I'm studying the Grand Diplome at Cordon Bleu in London

Posts tagged ‘Genoise sponge’

Day 49 – Cusine theory and Patisserie Practical exams – Tues 20th March

Today started off with a 1 hour cuisine theory exam. Mostly multiple choice plus a few short answer questions. It took me about 15 minutes to answer most of it and then I spent some time on the few questions I wasn’t quite so sure about. Still had to sit about for half an hour – there’s only so many times you can check your answers!

I’m not saying that I’ve got it all right but I think I’ve got a decent pass.

Then, after a couple of hours in between, it was the patisserie practical exam.

We drew numbered cards which indicated which work station we would be at for the exam and also the dish we would be making. I got the genoise sponge with raspberry jam and buttercream icing, which was the dish most people were wanting not to get, but which I had practiced last weekend and wasn’t worried about getting. The other possibilities were lemon tart (with meringue on top) or coffee eclairs. I didn’t mind which I got though I think I would have been happiest with the lemon tart.

The 1st 15 minutes were to write out the recipe and method and hand it in. Then we had 2.5 hours to make the dish and also present some piping on a cake board.

I managed to make all the elements of my dish in the 1st hour: the sponge cake, soaking syrup, raspberry jam and buttercream.

This left me a good amount of time to assemble it. I had to cut the cake flat, cut in half horizontally, soak each half with syrup (flavoured with raspberry eau de vie), spread jam then buttercream on the bottom layer, put the top layer on and spread buttercream over the top and sides smoothly. Then decorate the sides with flaked almonds and pipe buttercream and chocolate on the top and decorate with some fresh raspberries.

I was pretty pleased with the results of all that but the piping on the cake board was more problematic. We had to pipe 10 rosettes and 10 shell shapes in buttercream on a cake board and they needed to be even. I made a mess of quite a few of them and had to redo them and really wasn’t happy with the end result, but at least I was happy with the cake.

Tomorrow is the patisserie theory exam, and a demo on chocolate truffles. We get the results for cuisine on Thursday and for patisserie on Friday.

Day 36 – Gateaux – Thurs 1st March

Today we just had 1 demo and chef Graeme took it.

The chef started with a black forest gateau. He made a chocolate genoise sponge, cut it horizontally to produce 3 layers, then layered them with chantilly cream and black cherries.
The whole was covered with more chantilly cream and decorated around the sides with pieces of tempered chocolate.
The tempered chocolate had been decorated by spreading it on an acetate sheet that had a coloured cocoa butter design on it, and the chocolate picks this up.

The top was decorated with some piped cream, cherries and some more chocolate.


The other gateau was a strawberry gateau. A genoise sponge was layered with chantilly cream, strawberry jam, strawberries soaked in grand marnier, and decorated with cream, flaked almonds or chopped pistachios around the sides, and strawberries and chocolate on top.


Day 31 – Genoise sponges – Fri 24th Feb

Today was about Genoise sponges and we had chef Matthew for the demo and practical again.

The 1st recipe was one that could come up in the exams: Genoise sponge layered with raspberry jam and buttercream.

Eggs and sugar were whisked over a bain marie until the ribbon stage and lots of volume had been achieved. Flour and butter were folded in and it was baked in a round cake tin.

The chef made a raspberry jam from frozen raspberries and sugar and a little lemon juice to correct the final consistency.

Next was the buttercream, which is eggs and extra yolks whisked, then sugar syrup, cooked to soft ball, slowly drizzled in to the whisking egg. Once cool, soft butter was whisked in a little at a time.

A soaking syrup was made from sugar and water flavoured with eau de vie de framboises.

Once the cake was cooked and cooled, it was split horizontally and brushed with the soaking syrup. Raspberry jam was spread on one half, topped with buttercream, then the other half of the cake, and buttercream was spread over the top and sides, then decorated with piped buttercream, chocolate, flaked almonds and fresh raspberries:

The chef then made a genoise roulade. Not dissimilar to the cake above but for this the genoise was cooked as a flat sheet. Then raspberry jam and buttercream were spread on it, rolled up and coated in more buttercream:

In the practical we were just making the layered genoise. It takes one heck of a lot of whisking to achieve the right volume of egg and sugar foam and I was pleased to achieve a cake with very good volume. It was evident that others hadn’t whisked enough as there were cakes varying in volume, some of them only half the desired height.

The buttercream has a lot of butter and sugar, but doesn’t taste greasy or too sweet. It does have a smooth texture and is shiny and easy to pipe and smooth.

My cake went very well and looked and tasted great. More birthday cake!

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