to $75 for a 10" carrot cake, so I am going to give them my best (the bible's best).
Silvia, ABSOLUTELLY, I used the Matfer 14.5" circumference balloon whisk from JB Prince as Rose does. I cant almost believe it, but my batches were never larger than 6 qt, which this balloon whisk fits PERFECTLY on the 6 qt KitchenAid bowl! This 'small' batch size made me whip 10 batches of Biscuit de Savoie!
Just curious...with the big cakes, you also use tha balloon whisk?
Hector - you are definitely the Biscuit de Savoie King!
Nushera, that is kind!
I used Biscuit de Savoie for all of it! However, I believe butter cakes are more popular for tier cakes since they hold much more weight. Since I used mostly fruit flavored buttercreams, they go well with Biscuit de Savoie.
Another reason I chose Biscuit de Savoie is because I could put full use of both of my mixers without causing too much strain on the motor. Although I whipped over 200 eggs, it was just eggs and sugar, something light duty. If I would have whipped heavy butter cake batters based on butter and incorporated flour, my mixers would have been in mixer heaven by now.
One more reason I chose Biscuit de Savoie, is because it doesn't use any leavening (baking powder), thus my layers baked extremely even!
Lets just put it this way: I get more attention when I serve a Biscuit de Savoie, than a more common butter cake!
Hector- i am not sure if u have already explained it somewhere: why did you choose to bake bds as the base of all yr 22(12tier + 10 extra)cakes/layers? hope yr answer may help many of us to select the right base to bake. btw, you could have been a teacher in any discipline(forget the odd saying- Those who can, do; those who can't, teach). your way of explaining things are GREAT.
Oh Hector, look out also for frosting machines that frosts perfect shiny smooth semi-circles! Factory cakes I called them! Really takes the cake out of the cake! Not to mention all those chemical enhancers - bread improvers, bread softeners, sponge emulsifiers, choc emulco, pastry margarine...aargh!
I hope this massive endeavour will be spotted by a talent scout and you get your own celebrity chef show!
Hector- Elicia is right, you ARE a star chef. The criterion you mentioned(or apprehended)for becoming a star chef reminds me the hollywood movie "Just Desserts" where one of the participants in a dessert competetion changed his name from Jack to Zach, and the real Italian pastry-chef adds to his dish some drops of a secret ingredient which is nothing but water!
Thank you Elicia, and for sure Rose's pie plate looks like a pie crust with 'star' quality (edges)!
Absolutely, I don't want to go to pastry school to learn the commercialization methods. I don't mind learning a little bit about menu development and marketing, but for sure I am turned off when they start using commercially made frostings by the bucket, cake layers from a distributor, or low quality jams!
Oh, this Chinese place I go, has the white egg tart, I love it, specially having it after one of the traditional yellow ones.
Yep, mango's a nice change from the usual choc/vanilla cakes! I wonder if the tree (or what's left of it) is still there... since I've moved!
Hector, those figures are mind-boggling! You prob may want to think of getting your mixers serviced? Haha!
Dimsum here is quite extensive and mostly of high quality. Egg tart is abundant but there's only a couple of really good ones. I challenged myself to emulate one particular popular egg tart - and it took me several tries on the dough! Still like you - I feel it's too much work for something you can just buy from the shop!
Oh - you're already a star chef as far as I'm concerned! You must scrutinise the courses available though - eg here they have many pastry courses but they teach the basic commercial methods which is the standard across all those mediocre bakeries popping up everywhere! After tasting TCB cakes, these don't come close!
Elicia, that was a selfish (and not very intelligent) man. After all, he lost the most fruitfull branches by cutting them, didn´t he?
hector, I don´t wonder that people favor the "mango rose", mangoes are such a complete sensory experience (beautiful, fragant, delicious...). And finding them in a delicious cake....seems like an hedonist´s dream!
Here are the totals of the spreadsheet, volume and/or grams were possible. For all the Biscuit de Savoie, I used 155.6 eggs, 2593 + 1297 gr of sugar, etc. For the Mousseline Buttercream, 93.9 cups, 9677 gr of butter, 3413 + 853 gr of sugar, 102.4 egg whites, etc.
Serves: 1000 people (one thousand people).
