Biscuit de Savoie sheet for tiramisu
Posted: 20 March 2011 05:47 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Thirty years ago I made a couple of cakes that were tough.  I gave up.  A friend gave me TCB a couple of years ago, but I was still too discouraged to try it.  Two weeks ago wanted a piece of really good cake, and I don’t like local bakeries. I cracked open the Bible, and…SUCCESS!!!  It’s my avatar.  Crude by this site’s standards, but I liked it.  So now I’m inspired.  I want to make tiramisu.  I intend to use the TCB recipe for Biscuit de Savoie in a sheet pan, 13 x 17 3/4 across top edges, 12 x 16 3/4 across bottom edges.  I’ll cut the biscuit in half and divide halves into two layers with my wire tool.  If cutting into layers is not possible…I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.
In the meantime, I need to adjust the Biscuit de Savoie recipe.  It’s for 3 9” pans.  How should I adjust the TCB recipe so it will work in my pan?
Thanks very much!
Bernard

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Posted: 20 March 2011 08:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Congratulations on your success!  Your avatar looks great!  Which components did you use?

Tiramisu is so wonderful!  Rose has a recipe in Rose’s Heavenly Cakes, I’ve made it and it’s great.

For your biscuit, each 9x1.5 round pan has a capacity of about 6.5 cups, so the recipe will fit a pan with 19.5 cups capacity.  If you turn to page 455 (dog-eared in my copy, the book practically opens to that page automatically), you’ll see that a 2-inch tall half sheet pan has a capacity of 29 cups.  How tall is your sheet pan?  The best thing to do, especially since your pan has sloped sides, is to pour water into it and see what the capacity is. 

Let’s say your pan is one inch tall and holds about 15 cups.  You’ll need 15/19.5 = 0.77, or about three-quarters of the recipe.

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Posted: 20 March 2011 10:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Hello, Julie—

Thanks very much for your kind response.  My avatar is based on the All-Occasion Downy Yellow Butter Cake.  When it comes to the chemistry of baking, I want to follow recipes as precisely as I can.  With flavoring, I toss caution and tradition to the wind and make what I want to eat.  How bad could it be?  (If it’s real bad, I just don’t tell anybody about it.)  This cake was seasoned with lemon zest, toasted poppy seed, almond extract and a drop of vanilla.  The frosting is cream cheese flavored with lemon juice, sugar, and vanilla, all to my own taste.  The yellow stuff is lemon meringue pie filling.  Can’t remember where I got that recipe.  I followed it exactly—well, maybe I made it extra tart and stopped cooking it before it was stiff enough for pie filling.  I originally intended it to be surprise between the layers.  I confess that the consistency was kind of an accident.  In the picture, you can hardly see the lemon between the layers.  Of course I had a lot left over.  What to do?  Just poured it over the top.  Didn’t plan it.  Just seemed like the right thing to do.  The runniness turned out to be exactly right.  I even had the correct amount.

Thanks so much for your assistance with Biscuit de Savoie.  I still have concerns about temperature and timing.  After adjusting quantities to fit my pan, how should I adjust the oven?  Is 450 right, as it is for a Biscuit Roulade sheet?  If 450 is right, I guess I’ll peek after five minutes and then continue until it’s done.  I can judge that.  But is 350 right, as it is for the three-layer version?  In which case I would check after 8 minutes or so?  I’m thinking of using foil to improvise a little insulation for the bottom of the pan to prevent over-browning down there.  Overkill?

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Posted: 20 March 2011 11:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I’ll leave Julie to help you with the bisquit, but I just wanted to say that your avatar looks—and sounds—delicious!!!!!

Like you, I tend to morph around a bit with flavorings, and your cake sounds like a wonderful blend of flavors and textures. 

You can slice your cake and then individually freeze and wrap the slices.  They’ll keep a long, long, long time to enjoy later or if a friend pops by unexpectedly.

Congratulations and your return to the world of cakes!

