Mini Cakes with Pastry Rings
Posted: 20 February 2009 11:55 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I’d like to make some mini Opera tortes for my husband’s birthday, and I’m wondering if I can use pastry rings for the biscuit, or if I should bake the biscuit in a jelly roll pan and then just use the rings for molding.

Any suggestions?

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Posted: 20 February 2009 12:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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We make our bisquit in sheets then cut - this way it is tight against the ring when pouring in the filling (we make mousse cakes and individual cheesecakes this way.  I also use crumb crusts in the rings for our individual key lime pies).

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Posted: 20 February 2009 01:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I concur with Jeanne on baking in a sheet pan and then cutting out.  For Opera, I’d also torte and fill the cake before cutting out the circles - much less messy.

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Posted: 20 February 2009 02:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Jeanne, just out of curiosity, what do you do with all the scraps from the cakes and cheesecakes?

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Posted: 20 February 2009 04:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Thanks for the great suggestions!  I’ll let you know how they come out ... smile

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Posted: 20 February 2009 06:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Please, take Jeanne’s advice.  (you learn that lesson quickly when you try to fill and stack a gazillion little tiny disks of cake… AHHH!!!)

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Posted: 20 February 2009 09:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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The way I do the individual desserts (cheesecakes, key lime pies, tiramisu, choc mousse, etc) is to make the biscuit in full sheet pans.  I can get 40 3” circles out of a sheet.  I spray the rings (the rings I have are 3” round and 1.5” high), cut the biscuit circles and the put the rings with the biscuit in on a pan lined with parchment (helps with cleanup).

Then I put the cheesecake batter or key lime filling, or mousse, or whatever in. With the cheesecakes, I use an ice cream scooper (aka a disher) to fill, with the mousse sometimes I use a bag and sometimes I just pour it in; with the key lime filling, I usually pour because it’s viscous enough.

So I’m not really wasting anything except the excess of the biscuit, and sometimes I can fit the scraps together but I have to be careful because those are the ones that will leak.

If I am making a layered dessert, I cut the other rings of biscuit and fit them in as I am layering the filling.  You put the filling in, then a cut circle of biscuit, then tamp it down (this is important, otherwise you will have bubbles and gaps that look unsightly in the finished dessert), put another layer of filling, then another circle of biscuit, tamp again, and then when it is chilled, add the topping.  To unmold, I use a torch to release the sides.  You can also use a hair dryer (do not ask me how I know this works wink - put the chilled mold on something just narrower than the dessert (like a can, or the plastic top of a spray can - be careful if you are using the torch with this, it can melt or catch fire if you are not very careful.  The biggest mistake I see people making with torches is they are not aware of the flame and what it is pointing at.)

If for the Opera, you are doing it for just a few people, you might want to do them as AnnieMacD suggests - make a square cake, torte, fill and then cut individual squares instead of making rounds. This way there’s no waste at all, and a lot of the classic French desserts were originally made in squares rather than rounds (aka entremets).

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Posted: 20 February 2009 09:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Jeanne, I just love reading your posts, so knowledgeable!

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Posted: 20 February 2009 11:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Julie - 21 February 2009 01:36 AM

Jeanne, I just love reading your posts, so knowledgeable!

Ditto.

Thanks for explaining how you do it Jeanne. You are a wealth of information.

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Posted: 21 February 2009 03:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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THAT is how is done exactly at my Saturday bakery internship.  We bake EVERYTHING in full sheets, biscuit, genoise, carrot cake, red velvet, black forest.  To make wedding cakes and strawberry shortcake sheet cakes, we also bake full sheets, but the sheets are 1.5” deep.  The scraps of biscuit and genoise are lightly toasted and turned into crumbs and mixed into a chocolate cookie, which to my surprise are the best cookies I’ve ever tasted.

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Posted: 21 February 2009 03:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Or make lots of trifle - yummmm!
Annie

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