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Chapter 17: Classic and modern cake assembly.



After reading this chapter, you should be able to

* present the concepts of composition and balance and the evolution of ideas regarding cake, including wedding cake.

* split, fill, mask, ice, and decorate a layer cake using classic assembly techniques.

* construct contemporary specialty cakes, including mousse cakes, using assorted decorative techniques and sensible production.

* recognize and understand coordinating the production of wedding cakes.

* practice proper hygiene, sanitation, and storage guidelines in regard to classic and specialty cakes.


Ever since flour was combined with water to make bread, people have added ingredients like honey and spices to make sweetened confections. Sweetened breads have been enjoyed since ancient Egypt, where they were often a part of ritual and celebration. Today, cakes are globally enjoyed as desserts that have become synonymous with public and private celebrations. Because they can be a symbol of one's perceived worth, designer cakes have turned into high art and are often regarded as such.

This chapter serves as the culmination of several chapters, including cake mixing, cream preparation, egg foams, glazes, mousse processes, and decorative techniques, all of which must be understood to make a wide variety of cakes. A number of base formulas must be understood and mastered, and the skills involved in the various steps of assembly and finishing must be understood and practiced to be able to create everything from a simple layer cake to an extravagant entremets, or cake designed to serve at least several people. The common expectation for cakes is perfection, with the quality and presentation of all components seen as an extension of the quality of the pastry shop. This chapter will explore classic cakes, specialty cakes, and wedding cakes, and it will consider taste, texture, color, visual balance, and the appeal of decor.


Cake composition and balance begin with component planning and design. The main components used in classic layer cakes include cake bases, filling, icing, and decoration. The filling and icing can be made from the same component such as buttercream, or layers of buttercream can alternate with layers of ganache as the filling, with buttercream for the icing and a combination of buttercream and ganache for the decoration. As classic cake assembly becomes more complex, increasing numbers of components are required to finish the cake. To be appealing, these components must be well balanced in flavor, texture, color, and presentation.

Depending on the complexity of the cake being assembled, product composition considerations can include

* Flavor of the cake, filling, and icing

* Texture of the cake, filling, and icing

* Color schemes of the cake, filling, and icing

* Assembly style

* Decoration and garnish


The flavors of the cake base, filling, and icing should all be complementary. What is obviously complementary to one person, however, may not necessarily be obvious to another. Flavor choices include chocolate, vanilla, sugary, buttery, nutty, fruity, coffee, tea, and alcohol. For each of these profiles, there are even more considerations, such as dark chocolate, vanilla bean, hazelnut praline paste, fresh raspberries, coffee syrup, and tea-infused ganache. Flavors may also be analogous as in a chocolate layer cake.

Most importantly, many different flavors can be combined from various cake bases, fillings, and icing components to create signature cake, and these flavors must harmonize. Their intensity should vary according to the goals of the person making the cake, especially when working with multiple flavors. Components within the cake may act as balancers between opposing qualities, such as cake flavors that balance lightness or sweetness of filling. This balance can only be learned by tasting, which is different from eating because the flavors are allowed to diffuse in the mouth and attention is paid to their introductory notes, high notes, and tail ends, hopefully from just one bite.


The texture of the cake, filling, and icing will have an effect on not only the mouthfeel experience of the person eating the cake but also in determining its shelf life and stability. The textures of the components are determined by their composition, including the formula used to prepare them, ingredient selection, and method of production. While texture elements are usually flavor elements, texture can also be manipulated through setting agents.

Soft, crisp, firm, crunchy, brittle, creamy, light, dense, airy, wet, and dry are just some of the words used to describe how the cake structurally appears in the case and how it is experienced when eaten. The combination of textures can create unique sensations in the mouth and should be considered in planning.

Opposing qualities that complement each other include a crisp meringue with a creamy filling, a soft mousse with crunchy praline, and a syrup-soaked cake with chocolate ganache. Basic ingredients that create texture include sugar, chocolate, flour, eggs, butter, cream, gelatin, and nuts. Elements that create texture include short crusts, meringues, mousse, ganache, buttercream, glazes, assorted creams, nougatine, praline, cake bases, and sugar syrups.


As a general rule, applying color to cakes should relate to the flavor and presentation/theme of the cake. Because the color schemes of cake components combine to create visual appeal, a basic understanding of color is beneficial. Questions that should be asked include: Is there a color that applies to the theme of the cake? Where do the colors come from? What is the subtlety /intensity of the color?

As a guideline, pastel tones are better for lighter icings such as buttercreams. The exceptions to this are naturally colored fresh fruit, fruit glazes, and chocolate. These bolder colors are well tolerated because consumers expect the vibrant colors of strawberry or raspberry and the rich color of dark chocolate.