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Posted: 21 March 2011 12:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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The 450 temp is helpful for a roulade cake which has less structure than the savoie, so the eggs will set before the cake falls.  However, the savoie is structured for a layer, and has a lot more flour (and needs a lot more syrup).  So if you’re using the Savoie version, I’d stick with the Savoie baking temp. 

If you have an oven window, you’ll see the cake rise, and then shrink just a little (the top will likely flatten and/or the sides will pull slightly away from the pan), at which point it should be done. 

Your time will also depend on the depth of your sheet pan layer.

Good luck, and please report back on your results.

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Posted: 22 March 2011 12:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Wow, thank you for the helpful, supportive answer.  Everyone around here is so nice. I can’t wait to let you know how my tiramisu came out—with pics, of course. 

Only now I have to wait until at least this Friday to start cooking, when my new mixer comes in the mail!  Nothing glamorous, because this is a tiny apartment with zero counter space.  Okay, you twisted my arm:  It’s an Oster 2529-426—a hand mixer.  A lot of Amazon customers love it and no one hates it, so I’m thinking it’s okay.  I guess everyone else around here has gigantic mixers powerful enough to mix batter for wedding cakes to serve 500.  I will never, ever do such a thing, so I think my little mixer will be right for me.

My copies of Rose’s Pie and Pastry book and the Heavenly Cakes book are also in the mail.  All I’ve had up to now is the Bible.

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Posted: 22 March 2011 04:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Bernard, I think it’s wonderful that you’ve got the baking bug again!!  You will love both the PPB and Heavenly Cakes…HC in particular is like cookbook porn and I can’t get enough of it, myself.  The photos are gorgeous and make you want to try every cake in the book.  The PPB has such a wide variety of pies and pastries, it’s wonderful for browsing and getting ideas, from quick and simple to complicated.  I’m in the Bay Area too…there are some great places to get baking supplies, chocolate, etc. in bulk so let me know if you need sources.  Happy baking to you!

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Posted: 22 March 2011 07:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I’m with Loopy, I think you’ll love the books!  Nothing at all wrong with a hand mixer, they work well.  Matthew, who contributes professional-quality cakes, breads and pictures to the blog/forum, uses only a hand mixer, so you’re in good company.

Looking forward to seeing more of your work! smile

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Posted: 26 April 2011 10:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Hello, Julie, Loopy, and All—

Had to delay making my tiramisu…done at last!  How is it?  It’s okay.  Where I followed the directions to the letter—namely, making the biscuit—it came out perfectly.  The ingredients came together exactly as described in TCB.  Very gratifying. 

I did try my own variation on Magi-Strips.  I thought the bottom of the biscuit might get a little dark from pan and gummy from the syrups.  I’m such a newby, I can’t bear the thought of carving away even a crumb of my precious creation.  So I tore off some aluminum foil a little more than twice the length of the pan and folded it into one-inch pleats.  I folded the ends of the foil over the ends of the pan.  Then I put a length of foil over the pleats, and folded that over the edges of the plan.  Voila:  insulation. 

Fortunately, I realized I’d have to set the pan on top of the rack rather than slide it in, which would have torn up the foil.  Too bad I forgot to lift the pan when I rotated it in the last 2 minutes.  Tore up the foil royally.  I’d planned on cutting the biscuit in half, then the halves into two layers.  Forget it.  I just stacked the halves.  The pic shows the bottom of one half of the biscuit.  The top was domed just a tiny bit and was just a little darker. 

The whole thing turned out great except for the way it tastes.  I just put together the various fillings and flavorings in a way I thought would be good.  Oh, it’s good.  It’s just not fabulous the way I intended.  One cup of stove-top espresso for the bottom layer was a little short on both moisture and flavor.  Next time, I’ll try making espresso, and then running the espresso through the maker one more time, and I’ll use about one and a quarter cups.  I know it’s not traditional, but neither am I.  Speaking of not traditional, the syrup for the top layer was one-half cup Marsala, a little less than one-half cup Torani Italian Egg Nog flavored syrup and a splash of water.  It was good, but again, too dry.  Should have had another two tablespoons each of wine and syrup, maybe three. 

