Fear, Resistance, & the Devil’s Advocate and tarts, just cause.

When I get to England I might have a job, but I haven’t actually contacted them. Or I might have to look for one. Or I should look for a different, though I’m wary of doing this. I mean, I’ve already tricked this one restaurant into thinking I’m awesome. I may be too busy spending countless days wandering the Royal Albert or the Tate to be interested in looking elsewhere. Or it could spiral into a plot reminiscent of a Dickens’ novel. How apropos.

Last week, creative juices were practically seeping out my eyeballs. And now, not. Of course, I googled it cause it’s one of my favourite verbs. There is a theory that there are three things that destroy creativity. Let’s take a look:

Fear kills creativity because it causes us to focus on negative outcomes. No matter how you look at it, that is to say you believe that positive thinking results in positive outcomes (ie. survival rate of religious cancer patients vs. non-religious — this is the prayer argument), or that concentrating energy on negatives subconsciously directs us away from success. Whatever. Thinking negatively is equivalent to thinking inside the box – you won’t go anywhere. Fear? Check.

Sometimes we convince ourselves that there are other things that need to be done first. The first thing that comes to my mind when I think about having to get a job, or even going to work the one I apparently have, is “I’m not ready yet. I need more time to study, research, practice. PRACTICEPRACTICE.Resistance? Check.

I think it is fair to say I will always play my own Devil’s Advocate because no matter what, I will gladly come up with a reason why something I should do won’t work, regardless of how illogical the thought (ie. I should stage at this amazing resto, but I won’t because I’ll probably set it on fire). Check.

Creative forces: Zilch. (Hence why this post in so uninspired. For that, I apologize. You should just stop reading here.)

But also…

A friend pointed out that the true destroyer of creativity is in fact apathy. So while one may feel emotions that are less conducive to productivity, longing to create is better than abandoning the process altogether. Anyway, instead of pastrying, I stuffed my face with molecular gastronomy.



Some peeps and I went to the local tasting-menu-only molecular joint for a nice 4 hour dinner. A guy I attended culinary school with works there, so he kindly asked me to come back the next day for a one-day stage. Obviously I had to pack and clean my apartment and move things into storage, but I also had to work in this resto for a day. Everything else was put on hold and I spent 10 hours with them.

My plating ability is still good. No problems there, though I did try to avoid plating during service because I just wanted to watch them work in such a tiny kitchen. Sometimes you see a music performance and you stop paying attention to the music because the artist’s stage presence is so captivating; watching them work felt like that.

However I don’t think I impressed anyone with my prep-skills. Arthritis is a good reason why I am not a cuisine chef. I can’t grip a knife to save my life. Anyone borne to the onion family is not my friend and my hands began to claw after de-veining the first bag of snowpeas. Very embarrassing. Yet I can’t bring myself to admit to my limitations (cause in my head I assume everyone expects me to be some kind of pastry superhero, whatever that means), so they probably just thought I wasn’t trying. Oh well.

The largest can of liquid nitrogen I’ve ever seen. It was taller than me. And look! Still smoking…

Filling butter tubes.

Freezing ganache on the antigriddle – he caves in the tops with a spoon so that they can be filled with yogurt sauce à la minute.

I did get to see an ANTIGRIDDLE in action though. That’s been a long time coming, I’ll tell ya. And it is exactly what it sounds like — it does the opposite of a griddle, so therefore it freezes from the bottom up. And look. It is made by PolyScience. So. Cool.

Anniversary pipes.

I guess I’ll give you some recipes so we can maintain the rouse that this is some kind of food blog…

Various Creams for Tiny Tarts (or giant tarts, whatever floats your boat)

Mango Cream

Basically a curd, this cream is really beautiful. The Mango could be swapped for a number of other juices.

230g Mango purée or juice

85g Eggs

75g Yolks

55g Sugar

6g Gelatine

85g Butter, soft

This can be made directly over the stove or in a double boiler, but a double boiler is safer.  Bring all ingredients except butter and gelatine (which should be blooming) to a boil while whisking. Add gelatine. Cool to 40 degrees celsius and add butter with an immersion blender.

You can pipe the cream immediately or set it in the fridge over night. There is enough butter and little enough gelatine that it sets when chilled, but if agitated loosens very easily back into a smooth cream (if you let it sit overnight, let it sit at room temp for twenty minutes or so before re-whisking it).

