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Dessert Cakes

These last 3 weeks have been all about dessert cakes. What kind of dessert cakes you may ask? All sorts of dessert cakes! Some of the cakes that were made were Concord cakes, Cheesecakes, Mousse cakes, and cakes such as Sacher, & St. Honorè!

Part 1:

In this course I learned that sometimes simple decorations are the best. I also learned how to make different types of cakes, such as baked cheesecake, tiramisu, Sacher torte, etc. In addition to that, I also learned how better to make a bavarian “cream.”

In relation to costing, I learned that some things are really expensive in terms of how much of the item is actually usuable. There were no costs that affected my choice of flavour or design.

I choose the Piña Colada flavour combination mostly because a Piña Colada is a very summery drink, and it is currently summer.

I think that my cakes came out well, the 6″ reminds me of a wedding on the beach. As for the costing, the 6″ is priced too low, but the slices are priced accurately.

If I were ever to do this cake again, I’d add more sugar to the coconut layer because the coconut layer isn’t sweet enough, & I’d make a full recipe of mousse instead of reducing it, so that I can fill the cake all the way to the top, and to be able to add a little more space between the 2nd cake layer, and the coconut layer. I’d also try to make sure that there were no gaps in the sides of my cake.

Piña Colada Mousse Cake Recipe – Makes 1- 8″ cake, & 1- 6″ cake

Jelly Roll

Eggs, Whole – 450g
Sugar, Granulated – 263g
Flour, Pastry – 175g

Use Plain Sponge Method
Pour onto tray lined with parchment, and spread evenly out evenly
Bake at 220°C (430°F) until golden brown (7-9 minutes)
When cool, cut out 1- 7″ circle, 1- 8″ circle, & 2- 6″ circles.
Cut down the 6″ circles so that one is a bit smaller than the 6″ cake ring, and the other is smaller than the first. Cut down the 8″ circle so that it is a bit smaller than the 8″ cake ring
Set aside

Pineapple Mousse

Milk – 450g
Egg Yolks – 5 (100g)
Sugar, Granulated – 80g
Gelatin Leaves – 10 (20g)
Purée, Pineapple – 450g
Whipping Cream, Whipped – 450g

Use Bavarian Method, make sure mixture is heated to the Rose Stage
Place in ice bath to cool it, but not yet set
Fold in whipped cream, use immediately

Coconut Layer

Coconut Milk- 400g
Medium Coconut – 80g
Coconut Meat – 100g
Sugar, Granulated – 20g
Gelatin Leaves – 5 (10g)

Heat Coconut Milk, & shredded coconut
Add in gelatin, still completely dissolved
Pour into molds, place coconut meat mixed with sugar into the mixture
Freeze till solid
Once solid, cut one disc down to fit into the 6″ ring (disc should be smaller than the ring)


Purée, Pineapple – 88g
Miroir – 135g

Bring to a boil, then pour over cake


Make a collar around the cake rings
Line rings with acetate
Place jelly roll cake circles in the rings
Lightly drench cake circles with Malibu Rum drenching syrup (Malibu Rum mixed with simple syrup)
Pour on a layer of mousse, then place coconut layer, & press down firmly.
Add next layer of mousse, then last layer of jelly roll. Use remaining mousse to fill to the top
Pour miroir on top
Decorate with Pineapple wedges, toasted shredded coconut, & toasted coconut ribbon

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Part 2:

At the end of week 2, we went on a field trip to some local bakeries/patisseries. We went to Ganache, Small Victory, Faubourg, & Thierry. While we were at Ganache, I noticed how small your work spaces can be. Peter Fong gave us a small tour of the facility, talked to us about the business, and aboutanswered our questions. Neither Thierry nor Faubourg had anyone to show us around, but that was ok. My favourite place on the field trip, was when we went to Small Victory. It has more of a layed back atmosphere, and I like it. At Small Victory, the employee’s work space looked larger than all the rest of the other bakeries we visited.

Overall, I think my plan worked out really well as I achieved what I had set out to do. However, I changed a few things about my cake, but they were for the better. I changed some of my decorating plans.