Patrincia, that was my #1 concern to have a 'pie' filled with pure raspberry jam. An overkill. But after discussing with Luca and his family, this is to be made with a 'thin' layer of raspberry jam and indeed with Rose's Conserve because it needs to be on the tart side. I am already drooling to have this almond pie crust to bite on. Hazelnuts will need to wait, as I haven't found a good source except from my organic grocery store who overcharges for EVERYTHING! I think the Linzertorte is almost like a fig newton, in a way...
Elicia, I've seen near a hundred varieties of Mangoes locally, many well known ones and many hybrids. So many people have thrown seeds to grow decades ago and now have these gorgeous tress in their homes. One guy tells me his tree is half pirie and half hayden and it is indeed 'onolicious.' (ono means taste good). But this is a disappearing geography, due to real state development, there are smaller and smaller yards! Decades ago, we had lots of residential Lichee trees, too, now these are mostly commercially farmed. Good to know that 'tart starchy' mangoes goes better as mousses than for eating. I do have a neighbor whose mango trees fills my yard with stuff! It is the very back of my yard and I seldom go there, but it is irritating! Never attempted to make dan tart yet, because my local Chinese restaurants do a GOOD JOB! I have a feeling that good Chinese restaurants have not commercialized their pastry making yet, as much as other restaurants where they cut corners by buying pre-made baked goods? Of course, I am certain that in Malaysia or Hong Kong, the Chinese pastries are the authority!
I was watching Iron Chef America last night, was Batali vs Liu (Tony Liu, Hawaii born and raised young guy, who attended culinary school locally, and later went to Spain and other parts of Europe for more training; he now has happening August restaurant in Manhattan). Just that morning I was contemplating getting a pastry chef certificate. After watching that episode of Iron Chef, I was a little 'confused' and disappointed. The secret ingredient was Opah (Hawaiian moon fish), I think both chefs prepared it deliciously, putting emphasis on the different parts of the fish (loin, back, face, head, even bones and skin!). Batali had a more traditional approach (pasta, fish meat balls, carpaccio over pizza crust). Liu created one dish inspired from each different country (Spain, Mexico, Greece, etc). I think both chefs did a good job treating the fish and their dishes tasted good. But where is all this going? I think I am more into recovering old traditional recipes, and not much into 'new' fusion. I love fusion cuisine, but not fusion-fusion cuisine which seemed what I saw on Batali vs Liu! I am still interesting on becoming a 'star' chef, but for that I am going to get my training by living at some remote location in Italy with some old grandma or grandpa!
We don't do much pies here - mainly tiny tarlets and some savoury pies - but you guys are getting me itchy to pick up that PPB again!
When I was going through the chinese egg tart (dan tart) phase, I had a lot of 'stress' rolling the chinese flaky pastry (sort of puff pastry) - in and out of the fridge several times - and having to work real quick as it was made with lard!
Hector, we get those kind of mangoes from Aust during Chinese New Year - I agree on the taste - so I use them mainly for mango mousse and mango pudding - love the fragrance though. Right now we get the sweeter Pakistani and local mangoes - they are great for eating!
I used to live next to a house that has a large mango tree growing near our hedge. Strangely, only the part of the tree that was on our side was bearing fruit - so our neighbour frequently asked to come over to our compound to pick his mangoes. Eventually, he was so upset he decided to trim off the branches on our side! We never even asked him for any mangoes nor did he offer us some. We only sometimes ate some that fell off the tree! Quite a selfish guy! Haha!
Hector - I usually love Austrian desserts, but I haven't made the Linzertorte (love raspberries, but I think an entire torte filled with raspberry conserve would be a bit too much for me).
I'd think you could substitute any percentage of almonds for hazelnuts in the crust recipe (I like the flavor of both, but maybe hazelnuts just a tiny bit more). I have no trouble finding them during the holidays, but not so east the rest of the year.
Be sure to follow Rose's suggestions of adding the flour while processing the nuts, otherwise you could end up with "almond butter" (not a bad thing if that's what you're after, but not good for this crust).
Patrincia, Matthew, THANK YOU for the pastry rolling tips. I figured that my conditions were too cold even living in the tropics! Have you tried Linzer Torte? If so, I like to make it with unblanched almonds, how much of it instead of the hazelnuts? equal?
not at all Cindy, THANK YOU.