Lime & Basil Curd (from Pierre Hermé’s)

This is an incredibly tasty curd; the basil is not strong, rather it enhances the “green” flavour in the tangy lime.

15g Basil leaves

60g Water

10g Sugar

Blanch the basil once in boiling water (boil water, throw in basil, strain immediately and cool in ice bath). Bring sugar and water to a simmer, add basil and process in a food processor. Strain.

160g Lime juice (4 limes)

Zest of 2 Limes

140g Sugar

150g Eggs

40g Basil juice (above)

2g Gelatine (bloomed)

Combine all in a bowl and set atop a pot of boiling water. Whisk mixture until it thickens (90 degrees celsius). Remove from heat immediately and incorporate gelatine with an immersion blender. Cover with cling film and chill over night. Whisk smooth before using.

I filled some shells halfway with grapefruit marmalade, then mango cream, and finished them with orange scented meringue (use a peeler to remove the zest from an orange. Cook 100g sugar with 50g water with the peel. Have 50g egg white in a clean bowl. When the sugar boils, start whisking whites to soft peak. When sugar reaches 118 degrees celsius, quickly scoop out or strain the syrup, then pour into the whites while whisking. Whisk until double or body temp).

Hermé tops his lime curd with strawberries and pieces of rose turkish delight. I didn’t bother with the turkish delight, opting to glaze the strawbs with rosewater (you may buy a commercial glaze, which is gelatine based and has no sweetness, or just use corn syrup. Mix a few drops of rosewater into whichever you choose, then glaze fruit with a pastry brush). One of my chef instructors loved to say, “Fruits are like women, zey are beautiful on zer own, but even more beautiful with makeup. Always put makeup on your fruit.” This is sexist, arguably true, and funny. I ❤ the French.

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I am a Passenger, and I ride and I ride… (Tangent #3)

It is 11:33pm. I accidentally had a party last night and slept…4 hours. Here I am, surrounded by party trash and a sink full of dishes. The plan was to clean and get to bed, since we are 27 minutes from Sunday. Except…

I am no longer in the driver’s seat. I have become a passenger. Shit.

For years I wrote. I wrote because I had to. When you meet someone and you like them, there is a connection you both feel, it is so hard to go to work, to go to school, to watch tv, to do laundry because you are thinking about that person. We’ve all been there. To clarify to those who have a more distant relationship with their creative process, that is how if feels when the proverbial “creative juices” start to flow. That is how I felt about writing. It’s like a drug; when you’re not doing it, you’re thinking about doing it.

Then one day, it was gone.

I continued to think about writing, I still do, that desire is almost always at the back of my mind, but I couldn’t make the words flow. The novels remain unfinished to this day. Whatever space writing had in my heart, pastry clobbered it with a brick of frozen butter. At least the drive didn’t just…take off on me.

Waiting for the ebb of the creative experience to end can be like waiting for Godot, but it is much less funny. For the last two months I have been bone dry. So much so that, as I’ve admitted, I smooshed a cake because I couldn’t make it work aesthetically. At the time, it felt a bit rash, but Nikolai Gogol set to flames the second half of Dead Souls because he felt he just couldn’t make it work. I guess had I been really upset about it, I’d have torched it.

The loss of creative energy is in fact like losing a relationship. You keep checking back to see if the status has changed. You have no idea what the future holds. You seem lost, like you aren’t sure how you did this living thing alone in the first place. If it is gone for long enough, you eventually forget about it. And it is during this time, away from the creative monster that lives inside you, you must live normally. Embrace your freedom — you can see your friends, read books without getting distracted, clean your apartment, eat full meals (occasionally with other people), because when it comes back, that will all disappear. Then it’s forgetting to eat, not returning phone calls, taking notes at inappropriate times as ideas spring to mind, books taking over your bed, but that’s okay cause you sleep on the couch or at your desk during this time.

An Amazon.com search on “Thinking Creatively” delivers 1,659 results. I can’t imagine the money being thrown into this area, which underscores the whole way how everyone has the ability to be creative, so long as we let go of our cultural “hurdles”. Nice.

I know for a fact that I do not experience, on a conscious level, the suggestions these books hand out.

Things like “When you look at an object, consider it’s many uses beyond the conventional ones” or some such nonsense. Honestly, creative folks, do you think this way? Cause I sure don’t.

For me, it’s more like this (Cue Flow-Chart Action! (yes!)):

As you can see, I am not very…scientific.