One of my proudest moments was when I took my cheesecakes out of the oven, & saw that they weren’t cracked! Some of my other proud moments include the decoration on my 6″ Signature Cake, & my finished Tiramisus


The theoretical understanding of concepts that I have gained helps me be more successful in the lab by knowing how to fix things when things go awry. It also helps me perfect products without many mishaps.

Two cakes that I hope to improve on/would work well in a small version are the opera cake, and tiramisu.

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Chocolate & Confections Part 2: Chocolate Businesses

Thomas Haas: North Shore [North Vancouver] Store: Unit 128, 998 Harbourside Drive, North Vancouver, BC, V7P 3T2 Kitsilano Store: 2539 West Broadway Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6K 2E9

Similar Products: They sell a product called Dark Bark which is really just a really bug chunk of Knackerli. It is kind of different as it has nuts & dried fruits inside the chocolate as well as on the outside, whereas Knackerli only have them on the top, and are limited to one of each kind of “topping.” The Mango Coconut truffle is made of white chocolate, & looks almost the same as the Lemon Truffles we made, except that it contains hints of coconut and contains a mango ganache instead of a lemon one.

Products I might be interested in buying: The Marc de Champagne Truffle sound really good, and looks like a powdered Timbit. I would like to try it because the description sounds really interesting, yet good (“Milk chocolate ganache perfumed with Champagne, and eau de vie from Champagne grapes.”.)

Beta 5: 413 Industrial Ave. Vancouver, BC

Similar Products: They sell hand wrapped caramels. Unlike the caramel mous, they aren’t covered in chocolate.

Products I might be interested in buying: I would like to try the Strawberry-Camomile chocolate as it sounds like it would be good (strawberry jelly with camomile infused white chocolate ganache), and also because it looks very apealing.

Chocolate Arts: 1620 West 3rd Avenue Vancouver, British Columbia

Similar Products: They have a product called Leaf. It it very similar to the flat molded chocolates we made, except that theirs is highlighted with a different chocolate (in this case dark chocolate is highlighted on milk chocolate). Their chocolate called Palette is almost identical to Knackerli, except that they don’t put pistachios on them. The Splinter chocolate is identical to the Almond Clusters that we have made, except we only use almonds in them while they use almonds, pecans, & pistachios in theirs.

Products I might be interested in buying: Cocoa bean wafer (dark chocolate with cocoa nibs, & cocoa) as it looks very interesting, and by the description sound really good. It would be like going back to the “roots” of chocolate.

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Chocolate & Confections

For the last two weeks we have been focusing on all things chocolate. Needless to say chocolate is very tempermental (pun intended).

Below are things that have surprised me, frustrated me, challenged me, & frankly surprised me from my experiences over the last 2 weeks. My overall sense of the course is that chocolate can be very mean to you. It can, and will “react” to how you are feeling. All your patience is required to get the chocolate tempered perfectly.

– I learned that the Beta 5 crystals are the “good” (stable) crystals that need to be formed in order for the chocolate to be properly tempered.

– To temper chocolate, I used a couple of methods; the Tablage method, & the seeding/inoculation method. I like the Tablage method the best. In this method, a marble slab is used. Pour out 2/3 of chocolate on to the marble, & spread out the chocolate on the marble, then quickly scrape the chocolate towards your other utensil (usually an offset spatula, or straight spatula) once “back together” spread chocolate out again, and repeat till chocolate becomes thick, & pasty. Transfer chocolate back to bowl, & stir till lumps are gone, Taking tests of the chocolate every so often is crucial to be ableto “read” the chocolate.

It surprised me that chocolate can be such a stinker sometimes. Once you fix your chocolate so that it is back to being well tempered, you notice that there are lumps. You place the bowl over a Bain Marie to melt the lumps, and discover that too many good crystals have melted, and your chocolate is back to being ill tempered. I know better now how to keep chocolate in temper so that it doesn’t create fat blooms, or sugar blooms.

I would like to know more about how to flavour, & infuse chocolate.

(Note: Due to technical difficulties, not all the pictures of the chocolates I made were able to be posted)


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