Dear Hector, I was away from home for 3 days . So glad to see the cake. Hope you do not mind this belated congratulation.Great work!
i hope you're kneading the dough lightly just to the point where it is very slightly stretchy.
dough rolls best when it is around 65 degrees 65F/18C.
Matthew - I used to make all my crusts by hand, but the FP is just so darn quick and so much less messy - Yeah!).
I think you might be right about tarts having a higher crust to filling ratio than pies (fillings are great, but I do so love those crust!). I like to bake scraps in decorative shapes for garnish too (leaves, pumkins, apples, etc).
Thanks for the heads-up on the buttermilk crust - I'll have to give that one a try soon.
I'm a pie crust fanatic too. I think I have made all the crust variations in the PPB, with the exception of those made with animal fat. I have to say that my personal favorite is the one made with buttermilk--I like the extra bit of tang.
Believe it or not, I think you actually get more crust to filling with a tart than a pie. I like extra crust too, so I often shape the scraps as leaves, bake them separately, and use them to plate and decorate the tart.
If you feel like you are still learning about crust, I recommend you try it by hand a few times. I use the food processor once in a blue moon for crust when I am in a hurry, but I still prefer making it by hand as the crust will be even better and more flaky.
I think you already figured this out, but definitely do the 10 minute rest before rolling--otherwise it will most definitely crack--I don't think it had anything to do with over or under-processing, but temperature.
Hector - I love making my pie crusts in the food processor (I tell ya, what did we ever do without those things?!).
Have you tried chilling your pastry board by simply placing a large zip-top bag filled with ice ontop of it? You can move the bag a few times to enlarge the chilled area - that's what I have to do because my granite counters won't fit in the fridge :)
(if you have lots of ice, a garbage bag will work too)
Rose, this is my mother's table cloth! Is this how flaky the pie crust should be? Did it become this flaky because I handled the rolling on an 'extreme' cold environment? (ultra refrigerated marble board and marble rolling pin!). Everything was so cold that the dough cracked terribly. Perhaps I didn't process enough in the food processor? Actually, I loved the flaky texture, and perhaps it would be something I can adjust (more flaky or less flaky) depending on what I will be using the pie crust for.
Let me tell you, the flavor of the crust was well balanced and extremely tasty, truly 'nice to have alone.' I tried to taste the vinegar or the cream cheese or the butter, and I could not. This is when I can tell the flavors are so well balanced, that no one single ingredient overpowers another.
My vision is to make fresh fruit tarts using your pie pan instead of a traditional tart pan. Love the shape and the extra crust. When crust is this good, it is appropriate to have this much extra! Also, it is fun to see how it crumbles when you cut it, specially when your friends start to get closer to you to catch any flying crumbs!
Elicia, you are my favorite friend! The mangoes tasted average in my opinion. They were locally grown, but store bought, so not picked fully ripe and perhaps sprayed or post-harvest hot water treated. The texture and taste were not what I am used to. I prefer the given ones from people I know that have mango trees, picked ripe! This 'xtra' crust concoction is the way I plan to make fresh fruit tarts! But served with the pie crust and my 'excellent' Creme Anglaise, the first thing I've heard was "the mangos are excellent with the sauce." Did I mention that I indeed added Grand Marnier on the Creme Anglaise? What a perfect match of flavors, the Grand Marnier adds a mild fruit scent, perhaps cutting any 'boiled egg taste', and it makes the sauce taste fresher (for not saying alcoholic which was hardly noticed). I think the effect of 'masked' alcohol on cold sauces is to open your taste buds. Also, as the alcohol travels down your neck, chest, and stomach, it leaves you with a freshen taste!
Christine, it is neat to have a friend on a different season pattern. BTW, Australia is exporting a lot of goods, like wine, cheeses, olive oils. Amazing! Your Lemon Pucker sound delicious! Thanks for the update on your pie/tarlet crusts, pie crusts are something I plan to master!
the crust looks flaky--the pie looks like a rose within a star! very beautiful including the table cloth!
Hector, I love the elegant pie, the beautiful pie plate and the luscious-looking mangoes!
Who cares abt the slightly over-browned crust?!
Hector, as ever, your pie looks fabulous! I love mangoes, and am eagerly awaiting the arrival of summer here in Australia!