But that’s how it happens. I don’t just GET CREATIVE. Now part of that stemmed from being served the most disgusting dessert I’ve ever had the displeasure of experiencing, and it happened to be served in a tea cup.

Sometimes I try to do some research on flavour pairings — Grant Achatz describes the process as “Flavour Bouncing”. You take a main ingredient and gradually build a dish by adding flavours that work with your main and any additional, supporting flavours. This is why my copy of the Flavour Bible is in shambles. Unfortunately, that which comes from such an exercise, to me, feels forced rather than organic. More often this happens:

Truffle Honey Ice Cream Sandwich…

Okay, school and eating a lot of macarons says a dacquoise because it is soft, nutty flavour that can be made complex or diminished to its basic level so something else can take the spotlight…

Do I has almonds…?

WAIT A MINUTE I STOLE SOME PISTACHIO POWDER FROM WORK AND THREW IT IN THE FREEZER “JUST IN CASE” BECAUSE DEEP DOWN I AM A HOARDER.

Pistachio Dacquoise… Pistachios are… Mediterreanian?

Figs…figs grow there…

FIGS ARE MY FAVOURITE…

…figs and pistachios and…lemonsLEMONS

Mediterreanian is pretty…everything is colourful…

Flowers…BeesILOVEBEES…

Oppulance…

…….!

Okay, Pistachio, truffle, lemon infused honey, fig, candied violets, gold.

Yes. I have these things, let’s do this until 3am.

Done.

How can you do this too?

I have no clue. You may have anticipated a magic answer, but I don’t have it. You’ll have to ask my driver, but I think she’s too busy rocking out to Iggy Pop.

Early Grey Panna Cotta with Brioche Toasts, Grapefruit Marmalade, Lavender sugar.

I designed this because I’ve been drinking a lot of tea in order to ease my assimilation into the British culture. Cream Tea and High Tea are all fine and good, but I was more interested in a typical afternoon of toast and tea. Originally I planned shortbread, but the test run said it was too rich to pair with the richness of the panna cotta. Oh, and that typo… the French Chef I worked for always called it Early Grey. Too. Cute.

Anyhoo…

Earl Grey Panna Cotta (makes 8 servings)

475g Cream

475g Milk

11g Gelatin (powdered, or 5 sheets)

105g Sugar

6 Tea Bags (loose-leaf preferred)

Bloom your gelatin in a Tbsp of cold water. Bring the cream, milk, and sugar to just below a boil. Add your tea bags and steep 4-6 minutes (or to desired strength). Remove tea bags, whisk in gelatin. Pour into serving vessels. Refrigerate 4 hours minimum, though the gelatin will continue to set for 24 hours.

Grapefruit Marmalade (pg.58)

I really love this marmalade. It is not as bitter as most and it’s simplicity gives you the freedom to play around with flavours — you could easily infuse spices, add ginger or zest — I don’t eat much in the way of preserves, so I only make one grapefruits worth at a time.

Slice the grapefruit very thinly.

Place it in a pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Pour off the water, cover with fresh water, and bring to a boil again. Do this five times total to remove the bitterness of the skin. Weigh the fruit, then add the same weight of sugar. I’ve made an orange version with half the sugar and it has come out nicely. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cook to 107 degrees Celsius, or until the rind is translucent. Once cooled, I take scissors to the skins, since they will be almost intact rounds.

Lavender Sugar

I wanted something crunchy to top the Panna Cotta since it looked naked and a sprinkling of tea looked…odd.

So today’s word is: ISOMALT.

Isomalt is a sugar alcohol made from beets. It is very low in sweetness, comes in large granules like rock salt, and is safe for diabetics as the body does not metabolize it as it would sugar (it detects it as fiber, so don’t eat a lot of it, if ya know what I mean). The other great thing about Isomalt (oh aside from it holding up in humid conditions as compared to sugar) is that when cooked it does not colour.

You could make this with sugar, but sugar begins to blonde at 160 degrees Celsius, so it would have a yellow-gold tinge to it. Isomalt stays clear, so it is commonly used in sugar showpieces for its durability and how it takes colour.

For this, cook up some Isomalt (or regular sugar, I dunno 2 cups worth) over medium heat. Isomalt must be stirred until it is dissolved, so stir away. Don’t stir regular sugar. Remove from heat at 17oC. When it stops bubbling, stir in lavender and tea leaves. Pour onto a silicone mat and allow to cool somewhat. Please don’t attempt to touch it until it starts moving very slowly when agitated, you will burn the shit out of your hands. When it starts to set around the outside, pull small portions out of the pool, cut the length you want with scissors, twist if desired, and set carefully to dry.

