Thursday, February 04, 2010

Strawberry Ice Cream over Short Cake on Choca River Banana Island

Plated Dessert Anyone?  My class started three weeks ago.  Now, it's time for students to start on the project.  I got assigned to a Plated Dessert project group.  Just like when Croissant or the Ribbon Cake was introduced to me or the Charlotte Cake or the Torte Cake, I wanted to try my hands on the "Plated Dessert" at home first.  Our team drew a rough sketch of how our final product should look like and how these recipe/formula that we picked would turn out.  I am very happy that I managed to simulate the plated dessert we had in mind.  Couple of things I am missing from the recipe is the actual Creme Chantilly and Poppy Seeds in the strawberry short cake formula.  Also, I didn't have Strawberry Sorbet or the ice cream machine, so I improvised for this testing to use Strawberry Ice Cream.
So, here is my first Plated Dessert - I call it the Strawberry Ice Cream  over Short Cake on Choca River Banana Island.
(double click on images to view brief comment)
(Formula from Bo Friberg, The Professional Pastry Chef, Fundamentals of Baking and Pastry, 4th Edition.)
1.  Strawberry short cake's biscuit dough is amazingly airy and soft during mixing.
Taste test:  It's heavier than what I would expect for dessert.  Perhaps adding almond extract would compliment poppy seed.  However, I would prefer lighter cake.
2.  Tuile batter is really easy to make.  I am very glad to have tested this first hand at home.  While the baking time is one of the factor to the malleability of the Tuile when it comes out of the oven to allow you to reshape, I found out that it is not easy to guage the desirable thickness on the silpat even with a template.  Practice and experience will make it perfect eventually, I hope. 
In my testing, I made a Tuile cookie spoon using a cardboard template, Tuile Curl - piping, and Tuile bowl - smearing.
Piping turned out the best. The batter spread as it baked and developed some body.  It wrapped around easily on the handle of the wooden spoon without breaking.
3.  Nape the plate with the chocolate sauce was fun.  I want to practice more on it.
4.  I wished I had the real whip cream, but for tonight the dream whip would work.
5.  For this particular plated dessert, things to consider:  Dessert plate's temperature, short cake's temperature, freezing temperature of the Sorbet or the ice cream, creme chantilly's temperature (best close to frozen).
Chocolate sauce turned dull after 1 hour of waiting on the plate.  A quick 5 seconds in the microwave brought back the shine.  So, the plate may need to be kept warm, or at room temperature as long as the dessert is plated and served in 30 min - all 20 servings.
If the Short Cake is still warm, it will start melting the Sorbet or the Ice Cream as soon as it is placed on the short cake.  Cold biscuit short cake would not taste that great either, so or the other and make sure the Ice Cream or the Sorbet is hard frozen.
As this is the first time trying to make the Quenelle shape with the Whip Cream, I placed the whipped cream in freezer.  It helps when trying to shape or plating.
Make sure those Tuile Twirl / Curl has long enough stem to poke into Sorbet or Ice Cream
Sliced Banana was easy - they loved the Raspberry Liquer dip and they shined.
Over all I am quite pleased with the result.  Tuile Cookie Spoon is an extra.  I was very curious how it is made.  So, I checked Bo Friberg's The Advanced Professional Pastry Chef book, it got everything in detail about the how to's of the Tuile cookie spoon, and it even works to scoop up the dessert off the plate.

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