An update on the Lemon Pucker situation--I baked off the tartlet shells I cut and moulded last night (in little disposable foil pie tins), and for some reason, these ones hardly shrank! I did freeze these overnight, so that might have something to do with it. Also, they were probably better weighted down, since I just used a second tin and beans to weigh each one down.
The filling, which is now 2 days old, baked up just fine--my 'quality assurance' team assures me after frequent sampling that it still tastes excellent. I do think that my filling-to-crust ratio is a little off, if I'd cut the circles a little bigger I could have more filling. Still though, no one's complaining!
Photos of some of Sabrina's dishes (I did not take pictures of her best dishes though). The green thing is a rhubarb pie made by my German friends, was tasty!
Patrincia, the Flaky Pie Crust was a dream to work with. I made a couple mistakes: I forgot to let the dough rest outside the refrigerator for 10 minutes before rolling it, so it cracked terribly, was just too cold even in my warm kitchen! Live and learn and never forget! Also, my marble slab was a bit too cold in my opinion, it was sitting in the refrigerator overnight, and when taking it out it was condensating a little. I will let this slab rest 10 minutes at room temp, too. The pastry cloth and the rolilng pin cover were a DREAM and a MUST. Really works to roll pastry, non-stick!
The second mistake was that I baked the pie crust for extra 2 minutes, and these 2 minutes turned the pie crust from beautiful tan to dark brown. In other words BURNED!
But you are going to love this: when I placed this Pie Crust Mango Rose on the table, Sabrina screamed and asked "can I please show it to my husband (the chef) before you cut it?" So she ran to the kitchen with the whole 'pie' and came back a few minutes saying "what a presentation!"
Don't worry Hector - you'll master pies too!
Here it is, the Flaky Pie Crust Mango Rose. This will be the beginning of my pie crust making, as you can see, it will be a long road to travel!
Hi Rose and Hector,
Thanks for all the tips! I might give the cream cheese pastry a whirl again with cream this time. I might also try the new pastry flour I bought (about 8.5% protein, which is the lowest I've found here in Australia). Unfortunately, Wondra isn't available here except in a tiny shaker for sauces
I think I might also have to mind my processing, it was probably a little under-processed last time around. Having said that though, the 10 inch lemon pucker tart I made was devoured in less than half an hour! I only got a tiny sliver myself, but it was so lovely--perfect texture and flavour. The leftover filling in the fridge also seems to be holding up all right, though I didn't manage to get to it today. The next task is doing some mini tartlets--the crusts are in the freezer already.
Hector, I'm so impressed at your cake and the more I read about it the more blown away I am! It sounds like it was a truly delicious labour of love. I would've been afraid to arrange the coffee beans at the top too!
Yes Hector, do try Wondra in the crust. It is what I always use too--and unlike pastry flour, you can always find it in the store. I have noticed, however, that I can only buy it in the canisters for the last couple of years. I wonder if they stopped making the larger boxes, or if my region just doesn't stock them.
in order to assess the size (peas etc) you take off the cover and lift up some of the mixture with a fork.
next time try the wondra flour in the pie dough--it makes a more tender crust which you may prefer. looking forward to hearing the results!
You won't believe that the only pie I made was when I was 14 y.o. and that was in high school, so there are things I remember, like processing only until flaky and later gradually put it together with some light smashing and rolling indeed.
I've just started the creme cheese flaky pie crust using GM AP bleached flour. It was really hard to look thru the food processor when was the cream cheese 'peanut size' and when was the butter 'pea size.' My food processor bowl is pretty worn down and scratched so it isn't crystal see thru anymore! I just processed until everything became a loose crumby mix. I don't think I over processed, and I do remember that all you need is to reach a crumby mix, not a dough. It looked pretty dry and separated. The mix just poured out like coarse sand as I emptied the food processor onto a large glass bowl (I dislike working it on my counter, thus the use of a large glass bowl to contain the dusty mess). With food service gloves, with my nuckels and bottoms of my palm, I smashed the crumby mix into a flat disc. It holded together well and now it looks like a dough (and I was so tempted to start treating it like bread dough and knead!). I wrapped the glass bowl with double plastic wrap, and now it is sitting on the refrigerator overnight.