The Brioche is Johnny Iuzzini’s. It was good, but it was overproofed because life can get in the way of baking bread. Oh well.

So apparently I’m that asshole. (Tangent #2)

I’m watching the Princess Bride (I think An Education turned me off the brits for at least two days), trying to decide if I’m that asshole.

That asshole being the chick (or dude) who goes to a great resto, puts something expensive in their mouth, and immediately decides that not only can I do this better, but I’m going home and making this and it’s going to be better — and I’m going to blog about it. You know, that asshole.

A couple of weeks ago, I did just that; had an excellent meal at a well-loved eatery with a bunch of friends, and when the dessert arrived my jaw dropped in horror.

I wanted to take a photo.

But I felt bad. The plating was atrocious. I didn’t want to be the person who giggles and posts ugly photos of stuff on the interweb for the sake of cheap laughs or shock value. The Catholic Guilt that was passed down the Irish side of my ancestry started at me — not only did I feel bad for being so disgusted by my dessert, something someone put effort into, but I felt bad for the dessert itself.

Instantly a solution for all it’s woes came to mind.

Then I ate it.

It got worse.

I tried to forget the sad dessert.

But it haunted me. And with it’s lingering image in my head came the version I’d have served, poking at my brain, begging to be made.

The temptation became too much. I was already working on another project, so I was already covered in sugar and dirty dishes. I thew it together in no time.

First, let us look at the original….

Dessert Name: Truffle Honey Ice Cream Sandwich.

Good name. I wanted it in my mouth as soon as I read it. I considered skipping the main for it. The truffle ice cream was good, if a little on the unsweetened side, but the total lack of honey was a major disappointment.

Problem the first: The shortbread used for the cookies was half an inch thick. The waitress told us, through suggestive terms, that eating with the cutlery provided was out of the question. Honestly, if I’m paying almost a hundred bucks for dinner, I’m probably not wearing jeans and a hoodie so I probably don’t want to eat with my hands. Hence why I have never been to Medieval Times. However the shortbread was dusted with black pepper, so it won some points for that, but then lost them when she shortbread had almost no sweetness. I dislike the taste of sugar, it brings a lot to a dessert, I shouldn’t have to tell anyone that.

Problem the second: Dipping areas, or zones as I’ve labeled them on the diagram. I wish they were as funny as that Kids in the Hall sketch about the servers and chefs trying to figure out how to appropriately position the dipping areas on the dessert plate (go here if you like that sort of thing), but they weren’t.

DZ1 – Seemed to be blended raspberries mixed with yogurt. It was chunky and pink and the look of it made me feel…hungover. However, it was the tastiest thing on the plate.

DZ2 – Tasted like…raspberry coulis that had been reduced to practically nothing but overcooked red smear. No comment.

Ganache Quenelles – Not really what I would call quenelles. More like uniform chunks chipped out of the fridge-set 72% chocolate ganache. It was too bitter and crumbled upon cutlery impact. Also, it made absolutely no sense with the other flavours.  White chocolate, yes, milk chocolate, maybe, but the dark chocolate masked anything you consumed it with.

See, now I feel bad because I typed mean things about this dish.

BUT IT COST ELEVEN DOLLARS.

I have never seen a dessert (in this city) over $10. Save for cheese, but cheese doesn’t count. The Inn Michel Roux owns served a 51 British Pound crème brulée, but Michel Roux can do anything he wants, including making desserts from unicorns (why else would it cost so much?), but that isn’t the point. The point is this dessert was not worth it, I don’t care how tasty the main was.

And by the way, the goal should not be to dump all the talent into the main. Not everyone orders dessert, this I realize, but those who do leave with the memory of the dessert burning sharply into their brains, the main a distant experience. It’s the last thing they eat, so do it right.

This was my take:

While I liked the blackpepper-raspberry-truffle combo, I didn’t have rasps left, so I subbed with some figs (dried, to my chagrin — fresh would be better for flavour, texture, and visuals) tossed in lemon-infused honey.

I ditched the tough shortbread for a soft pistachio Dacquoise, dusted in black pepper.

Upped the honey in the truffle ice cream, but dizzled it on the plate for aesthetics and added honey value.

Garnished with crystallized violet and gold flakes. Without the fresh figs, the colours were a little boring; roses would have been lovely, but the violets worked beautifully.

It’s good. Not ohmygodthisisthebestthingever good, but I’m satisfied for the most part. With some tweeking, this has the potential to be delicious.

So…

Thanks for the idea?

Pistachio Dacquoise

200g Egg whites

40g Sugar

200g Icing Sugar

200g Pistachio flour

20g Flour (any kind, gluten-free friendly too)

Sift pistachio, Icing sugar, and flour. Whip whites with granulated sugar stiff. Fold in dry in three additions. When combined, spread evenly on a 9×13 sheet pan lined with parchment. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 300 in a non-convection oven. If you can smell it and the cake doesn’t tear at your touch, it is done. Don’t overbake, you don’t want this to be crisp.

Truffle Ice Cream

550g Milk

100g Cream

5 Egg yolks

90g Honey

4 or 5 drops Black Truffle Oil

Make the base as you would any other ice cream. When cooled, use a whisk or immersion blender to incorporate the oil. Use only four drops if you want a subtle flavour, five if you want more. I did six and it came out as strong as the resto’s version, which I found to be too much. I tasted it at five and should have stopped there.

For assembly, just put the ice cream on a sheet pan or in a mold of some kind, freeze, cut the disks and then assemble à la minute (just before serving) or you can assemble them in advance, freeze them, and temper for 5 minutes before serving.  I recommend à la minute assembly for plated versions. If you are handing them out to your friends while they drink wine from a bottle on your balcony, pre-assembled is just dandy.

Always pack a towel… Sweet Vanilla Mascarpone Cream with Raspberry Cake (pg. 206)

People keep asking me “how are your travel arrangements going?”

I have a difficult time with this one because a) my life hasn’t actually come to a stand-still and so there are other things I would like to talk about and b) I’m trying to not think about it.

Mainly because, while I actually, deeply desire change regularly, I am very reactive, which means I do change when change happens, but I normally don’t bother to do it myself unless I’ve thought about it for…like a year. Gotta be sure, right?

Mentally, I’m pretty okay with this. I wish I could pack some peeps in my suitcase and drag them with me, but aside from that I’m fine. However, deep down inside my cobwebbed heart I guess I’m terrified because the stress is doing a number on me physically. Which. Is. Annoying.

I’m solving this by pretending I’m fine (see previous paragraph) and drowning myself in the English, which is sort of making me feel like a teenager again, except with fewer superfluous safety pins and chains on my clothes.

I make pies and Madness tells me to stay calm during rush hour.

I cycle at the gym and Neil Gaiman teaches me the Tube system.

And thanks to Netflix and my film collection, I’m all caught up with the rock suicides, the silly walks, extermination of the human race, awkward sexual harassment at the office, vacationing by mistake, how Vivienne Westwood became so popular, skin heads can be racist or they could just be nice guys who like big boots and short hair, and skiing is a great way to escape a deranged religious man who wants to cut off your hand.

With that, I assume while I’m in London I’ll likely see Morrissey and Jarvis Cocker in a pub arguing over who is more miserable and that the Benny Hill song mysteriously plays whenever the coppers chase criminals.

One more thing before I moan about how much I dislike this cake:

One time I went to New Orleans by myself. THAT was terrifying. But it turned out to be rather awesome. No one tried to stab me. Southerners are wonderfully kind people.  At the airport I was picked up by the cabbie who worked regularly for the B&Bers I was staying with. His name was Bernie and he was terribly charming and highly enthusiastic about the city. The owners of the B&B were out of town, but their friend Richard was watching the place. I spent some time drinking tea and talking with Richard, partly because everyone warned against my being a lone female at night in a the city with the third highest homicide rate in the country, and partly because he was a neat guy. A sharp contrast against Bernie, Richard spoke so slowly, softly, in his smooth southern drawl. Every word was so deliberate.
While Bernie drove me back to the airport at the end of my stay, he received a phone call.
“Hey, Richard! What’s up? Oh really? You were just thinkin’ about me so you thought you’d give me a call? That’s nice. Do you need anything from the store? Yeah, I can get some Sprite for ya. That all? Yeah, okay. I’ll see ya later, Richard.” He hangs up.

“He called you because he was thinking about you and he wanted to let you know?” I asked.

