Friday, July 23, 2010

Torts & Gateau

This week we learned a variety of traditional torts, tarts and gateau which were.. a bit out of date but still delicious! Well, the important thing is all about learning the techniques involved. 

First up, is the traditional fruit cake and the savarin. (No pics were available for the fruit cake because it needs 3 hours to cook! Which was not possible in during the demonstration.) 

This doughnut looking sponge cake surprised me with its softness and moist interior, and was very, very good. The process of making this is similar to that of making bread, which involves the use of yeast. This provided the softness. In addition, the sponge was heavily soaked in a zesty syrup - Ohh~ and I mean some HEAVY soaking, as in soaking the cake in its tin half filled with syrup. Usually this would totally destroy the structure of the cake, making it soggy and mushy. This was not the case for this Savarin - the bread like structure formed from kneading and working the gluten in the batter gave the cake a strong, sponge structure. All the goodness soaked into the syrup accompanied with cream and fruits - heaven in your mouth.

Next we have the Fraisier - which most people might have tried before as they are sold at places like Paul and Patisserie Valerie. A fairly simple cake to make and taste wonderful when fresh strawberries are used.

by chef

I thought it would be slightly on the heavy side since creme mousseline was used, but it was actually has a lightly and fruity feel to it due the use of strawberries. However, it was a bit sweet because of the layer of marzipan which is placed at the top of the cake - I believe it is more for decoration really and a substitute should be used instead.

Practical was alright, made a few silly mistakes here and there but managed to fix them and go through the whole two sessions. It is good to make mistakes in the practical sessions now, so that they can be corrected before the exams. Understand and learning from the mistakes is what makes a person excel and grow.

The fruit cake and Savarin were not really much of an issue for the first session, but the fraisier was a bit troublesome towards the end of the session during the assembly of the whole item. The overall assembly involves positioning the sponges and strawberries, piping in the mousse, cover with marzipan, decorate with marzipan rose+leaves and piping with royal icing. I have to say piping with royal icing was much hard than I thought - it requires quite a lot of pressure and it needs to be constant. To add on to that, royal icing hardens really quickly so we had to do it fast and smooth to avoid the piping tip getting stuck.

Well, I think I will just leave you all with some pics of the end product.. and see for yourselves =.="


  1. wooooooo matt did u make those roses on the cake as well?? nice! haha, n i agree with u, the marzipan is kinda sweet and that's the part i really dun like, heehee

  2. goodness matt! been following ur makes me water..there's a flood in central library right now, cos of my drooling!! :D

  3. Rose: Yaa~ In the last pic, the one in the bottom left corner is mine :P The others were made by my groupmates. Clearly I need to practice the writing! Lol~

    Anita: I surprised for a second there when I saw "there's a flood in central library right now" - flood in the library !? No way! Then I understood why after finish reading the whole sentence :P

  4. Matthew...Matthew... why la make my stomach grumble... make me wanna have those cakes... even the beginning picture to start off even got my attention to pre-order it eh... *sob... =(
    I wan, i wan, i wan...
    Everytime i see you blog on food i keep track and i going hungry... Argh.. Matt... hope you will be here to make that cake for me to try... XP

  5. Heya!

    To be honest, this is the first time the (first) photo doesn't look appetizing! Is that doughnut thing really that light? Maybe it's coz I'm all ill atm, but it doesn't look like something I'd try. Looks greasy.

    The top right photo of all your friends 'Frazier' cakes looks really pretty :)...the second-bottom-left photo looks better than something I would've done :P

    I think that having the marzipan as the top layer is fine...if it is as light and as 'non-sweet' as you say it is (coz of the strawberries, as you say), then having the marzipan would complement it perfectly, for a sweet-tooth like me! :)


  6. Elisa: Haha~ I can understand why.. the pic displays the cake as smth heavy, but it is really light! :P