Thursday, October 8, 2009

Bad colds and Black Forest Cherry Torte

Well, I'm home sick today. I've just got a bad cold, but I do admit that I'm feeling rather miserable.... At least, though, it's given me time to edit more photos between naps and vitamin-taking.

On Monday, in my cakes class, we made Black Forest Cherry Tortes.

We started by making the Chocolate Chiffon Genoise cake batter

Then, once the cakes were in the oven, we started on the Tart Cherry Filling. Instant modified food starch was mixed with the cherry juice. We used Instant Modified Food Starch, a cold binder/thickener, instead of regular cornstarch because 1) it would have taken longer to make a cooked filling and then cool it and 2) these tortes were going to be frozen after we made them and cornstarch breaks down when frozen.

After the liquid was thickened, the tart cherries were added back in.

Personally, I do not like tart cherries, I'm really more of a sweet cherry girl. I keep trying to like tart ones too! really! but so far, I've not succeeded.

What I do like is Kirschwasser, which is a cherry flavored brandy. I used it for the first time this summer when I entered a Kirsch Cherry Custard Pie in the Park Rapids, MN 4th of July Pie contest. My pie didn't win (or even place) but I did discover the wonders of Kirshwasser.

Here's Chef soaking the genoise with kirsch flavored simple syrup. This is one torte that, if made traditionally, should have a definite alcohol essence when finished.

Then the cherry filling was added.

One thing that surprised me was that we only put cherries on the bottom layer and then Kirschwasser flavored Chantilly cream on the next layer.

The reasoning behind just the single layer of cherries is the issue of expense. Cherries are expensive so by only doing one layer of cherries instead of a double, the torte is less expensive to make.

Then once the torte is iced in chantilly cream, the chocolate shavings are added.

We used our French knives and a large block of Semper chocolate (a chocolate that doesn't require tempering).

Let me tell you, the chocolate shaving is a lot harder than it looks. Seriously. We were warned not to hit the cake when making the chocolate shavings because it would mar the surface.

I did so well up until the chocolate shaving portion..... The bar of chocolate is HEAVY! And I guess I must be whimpy too. I hit the cake many times while making the shavings. I tried to cover them up, but was only partially successful. Oh well, I still did okay on the project.

Here's Chef grading everyone's tortes.

And here's some shots of my finished torte. Candied Cherries were added on top for garnish.

Then, we cut into Chef's Torte and everyone got a slice to taste.

Tasting is so important. Even though I didn't like the cherry portion of the torte, at least now I can say I've tried one.

Confession: I ate around the cherry layer and threw that portion out. The Kirschwasser flavor was so wonderful! Everything but the cherry filling was great. And at least I had this class before this horrendous cold took my sense of taste!

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