rice cake confessional

adventures in eating

western basics, class 7

with 2 comments

Awww it’s the second to the last Palate Sensations Western Basics class!

Having been to other cooking schools I appreciate the kitchen at PS even more these days. It’s so organized, homey, and well stocked. You feel like you can really cook anything in there. It’s fun puttering around the kitchen all day especially when you don’t have to do the dishes (thanks Loretta!).

The last 2 classes are all about desserts and this lesson we covered cakes and tarts. Two words for you today: sugar headache.


Two other words: worth it.

We had a huge 3 kilo bag of high quality chocolate (Valrhona, I think). We melted these over a bain marie with chocolate’s best friend, buttah. Actually, I think peanut butter is chocolate’s best friend. Butter is more like it’s friendly neighbor.


Melted chocolate is a little bit hypnotic.


So is watching the Kitchenaid turn the egg whites into meringue.

Not hypnotic? Whipping up cream by hand.


Fold it all gently to make the chocolate mousse.


For the cakey part, we made a genoise. The directions called for whipping eggs and flour until it comes to a sabayon texture. Thick, creamy, ribbony, but not like a custard. We sifted flour and cocoa powder into it and plopped it down onto the always welcoming Silpat.


A few minutes in the oven and you are greeted by a chocolate field.


We cut out pieces to fit into our little individual cake molds, plopped in some of the chocolate mousse, and gently plopped in another layer of cake. Looks like a hamburger patty in the pic though.


One more layer of mousse and a little chocolate glaze later you get the starting picture from above.

So now we have a cake and we need a tart (or two). Flour and buttah and shugah and cream come together to form the short crust. There’s a specific method to it. You start with a sandy texture and little by little it will start coming together to form the now familiar dough ball.


Lazy dough rests and then tortures us as we lay it ever so gently into the tart molds. It breaks and falls and laughs in our faces but we patch it up and move along. The crusts are prebaked. Half of them are filled with sliced apples and a light custardy filling. This was my favorite of the 3 desserts we made.


The other tarts were filled with a thicker custard, topped with blueberries, and finished with confectioner’s sugar.


Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the dentist.


Written by joann

October 25, 2009 at 7:00 pm

2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I love the PS Kitchen. I’m looking for a similar cooking class here in Tokyo but I think it’ll be pretty tough to match …


    November 9, 2009 at 8:55 am

  2. I have re-read this post thrice. Is that even normal?!


    December 16, 2009 at 4:34 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: