I’m going to get this out of the way right now: my love affair with the Wagner Painter Power spray gun is over. Well, no. We’re on a break. I’ll explain why I’m sort of traumatized when it comes to cakes that are sprayed with chocolate.
When I was in school we had to spray a tart with chocolate. It was something ridiculous like an apricot streusel tart topped with pistachio “crème brulée”, a name which confuses me to this day because it wasn’t bruléed and it contained gelatin. Anyway, here is the finished tart:
Do you see those chunks of white crap? Clearly the white chocolate spray session was a major Fail because the chocolate cracked from condensation almost immediately, leaving the tart looking like it was garnished with a giant psoriasis plaque, which out of the many thousands of gross skin ailments, psoriasis is one of the less horrific ones, but I wasn’t thinking about how thankful I should be that my tart didn’t appear to have leprosy, I was only thinking about not getting a minus a million for a grade, so I scraped it all off in shame.
At the time, I blamed both the 35+ summer heat (that’s Celsius) and my incompetence. But mostly the heat.
The second time I gave it a whirl was when I learned that the chocolate should be cooler than normally advised because my freezer is a bad freezer (while my fridge seems to be an alright freezer, weird). Fail # 2.
The third time, the Lego cake, was a success, until I dropped the spray gun on the cake and dented it.
This…this was not so much a success as much as it was a test of my patience, which if measured in volume would amount to about four millilitres.
I have no shame in admitting I my money situation is…corseted. Expensive school and my desire to own silly pastry equipment and only the expensive cookbooks has not helped matters. On top of that, I almost exclusively spend what’s left after bills and debts on this blog. Basically, I fucked up this cake because I ran out of money. Le Sigh.
Pumpkin Bread, Gluten Free, Adapted (pg. 185)
56g Butter, melted and cooled to 21 degrees
127g Pumpkin Purée
1/4 C. Millet
1/4 C. Brown Rice Flour
1/4 C. Arrowroot
1 tsp Xantan Gum
5g Baking Powder
2 tsp Cinnamon
Not gonna lie, I browned the butter because browned butter is delicious. I almost always brown butter if the recipe calls for it to be melted.
Whisk egg with purée and whiskey, drizzle in butter to emulsify.
Whisk all dry ingredients together.
Add to wet. Spread in pan. Bake until set at 350 in a sad oven like mine, 320 in a real oven.
What the hell is a Cremeur, you ask?
I tried to find out, but UrbanDictionary.com does not have a definition, nor does NinjaWords.com. This word was never used when I was in school, but my Chef at the bistro liked to call most things Cremeux. I guess I should have asked him why. I will hypothesize that a Cremeur is a thick, creamy product that is neither a mousse (light, airy) nor a ganache (emulsion of cream and chocolate). Cremeux is pipe-able usually, though this recipe is thickened with gelatin rather than butter or starch, so it was surprisingly liquid.
This recipe is just an anglaise with pumpkin and gelatin.
I made use of a silicone mold I picked up on a foodie trip to Chicago. We visited the Chicago School of Mold Making, a mecca for pastry sculpture aficionados. They let us run around their tiny supply room and I bought $350 worth of silicone molds (or 4 pieces, no joke). The customs officer at O’Hare was…confused.
Migoya freezes the Pumpkin Cremeur in pvc pipes. Specialty silicone I have, pvc I do not. So I used the sphere mold instead.
I like this because instead of infusing the cream with whole spices, he throws in the ground product. I like flecks and speckles in things for visual excitement. This was just another Bavarois. I was always nervous about making Bavarian cream, residue from the first experience in school (the Saint Honoré, which was the last and “OMG the hardestthinginbasic!”), but after making 4 cakes in the last month with Bavarian bases, I’m getting a little bored. **Oh shit, I’ve forgotten my pastry smarts: Saint Honoré is made with a Chiboost, not Bavarian Cream. See, so traumatizing I forgot it even existed.
Quenelles (pg. 187)
Equal parts Crème Fraîche and Whipping cream, whipped on high together with 11% molasses until stiff.
This just pissed me off. I can make quenelles, dammit. I couldn’t get crème fraîche, so I thickened some sour cream with lemon juice but it didn’t cut it, so the result was too lose and couldn’t properly be quenelled and then they collapsed before the terrible freezer could keep them looking remotely presentable. Fuck.
Pumpkin Seed Velvet
Okay, so I didn’t have enough money to buy more cocoa butter because all I can get is raw stuff from the local health food store where they gut you like a fish every time you buy something, so silly me who wasn’t thinking until it was too late (as always, I figure it out but seconds too late), I subbed some white chocolate, not thinking that since it sets at a much lower temperature, would result in the spray running off the cake. Would have had more success had I not put in the oil, but heck, cute but stupid.
I managed to give the cake a shell of white chocolate but had to resort to using most of a brand spanking new can of spray-gold to make the thing look remotely appetizing, but it’s still a ridiculous monstrosity I am totally embarrassed to have made. Thankfully, everyone at my friend’s birthday party ate it so it no longer exists.