I will be rolling it tomorrow on my new marble board lined with pastry cloth and Wondra. I haven't found a good French rolling pin, so I will be using my American rolling pin (the normal ones with bearings and handles). My American rolling pin is made or marble, so it should be good for something besides been so heavy! I will line it with the rolling pin cover it came with the pastry cloth as a kit. Both, the pastry board and the rolling pin are sitting in my refrigerator.
I will report, soon!
Elicia, I know what you mean! I prepared myself all way saying "if something happens let it happen, and that even goes as far as a cake fallout." Glad it did not happen.
Tiering the cake with everyone watching was a HUGE added stress. I had to ask Natalie to help me place the last coffee beans because my hand pulse was shaking in despair!
One technical note I would add, if you are going to tier cakes taller than 3 tiers, be sure to use precut dowel rods or pillars with the exact same height. Also, do not use cardboard in any cake base. I cut the dowel rods myself, actually used Wilton's Hidden Pillars. I was very very careful and accurate, but to the millimeter the top tiers were leaning! The microscopic differences in heights multiply as you go up so many tiers! You can't really tell by the pictures. Fortunately, the cake was leaning forward, so it was not noticeable by many people neither. Using cardboard as cake base also added variables on the heights. The bottom cardboards were evenly indented by the dowel rods and the weight of all the upper cakes. But, the top cardboards were unevenly indented because they were holding less weight, so more leaning millimeters here! In fact, I would just build a strong center axle with a broom stick and screw in somehow each cake plate!
I am GLAD there were not catastrophes, cake held well for near 5 hours (3 hours during the party, and 2 prior during assembly), needless to say that some tears were frozen prior as much as 2 months, and the thawing process was perfect. You saw my refrigerator full of cake right?
Hector, I just love the way you take photos - you can compile it all in a beautiful cookbook journal!
I also think raspberry and coffee makes a great combi!
BTW, your cake looks like it almost reached the ceiling! I don't think I can ever find the nerves to tier such a tall cake and in full view of guests - I'm way too clumsy for that!
Nushera, you make me feel humble pie!
The most I ate that day was digging out the cake stuck inside the Wilton hidden pillars from one and every tier! The hidden pillars never tasted so wonderful, was like having a vertical sample taken by a food lab scientist. I also scraped the spatulas and baking sheets with my food gloves. If that wasn't enough, I froze each piping tube with its buttercream remains so I can have them as spreads on my grilled paninis for Sunday breakfast.
Here is the proof http://www.hectorwong.com/roselevy/PaddlersWYC/HawaiiWayAftermatch.html
Bonus picture of my dog Lucky, she took a nap on my cake packing materials!
And by the way, the Wilton hidden pillars have an extraordinary strength, I used them though the entire cake even if 11 more cakes would be on top!
i feel like i am running short of adjectives how to describe/appreciate yr exhibition of science nd art of cake. bravo, Caketor(Hector)!!! just feeling curious: did u eat from any of yr cakes on the big day? which one?
Well, Silvia, indeed we use the same saying "easy as cake" or also "piece of cake." I rather say "bake your life away" !!!
Christine, THANK YOU.
Indeed, tonight I will make Rose's flaky pie crust with creme cheese and Gold Medal Bleached AP Flour. I will let it sit in the refrigerator and roll it tomorrow afternoon with Wondra. I've just picked up the most beautiful piece of Italian marble from my local stone building supply center, it is 18"x18" near 3/4" thick, and I paid a fraction of the cost than from a kitchen store. It is also polished! I hit jack pot because the sales rep is a pastry fan, so she knew exactly what I needed!
Lemon is my favorite flavor.
I am going to start feeding good stuff to my nephew Nicholas (the one on the photo), hope my sister will undestand!
Silvia, by all means if it is bread then email your photos to me, and I will post a link! firstname.lastname@example.org
BTW, Italians have wine since they are 2 years old, and they don't really follow the 18 yo minimum drinking age. A great thing so teens don't need to make such a big deal when they turn 18th w/o a huge drinking party!
Dearest Rose, THANK YOU for ALL your support, my friends ask how did I hook up with you? I am eternally and ethereally thankful to you, almost like a Ethereal Pear Charlotte who I will be making soon but had to put on hold due to this cake! In the meantime please be content with all the mango 'Rose' cakes I am whipping!
