Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Advanced Bakeshop: Final Practical Exam

For the final practical exam in my Advanced Bakeshop class, we all had to execute the same product - a Strawberry Macaron Entremet. This entremet had four basic components - two pink macaron discs, chocolate mousse, creme diplomat, and garnishes.

To execute, we first made the macaron discs, by mixing a typical macaron batter and adding food color to get the color to look pink. We used piping bags to pipe two 7 inch discs; it was important to mix this batter properly so that macarons would maintain the circular pattern from piping as well as so the macarons would bake properly and develop feet.

To prepare the chocolate mousse we used both milk and dark chocolate. We first made a basic ganache using milk, cream, corn syrup and the chocolate. Once this was mixed properly and cooled to 80 degrees F, we folded in a whipped cream to lighten it. We then put this in the refrigerator to help it set up and become pipe-able.

To prepare creme diplomat, we first had to make a basic vanilla pastry cream; this was then combined with whipped cream and set with gelatin. Again, we had to set this in the refrigerator so it reached a pipe-able consistency.

After all of the components were ready, assembly began by placing one macaron on a doiley-lined cardboard disc. The chocolate mousse was piped in the center and the creme diplomat was piped around it. Fresh strawberries were adhered to the sides of the creme diplomat before the top macaron was set. To garnish, we dusted a line of confectioner's sugar, and placed cut strawberries, fresh mint and chocolate cigarettes.

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