Alas, the day of our last practical. Earlier that morning, we were taught how to make the beautiful Charlotte. Pink sponge fingers hide layers of sponge, raspberry mousse, red berry jelly and almond bavarian cream. I was just happy to be making something that looked that pretty. The only other cake that we made that was comparable was the Fraisier. Everything else looked dull, mostly brown, not much decoration. The chef brought us through the demo which lasted longer than usual, but at the end, we were rewarded with a delicious cake.
We had to work in pairs for this cake. I think if we were to do this by ourselves, it would take almost the entire 3 hours. I requested for a slightly more pink sponge finger and my partner did not protest, which was really nice of him! First, we piped our sponge. I tried my best to pipe them as evenly as possible. I was pretty happy with the way they turned out. Next, we moved onto the jelly, mousse and bavarian cream. As my partner can’t take pork, we had to split everything in half before adding the gelatin into the mixture. I wasn’t very happy with the way the chef dealt with it because although my partner was given a substitute, he was not told how to use it. This resulted in a less than ideal texture for the mousse and bavarian cream, and it did not set as well.
Charlotte aux fruits de saison
I had cut the sponge fingers at both ends to even them out, as the chef did during demo. I know this is a little unconventional, but the chef did mention that he preferred to do it that way. However, it seemed like not many people cut it for practical. When I looked at the uncut ones, they looked better and I was a little upset, but the chef which graded us totally understood that we were just replicating what we were taught in demo. I got pretty good marks for it, so I was happy again. He commented that my cake was extremely feminine and that the sponges were very well piped and defined. When I got home, I cut a slice to see how it looked inside, and I was quite pleased! The layers were straight and in good proportion. However, because we didn’t have enough time to chill the cake before arranging the fruits on top, the bavarian was still a little soft and the fruits sank in slightly.
This is truly a delicious cake. It’s not too sweet (very important), has good texture and is visually appealing. I just watched an episode of Masterchef Canada and they had to make a Charlotte in an hour! OMG! Obviously it was not as elaborate as ours and definitely not as pretty. There was a tropical one, a chocolate and mint flavoured one and caramel pecan one. Very innovative. I will have to try to bake some non-traditional ones too!
Our last demo is a “open” one, meaning the chef will be creating his own recipe, but we won’t have a practical on that. Let’s see what he comes up with!