I am having a get together tomorrow to gossip more about the cake, we are going to my favorite local home cooked Italian restaurant. It will be the closest thing to having dinner at my home (my friends wanted to get together at my place instead, but I said all my kitchen equipment is still at rest!). The restaurant is called Sabrina's Ristorante Italiano, and Sabrina is already expecting what dessert I will be bringing! Last time, she traded a piece of my cake with a chocolate souffle her husband chef makes for the diners.
Hector, I love the photos of the people staring at you and the cake. And the baby is soooo cute! Hector, is it possible to send photos to you (I have to confess, I'am proud of my bread, would that be bothersome to you?)
I can´t imagine life without coffee, I have been drinking it since I was 2 years old, so your cakes sound really tempting to me.
Patrincia, THANK YOU, and I felt your Go! support on July 28th!
People's choice was the Mango Rose. Then, they loved all the chocolate cakes (dark chocolate with marble moistened cake, and the other varieties of chocolate on espresso moistened cake). The pepper dark chocolate was such a delicacy, extremely dark with a hint of hot pepper, my friend Isabella from Bologna brought me a bar initially to eat it alone, but I saved it for this cake! The pineapple caramel was also very interesting for the people, it is a flavor I developed by adding hot caramel to achieve a darker yellow color on pineapple.
Overall, people loved the coffee syrup on all the tiers of the big cake, and felt the assorted fruit combinations set well with coffee. I used a small amount of coffee, really, if not told you could not taste it. People worded 'tiramisu cake' on several ocassions (after all, a tiramisu is made with Biscuit de Savoie turned ladyfingers and with tons of coffee). However, the people that don't drink coffee were a bit sad, and I felt it strong. Luckily that evening, most people were coffee drinkers, but I am glad 4 of the individual 10" cakes did not have coffee, so I catered the non-coffee drinkers until cake ran out!
If you ask me to remake one tier, I will do the one with Mousseline Buttercream with Kahlua and flavored with Cordon Rose Raspberry Conserve, and of course the Biscuit de Savoie is moistened with coffee. THIS WAS MY FAVORITE!
ha ha, honestly, I prefered to look at the photos!!!
Those stats are a bit scaring to me, you have a good , neat, organized mind, something I don´t.
But it´s interesnting to know how bakers work...
seeing all your work makes me wonder who invented this saying ("easy as cake" (you also use it in English, don´t you?)
people's reaction photos. I love the photo with my nephew (he is 15 months old and I don't know how many grams). I also enjoy the photo with the lady looking up while I remove the top tiers; she must be trying to reach for cake fallout!
Elicia, here is me on the ladder!
Silvia, here is some of the spreadsheet stats, it is confusing, so just take for granted it was BIG.
I haven't added the last 2 or 3 batches of Biscuit de Savoie and Mousseline Buttercream yet, but here is a segment of my spreadsheet. It shows Syrup, Biscuit de Savoie, and Mousseline Buttercream. Look at the yellow cells on the half bottom of the spreadsheet under 'actual cooked, actual baked, or actual whipped'
I engineered the batches according to my equipment size: one 6 qt mixer and one a 5 qt mixer, and I do not intent to do repeat a project of this scale unless I have TWO 20 or 40 qt mixers! I can say I have mastered how to make Biscuit de Savoie and how to make Mousseline Buttercream because I whipped so many batches of each during the past 2 months!
The numbers are in grams, unless otherwise noted. Basically, the size of each batch of syrup is 1974 gr water and 973 gr sugar (the spreadsheet shows 2 batches); the size of each batch of cake is 1.94 x recipes from TCB (or 15.6 eggs recipe) of Biscuit de Savoie (the spreadsheet shows 7 batches); and the size of each batch of frosting is 16.4 or 15.3 cup of Mousseline Buttercream (the spreadsheet shows 5 batches).
Don't you feel a headache already?
Matthew, honestly and shame on me, I haven't worked much with passion fruit, I guess one tends to ignore what is locally abundant or readily available! I can swim, but I can't surf, and just recently I've started scuba diving! Anyhow, the pie in process for tomorrow is Rose's creme cheese flaky pie crust. I am calling this dessert a 'pie crust' and not a pie nor a tart, because I am putting my effort on testing her pie plate and showcase the crust! it will have a very thin layer of creme anglaise and the mango rose on top. It sounds pretty 'organic' and European and simple. Will post photos. In a few minutes, I am picking up my new marble pastry board, too!
