Saturday, May 3, 2008

Lesson 3 : Genoise Sponge, Gateau Weekend (Butter or Pound Cake)

Most of us start getting used to the kitchen, generally know what we need to do with out being told repeatedly. Especially the students who previously studied Cuisine and who worked in the industry before do things very well and quick. For the first 2 days, I think I did pretty well in the kitchen. But !! for today, shame on me, I am the slowest one in the kitchen...haha…Let me tell you the story!

Today’s chef is Michael Matar. He is very nice and kind also calls me “Miss Thailand” hehe…He tought us how to make Genoise Sponge and Gateau Weekend.

Chef's Michael's Genoise...beautiful, eh?

A Génoise Cake is a sponge cake that does not use any chemical leavening and instead uses air suspended in the batter during mixing to give volume to the cake. It is a whole-egg cake ; the eggs, and sometimes extra yolks, are beaten with sugar and heated at the same time using "bain marie". Génoise is generally a fairly lean cake, getting most of its fat from egg yolks, but some recipes, like LCB, also add in melted butter before baking. The cake is notable for its somewhat dry texture, noticeably different from most cakes made in the Anglophone world; as a result, it is very commonly soaked in flavored syrups or liqueurs and often served with a whipped cream frosting.

About the Gateau Weekend; turns out the name originates from the fact that people usually eat this cake on the weekends in France. Basically, a Gateau Weekend would be equivalent to a Pound Cake in America. Of couse we are in Le Cordon Bleu then we made French style. Pound cake (named "quatre-quarts", which means four-quarters) is a traditional and popular cake of the French region of Brittany and as its name implies use the same quantity of the 4 ingredients, but no added fruit of any kind. Some variants however are made by adding chocolate, or a bit of lemon juice for flavor. Today we baked Gateau Weekend in the Gugelhupf tin, looked so beautiful.

We started with the genoise. I had to whisk the eggs on the bain marie. The stove is already a bit high, then also got a bowl on the top of another pot containing water that is at the simmering point. It means I had to work with 3 levels of the things which were too high for me…make my life was soooo difficult..really ! I need a box or something to stand on.. lol..

My Genoise !!! and behind was Soo jin's.

By the way, my genoise turned out so lovely. Chef Michael was keep saying “It is the perfect sponge!” *grin* This made me so happy…We made 2 genoise and cut it each into 2 layers. We spread the first layer with strawberry jam and piped the whipped cream, then put another layer of genoise on top…Actually I can make 4-tiered cake but it will be too high for my container. Then I just made it 3-tiered cake. (as you can see the photo above)

Pound cake after rebake

Then I moved to make the pound cake…everything seemed to be doing well. Unfortunately, since I was so afraid about too burn cake, I took my pound cake out too early…At first chef saw it, he said “Are you sure it is cook?” He said it was a bit pale..But I insisted cuz I already put the skewer to taste the doness. When chef and I tried to take it out from the tin…..OMG !!! It has not cooked yet..hahaha…..then chef quickly put it into the tin and bake again…This made my work slower *sigh*.

Anyway, today I have developed my own habits; keep my work space nice and clean. And a problem I just found out about LCB kitchen today is we don’t have enough stoves and sinks. I can see when we were working on a bain marie. Some students had to wait for stoves and also had to wait for the sink to clean our own equipments. That was not good at all.

When I came home, I tasted my genoise. It looked really good but I don’t like the taste (even when I tasted the one chef made) It was so dry and hard. I prefer Japanese or Thai style of genoise, which is softer and lighter. The genoise was sitting in my fridge for 1 days and then I just thrown it away…T_T


Hungry Hamster said...

keep posting about ur lesson na ka! I feel like I'm actually at LCB studying too haha! Awesome!

panda said...

reading your blog reminds me of my time last year at LCB - hehe..needing to buy digital scales (highly recommend you do that), the frustration of cakes not turning out right or not cooking completely...but at the end of the day, you'll get better!

anyway, keep up the blogging!

Bean Sprout said...

Hungry Hamster : hehe....that's my intention ka..

panda : excited got comment from u..make me so happy ^ ^. You are the one inspire me !