The stuff in the middle is chocolate mousse, make with 72% dark chocolate.  It’s okay.  Thankfully, I had the presence of mind to use Hershey’s milk chocolate for the curls on top.  The mousse was a little…well, it’s just not a flavor you want to cuddle up to. The milk chocolate convinced the dark stuff to be a lot more sociable.

If you are appalled by all that, wait til I tell you about the white food-like substance on top and around.  Can we just say it’s made of whipped cream, cream cheese, full fat yogurt, powdered sugar, a squeeze of lemon juice (why lemon juice? don’t ask) and vanilla, and call it a day?  Again, it’s not bad, just not fabulous.  It’s okay.  It’s good.  But I can’t say it’s divine or heavenly or anything like that.  It’s certainly not as good as the filling in HC.  Why didn’t I use that?  Because I wanted to put Marsala in the biscuit, and I thought it would be Marsala overkill.  Excuses, excuses.

I’m definitely a newby, much chastened by this experience.  Next time, I promise to follow the recipe to the letter from start to finish in every respect, and not go off on a “creative” tear.  Now I want to make something that substitutes finely chopped almost for flour and doesn’t need a lot of gooey frosting. 

At least the biscuit turned out PERFECT !!

Thanks, Julie and Loopy, for your kind encouragement.

Got any recommendation for a tasty flourless cake?

Bernard

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Posted: 27 April 2011 03:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Bernard, I’m so glad you reported back and posted pics of your tiramisu!  I bet it’s actually delicious—we are always our own worst critics.  I did admit you had me cracking up with your post—you are alot braver than I am when it comes to experimenting with flavors, etc. but I think that’s what great bakers and cooks do—trust their own taste buds and preferences, and go for it!  I can’t wait to hear about your next project…

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Posted: 27 April 2011 10:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Bernard, what a great post, so glad you followed up!  I’m with Loopy, I’ll bet it was pretty good. 

Regarding syruping the biscuit, check the volume of syrup per egg in the recipe and don’t use less.  A little more would be fine, especially if you are making it ahead, fear slight overbaking, or want it to keep for days.

My favorite flourless cake is the bittersweet cocoa-almond genoise from the Cake Bible.  It’s great paired with coffee, either a little added to the batter or a coffee/mocha ganache for frosting.  The texture, like most flourless cakes, is dense, yet supremely moist and tender- it keeps well. 

If you decide to try it, be sure to use a full-fat alkalized (dutched) cocoa, to toast the almonds (lightly), and to grind them as finely as possible for the best texture (start with sliced almonds).  It’s OK to take a little of the sugar from the butter creaming step and use it to grind with the almonds, in order to get a finer texture.

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Posted: 27 April 2011 11:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Congratulations, Bernard!!!  I’m sure it was wonderful, but I have ‘created’ less than stellar results, myself.  It’s like when you imagine it, you have extra expectations for the flavor, as well—so it could be amazing, but simply not be what you had imagined.

Two years ago, pre-Rose, I wanted to make a peanut butter banana cake with ganache frosting for a friend, so I used a banana bread recipe, but subbed peanut butter 1:1 for the butter and oil. And the ganache was very dense, also, because I used my ‘truffle middles’ ganache without thinking it would need more cream for frosting.  It literally—LITERALLY—took two hands to cut the cake.  I understand now all the protein that peanut butter contributed—and, by default, the less fat—were the main culprets (plus the very dense ganache).  I’ve posted a pic.  It looks almost like ‘real’ bread—no cake should slice that neatly!!!!

I was similarly chastened!!!

I’ve found that I’m actually enjoying following the recipes in Rose’s books.  It’s fun to see where someone else has been and go there, too, if you know what I mean!  19 times out of 20 (approximately), I’d definitely go back again and again!!!  But not ‘till I’ve taken the whole trip and made them all!!!

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