Assembly style refers to the way in which the cake is prepared as well as the complexity of the composition. Cakes can be round or square or formed in a number of specialty shapes. Some classic cakes consist of only a cake round that has been iced and decorated, whereas others are split, filled, iced, and decorated. The difference is more cake with less filling, or more filling with less cake. It would be impossible to choose one style over the other because each application has a different purpose and clientele. Classic cakes made for mass-market distribution are typically iced rather than split and filled. Cakes in an upscale pastry shop can contain several layers of cake alternating with filling.


Decoration and garnish are extremely important because they are often the consumer's first impression of the cake. They not only provide a way for pastry chefs to display their decorative abilities but also communicate something about what is in the cake. Icing, fruit, nuts, chocolate work, sugar work, rolled fondant, marzipan, and more can be used to create a wide variety of display work. Applications can range from piping script onto the cake to an intricate application of rolled fondant garnished with gum paste flowers to a display of fresh fruit with chocolate or sugar decoration.


Most classic cake assembly is based on the construction of cake layers that are alternately layered with a filling such as buttercream, ganache, or whipped cream and then encased in an icing and decorated with more icing. The selection of cake, filling, and decoration can vary greatly, and many different types of finished cakes can be made from several base formulas. The degree of decoration can range from the minimalist's rosettes to gaudy flowers of every color to intricate, rococo-style piping characterized by thinly piped, intricate, stacked layers of royal icing.


Before cake assembly begins, the pastry chef should have proper mise en place, with all ingredients, components, and related tools and equipment ready for use. For cake assembly, the following are generally required:

* Cake bases

* Fillings and icing

* Decoration and garnish

* Hand tools, equipment, and cake boards

Cake Bases

All cakes should be baked and cooled before starting the assembly process. Bakeries that sell a lot of cake typically have a "team" dedicated to cake mixing and baking. Once they have appropriately cooled, cakes can be used the same day or wrapped and frozen for later use, with storage time in the freezer dependent on the type of cake. Refer to Chapter 14 for additional information on freezing cake bases.

Fillings and Icings

Not all cakes require filling. For those that do, fillings should be ready to use when assembly begins. As with cake base preparation, larger bakeries often have people dedicated to the proper mixing and preparation of fillings and icings to maintain consistency and improve efficiency.

Before beginning cake assembly, fillings and icings should possess proper flavor, consistency, and quantity. It is essential to maintain efficient assembly so that enough filling and icing are prepared to fill and ice all the cakes required.

Decoration and Garnish

Decoration and garnish mediums can include fresh fruit, chocolate decor, roasted sliced almonds, gum paste flowers, and much more. Some of these items can be bought ready to use (for example, fresh raspberries), others may need to be prepared (such as roasted sliced almonds), and still others can be made completely in-house (such as gum paste flowers). Regardless of the scope and origin of the decoration and garnish, they should complement the style and flavors of the cake.

Hand Tools, Equipment, and Cake Boards

Depending on the method of assembly, different hand tools, equipment, and cake boards will be required to make, finish, and easily move the cake.

A sample list of hand tools includes a serrated knife, a palette knife, an offset palette knife, a paring knife, piping bags, paper cones, piping tips, scissors, and assorted icing combs. Equipment used to prepare components can include mixers for preparing whipped cream, sheeters for preparing rolled fondant, and the turntable on which the cake will be assembled. (Turntables enable the decorator to turn the cake without turning the body too much, which can become tiresome and uncomfortable.)


[1] Cut cake on a level surface
and from one direction,
turning the cake as you cut.

[2] When ready to cut subsequent
layers, leave the cake
stacked for ease of handling.

A variety of cake boards are needed to easily move the cake. These can include round, square, or rectangular shapes. Cake boards can also be classified as white or gold (they can also be silver or other colors). White boards are typically used during the initial assembly of the cake, after which the cake is transferred to a gold board. If the cake is large and needs extra support, white boards can remain under it. In these cases, they are trimmed flush to the edge of the finished cake.


Splitting, filling, and masking are the terms used to describe the initial process of assembling a cake. Splitting refers to cutting the cake base into layers, filling refers to the application of filling in between the cake layers, and masking refers to covering the assembled cake with an initial coat of icing.


Depending on the size of the cake base, the desired size of the finished cake, and the required thickness of the layers, cakes can be cut into two to four layers for assembly. (See Splitting Figure 17-1.)

When splitting cakes, it is necessary to use a good-quality serrated knife so that the knife does not do more damage than good. Some knives tend to tear the cake, creating lots of crumbs. Although not necessary, a specialty knife designed for cake has a long blade with fine serration and a slight convex shape and helps cut cake layers without pulling out or damaging the crumb.