“Yeah, he does that all the time.” Bernie laughed. Too bloody cute.

Of course, I thought about how I never do that, but that I should probably start, since I’m terrible at vocalizing how much I care for and appreciate the people in my life. Always been more of a gesture kind of person. And subtle ones at that. So subtle I often doubt people pick up on them.

On that note, here is a short open letter to the Lady in London:

C,

You know I like to keep my emotions level (unless, of course, a useless fucking server is involved) because, quite frankly, getting excited for things has never managed to get me anywhere. So while I reply in a monotoned voice that this is going to be fun and I’m fairly excited and blah blah blah, I actually mean it. You know I don’t like using bangs, probably because they remind me of people who like unicorns (god knows why), but I’m seriously looking forward to working with you. You are awesome. I’ve always been totally intimidated by your confidence and talents (in a good way, I hope it rubs off on me). When I said you’ll always be smarter than me, I didn’t mean that as a jab — I’m lucky to know you, I’m lucky to have found someone who shares my passion (I can’t talk to anyone about pastry the way I can talk to you), and the only reason I have the opportunity to do this is because you are in my life. You rock. I can’t wait. I’m sorry times a billion it has taken me this long to get there.

Oh yeah, I have to write about the cake now.

Raspberries.

Raspberries and I have a complicated relationship, which is mostly one-sided. My beef with these handsome little guys is the way they are used; I feel like if the goal is to sell something or make it more popular, or appeal a dish to the masses, just make it with raspberry and everyone will be over-the-moon. And the thing about it is IT WORKS. So that doesn’t make me hate the raspberry, but rather I feel bad for it. We aren’t using it for what it is. Instead we cook the shit out of them, giving them a metallic flavour.  I like to think that food is an intellectual preparation. That someone sat down and seriously considered the flavour profile, made tests, tasted the components separately as well as together, tested some more, and voila!* Deliciousness. Alas, often this is not the case. Le sigh.

I honestly don’t see how raspberry makes this cake anything special. On the plus side, I know a bunch of hungry café boys who were more than happy to take care of this for me.

Here is the cake recipe, because I think its crazy versatile, but I think there are many fruits out there that would benefit this cake. The raspberries are done no justice here.

Raspberry Cake (pg. 207)

224g Butter, soft

200g Eggs (4)

500g Raspberry purée

100g Chambord

480g Sugar

450g Flour

20g Baking Powder

Vanilla

First off, this cake happens to show the only publication error in the Modern Café. It guides you on a Choose Your Own Adventure type journey to find the directions on mixing technique, and then you end up not actually knowing how to make the cake. I’ve made this many times, using various fruits and liquors, and had no problems save for the technique being a shot in the dark. All I can say is this: the batter may break, just live with it. It’s go so much moisture in it, the cake comes out beautiful every time.

Buy raspberries. I used 620g of frozen berries, thawed, to obtain 450g purée. Run them through a food processor, then a drum sieve or strainer. Or buy purée if you are so lucky to know a place that carries it.

Cream the butter and sugar until light. Make sure the eggs and purée are the same temperature (room temp) as the butter. Add eggs in three additions. Combine the Chambord and purée, then stir into the butter and eggs. Add the vanilla. Sift the flour (I prefer pastry, but I’ve also made it with AP and GF without problems) and baking powder. Fold into the wet. Don’t over mix. Spread on a parchment lined sheet pan and bake 10 minutes (or until it springs back) at 350 in a non-convection oven (325 if convection).

The Vanilla Mascarpone Cream… I’ll give you a brief run-down, I’ve said too much already. Basically, Migoya directs one to warm the cheese, gelatin, sugar, and vanilla over a bain marie until the gelatin melts, then build the cake. Welp, this is a liquid situation that doesn’t layer at all. I whipped it to room temp, but it persisted in dripping. I’d had my reservations about this working. I folded in some whipped cream, but came to the same road block as the previous cake; the fat was too high, the texture ended up a bit grainy (though this could have also been the cheese). It was not especially offensive closer to room temp, but I was still annoyed. Boring flavour, irritating directions that didn’t make sense. Oh well. It looks cute.

The chocolate is matte and slightly rippled because I packed my acetate and had to use parchment. Boohoo.

*Yes, I used a dreaded bang. But really. Who can say voila without one?

Ohohoh. I used up the rest of the batter to make madeleines. Turns out glaze made of purée + icing sugar + booze = pretty and tasty.