ground in a food processor and melted dark chocolate is added. This is the peanut gianduja layer. Underneath this disc of crunchy peanuts is a soft and silky salted caramel that is made by combining boiling hot sugar with boiling cream
and a dash of sea salt.
To hold all this crunchy creamy goodness in is a banana coconut biscuit. A soft and lightly chewy cake that is aboslutely irresistable to eat. Cake scraps are never a problem in this kitchen.
The gateaux is glazed with a shiny chocolate glaze and garnished with banana cream filled half dome and a salted chocolate strip.
The second petit gateaux we presented was the Torta de la pimienta. This cake is one of my favorites, although I feel the cake and the presentation still need a little bit of work. The cake is an almond financier with a lightend texture. A small amount of cornmeal has also been added this mixture. This cake is followed by a delightful roasted pepper baked chocolate mousse. For this we fire roast a blend of peppers, skin them and then run through the food processor. This puree is used to flavor the baked chocolate mousse. The resulting profile is lightly smoky with the fruit flavor ofthe pepper really coming though and complimenting the blend of chocolates used in the mousse. The next component is a fresh mango-lime gelee topped with a thin layer of a 70% (Sao Tome origin) lime-jalepeno olive oil( product of O Olive Oil) ganache. This petit gateaux is glazed with a chocolate glaze and currently garnished with a strip of mango-lime gelee, pomegranite seeds and icing sugar.
The third petit gateaux released is the Chocolate Bombe. I learned how to make this cake this last summer while volunteering as a chef's assistant at the World Pastry Forum. This recipe and construction are by MOF Stephane Glacier and I decided to recreate it because it is absolutley devine. The only thing I was missing from the original was soaking the candied orange peel in Grand Marnier. Without that, the cake was paltry compared to what we produced in the class. This petit gateaux is comprised of a hazelnut dacqouise, candied orange peel soaked in grand marnier, a chocolate mousse (I used a Peruvian 65% criollo) and a caramel bavarian. One other thing that I will change in the next batch is the addition of a thin caramel layer in between the caramel bavarian and first cake layer or possibly at the top so when the diner cuts with a fork the caramel slowly oozes out to act like a sauce. This reworked version will be out by the middle of this week (1/14/08).
The fourth was a cake designed by Anna Greaney and myself for the New Year's Eve dessert at the Davis Restaurant here in Eugene, Or. The theme for this dessert was an exploration of tropical flavors. This cake had an extremely livley evolution as Anna and I attempted many variations between all the components to find the correct balance of flavors and textures.
The other challenge for this dessert was learning to work with a fuit based neutral glaze. Up to this point I had only used chocolate based pectin glazes, so the medium was new and foreign. Persistence prevailed. The glaze is a beautiful fruity and tangy guava puree thickened with neutral glaze. While this glaze takes a little practice, once mastered it is extremely fun and versatile.
What we ended up with is a coconut-banana biscuit, a coconut clafoutis layer, a coconut creme brulee, banana cream and passion fruit curd.
If you have tried these desserts, I would love to hear your feed back. Tell me what you like or don't like, after all, I am making these for you.