And NO, I was serious to put my mixers on a break, so no cake mixing for at least 2 weeks. (but I do agree that having a thin layer of cake in your pie adds a nice extra dimension!)
I'm happy to hear that the mango-rose cakes continue to be popular. If you can get your hands on some passion fruit (which shouldn't be a problem for you), I hope you will try the mango passion tart from the PPB this weekend. It was the inspiration for the mango cake, but I have to say it is still best as a tart. It is my favorite tart in the PPB--out of this world. Plus you get to make a bit a cake for it, so that should make you happy.
The event attendees were literally mute, I felt their worry and frowning showing on their faces, specially when the cake was been stacked or de-stacked. They got so quiet when I was stacking the cake or later when I was taking it apart to serve; and soon after it was done, I turned around to see an audience clapping, they almost scared me, I didn't know I was been watched (I told myself, without any planned intention, this must be the Food-TV ace of cakes effect!). One of the photos I have, show a lady reaching with her hands to see if any cake tier would fall out! Oh, I did have an invisible fishing line from the top of the cake to the nearby wall, but this was just a warning sign, the fishing line was always loose, but if it would become tense or tight, that will mean cake fallout!
Thank you for the shower of happiness, truly appreciated and truly thankful to have you here. You all were very instrumental in putting this effort together. Really, the catastrophes were avoided by simply me asking you about something (one was how to bake a large BdS, another one the defrosting act, etc). Really (too), I am glad I am now buried answering question rather than buried under a cake fallout!
Quickly answering some questions: I made 8 additional 10" round cakes, the mango rose was the absolute most requested and screamed flavor! Not sure if it is because the mango season is almost over, and I was lucky to use 'free' mangoes for these cakes from someone's yard; because mango is now selling for $3.99 a lb. which is unbelievable in Hawaii where mangoes are found dropped on the ground! (and indeed this mango rose pie crust for this weekend I had to pay!). Maybe people could just see my smile whenever the word Rose was mentioned. BTW, Rose's signed copy of TCB went for silent auction for $90! (yes, I apologize, I should have announced this auction, so you could bid, too).
Seriously, I will write as soon as I get to my office, regarding the best flavor (of the real cake) and the spreadsheet tally, the construction, etc. I DO HAVE more photos to show (including what is left of the project today!), and these photos are ready to post since 'finally' the official word is out, and the photos are free for all, will appear on my website links as usual.
Please keep asking questions because I will print it all out and archive it for my future project. Nothing in mind yet, but for sure it will be something to top this, and for sure it can't be something I will pay for the ingredients at least! (I bought all the ingredients myself, but glad a few friends and business helped with some small donations). Anyways, the list of official sponsors for this cake are: ILLY North America, Costco, Wilton Industries, the Medina-Saams, and the Otas; plus the unconditional man power of friends and neighbors, some you see in the pictures (they mostly came to feed me real food since they were worry my cake diet was little extreme). Oh, I wish my local egg farm took part of this, but they instead just replied with a lovely letter of support and saying they work with other charities; I think my compost pile is a little to high in pH from all those egg shells, and BTW I am not afraid to tell EVERYONE that this was REAL cake, with real eggs.
Oh, yes, tell us about the "stas" and the reactions of the people.
Congratulations Hector on successfully completing this massive project! I am also curious about the flavor combinations and any reactions from the tasters.
Hector - Yeah! - I'm so happy for you!!! Your cake turned out wonderfully (Go Hector, Go Hector). I hope you handed out business cards - the calls should be rolling in! Any ideas what you'll do next to top this one?
Tell me, out of all the flavor combinations you put into this cake, which was your favorite?
I love to figure all the ingredients I've used after I make a large cake - it's fun to present the "stats" with the cake (people are always so surprised by the enormous quantity of ingredients used). I'd love to know all the totals if/when you figure them out.
Superb job - Bravo!
PS - LOVE the coffee/chocolate paddler guy on top!
hector, i'm sure i'm not alone in longing to hear the reaction of the lucky participants at the event!
the paddler on the top is truly a thing of beauty.
valerie, be my guest--and do let me know the results of the competition.
christine, have you tried the cream cheese pie crust in my book but using heavy cream instead of water? that never shrinks for me even when i don't let it rest. the only other solution is to use a weaker flour. if not using pastry flour try wondra which is also ideal!
Hector, you left me absolutely speechless....
That is a real cake!
Bravo, Hector, bravo! It looks like an immense success, and so beautiful!
I've actually got a question for Rose and everyone else too--recently when I make pie crusts, they always seem to shrink. They'll be fine while parbaking until the beans come out, then when they're fully done, they've always shrunk enough that they shift about in the tart or pie tin. What's going on? It doesn't matter what recipe I use, how long I let it rest or how careful I am, etc. Can anyone shed some light on this mystery?
PS. Rose, made lemon pucker tart tonight, it looks fabulous, other than that shell-shrinkage problem I was talking about. I've got a bit of filling left over--will it hold until tomorrow for me to bake it?
Oh Hector, just love it! I think the tall stack already made a statement, accompanied by the simple 'organic' way in which you have frosted it with naturally flavoured and coloured buttercreams! BTW, how did you stack it all the way up? - I did not see a ladder in sight, haha!
Anyway, my only frustration is that I'm not able to taste each variation - I can only imagine that it wld be so exotic!
Well, you have really pushed the limits this time, and congrats on your success!
Hector, congratulations - looks like it was a great success!
Hi Hector, what a fantastic effort! I'm hungry just looking at the photos. I'm also kind of wistful looking at yourself and friends in short sleeve shirts - here in sw Scotland, it is grey, cold, and about to rain. The pictures of your cakes just brightens up the office wonderfully!
Thank you Jen. I feel wonderful(ly tired) but equally happy! Thank you for tipping that frozen lemon curd mousseline buttercream keeps well, and indeed it did!
Bravo, Hector!! You must have a wonderful feeling of accomplishment...I'm sure everyone else is as impressed as I!
Woa, now that's a cake! What a feat!
Well, I read here on your blog that you know of two people who actually made your Notre Dame Cathedral and I was wondering if you minded if I made it and entered it at the National Gingerbread Competition. If you would be so kind to email me and let me know.
You can see my other gingerbread creations and cakes at:www.valariespics.shutterfly.com the password is gingie
Dearest bloggers, I hope I have not disappoint you. This is how the cake turned out on July 28th! I know you have been waiting for this final picture. It has been 2 months of intense baking and blogging, and I truly treasure your feedback thru this "tour de force" journey!
This is a 12-tier Biscuit de Savoie moistened with ILLY espresso. The frosting is Mousseline Buttercream with: Cordon Rose Raspberry Conserve, dark chocolate, kumquat Lemon Curd, Cordon Rose Strawberry Conserve, coffee curd, mango curd, black/red grape conserve, milk chocolate, pineapple caramel, cherry conserve, pepper dark chocolate, and apricot curd. The man on the top is supposed to be an ancient canoe paddler, made of chocolate and coffee beans.
I don't have much more to report? This is the ultimate Biscuit de Savoie. It is ultimate because of it grand size, and ultimate because my mixers has gone on strike after 2 months of daily whipping! I haven't tally my spreadsheets yet, but roughly I used over 6 cases of eggs, more than a 25 lb sack of sugar, and almost my entire 5 year supply of block chocolate! A particular ingredient in my kitchen has gained much attention, a thing of sparingly use, a buy-and-forget about it thing: Creme of Tartar, I used more than 3 bottles!
The event organizers estimated 1000 people. I haven't narrowed down the reason that each 1000 of them came for cake, really! With the help of 3 of my closest cake friends, we performed all the cake cutting ourselves. We were cutting cake from 6 pm until 9 pm NON STOP. Natalie, I've just met 3 weeks ago, she reached me after reading this blog! Luca, he became the expert cake cutter after reading The Cake Bible that same morning; also because he is so tall I used him as a counter balance when stacking the cake! Kathy, professional photographer, she documented the day and soon converted to cake cutter!
The cake name is HAWAII WAY, a cake for the Waikiki Yacht Club Paddlers 2007 Fundraiser titled Nohona Hawaii (Living the Hawaii Way).
Bake Your Live Away!
P.S. You may have noticed that my tone of voice (writing) has changed, I am just a bit exhausted and could not think much about baking when I wrote this message. But half-week has gone by, and I feel my baking itch coming back. This Saturday, to celebrate the 1 week anniversary aftermatch, I will make Rose's wonderful pie crust topped with some mangoes!
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