Cakes should always be cut after they have totally cooled because cutting when warm will result in a damaged crumb structure. The key to splitting cakes evenly and achieving consistent, uniform results is for the knife to cut at a constant rate without changing the angle of the blade. If the angle of the blade shifts, an uneven layer will result. Cakes that have been split and are ready for filling should be put aside and the crumbs should be cleared.


After the cakes have been split, they are ready to be filled. This process begins by determining which layer should be in which position within the assembled cake. The most damaged layers should be used within the cake, so that they can be hidden with the assistance of the icing. The flattest layer, which is usually the bottom layer flipped upside-down, should be reserved for the top.


[1] On a cake turntable, apply
a thin, even and level layer of
icing, being sure to bring it
all the way out to the edges.

[2] Apply the next layer of
cake and then the next layer
of icing.

[3] Apply the top layer of
cake, ensuring it is well
centered and level.

The base layer should be placed on a cake board that is slightly larger than the cake round. Some pastry chefs prefer to brush the bottom of the bottom cake layer with coating chocolate so that it is easy to move later. Depending on the type and size of cake used, this can be a good idea.

Next, the filling can be placed in the center of the cake round and drawn out toward the edge of the cake using a palette knife. (See Filling Figure 17-2, Step 1.) This can be done with or without a turntable. However, it is definitely beneficial to use a turntable when learning how to assemble cakes. After spreading the filling evenly to the edges, the next layer of cake is placed on top of it and the filling and stacking process continues. (See Filling Figure 17-2, Steps 2-3.)

Additional steps may be required during the filling process. Cakes are sometimes moistened with cake syrup or have a thin layer of jam applied before the filling is added. If this is the case, the syrup or jam is applied just before the primary filling is applied to the cake and spread.


After the cake has been filled, it can be masked, which refers to the process of putting a thin coat of icing over the sides and top of the cake. (See Masking Figure 17-3.) Some call this the crumb coat. The purpose for masking is to secure all of the crumbs to the cake to ensure that none make their way onto the icing. Masking also acts as an intermediate stage to establish the final form of the cake between icing and filling. For example, if the cake is not level after filling, it can be leveled during masking to lessen the amount of work once it is time to ice.

After cakes, especially buttercream cakes, are masked, they should remain in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes, but can remain for up to one day, depending on the icing. For cakes masked with whipped cream, less time is required because the whipped cream will never really set up. Some cake decorators skip the masking stage because they are able to quickly and easily ice the cake without crumbs showing in the final icing. This is fine as long as the results are good.


Icing and glazing is the final step in cake assembly of the cake. All that remains is the decoration and garnishing. Special attention must be paid to this process because the quality of the work will be apparent throughout cake consumption.


[1] Apply a thin of icing
on the top of the cake and
push the excess over the
edge to mask the sides.

[2] Apply additional icing
on the sides of the cake
as needed to achieve the
masked cake.

[3] Work the upsurge of icing
over the top of the cake. Once
the sides and top are evenly
covered, the cake should cool
for at least 10 minutes before
applying the final icing.

Once iced or glazed, the cake can be frozen for later use or shipping, or it can be decorated and sold. Some icings and glazes hold up differently in the freezer. For this reason, pastry chefs who rely on freezing techniques should conduct tests to understand icing or glaze durability.


Cakes are iced with thicker mediums like buttercream, whipped cream, or whipped ganache. The concept is the same as for masking, although the coat of icing is thicker.

Icing should be placed in the middle of the surface of the cake and should then be worked toward the outer edges using a palette knife and turntable. Once an even layer has been created on the surface of the cake, icing should hang over the edge. (See Icing Figure 17-4, Step 1.) This icing is then used to coat the sides of the cake. If more icing is required, it can be applied directly to the sides of the cake. (See Icing Figure 17-4, Steps 2-3.)

When a coat of icing has been applied to the walls of the cake, excess icing should extend above the surface. (See Icing Figure 17-4, Step 4.) This should be smoothed onto the surface of the cake and removed as needed using an offset palette knife or a large palette knife, depending on the decorator's preference. Swift motions are used to clear the icing from the edge, drawing it in toward the center and removing any excess. This process is completed toward the decorator to ensure control over how much icing is removed from the cake. After the surface and walls of the cake are smooth and the edges are crisp, the cake can be decorated or frozen for later use. (See Icing Figure 17-4, Steps 5-6.)


Glazing creates a smooth, seamless finish to cakes without nearly as much work as icing. Several precautions must be taken, though, to ensure a successful glaze and to minimize waste. Masking and the temperature of the cake and glaze play important roles in success.

Because glaze is poured over the cake, it reveals any imperfections in the construction and masking; it does not fill in gaps or holes and can't hide raised surface areas. For these reasons, a good final masking is required to ensure that there is an even surface for the glaze to flow over.

Almost all glazes need to be warmed before use, and care must be taken to ensure the glaze is not too warm to melt the icing that was used for masking. A chocolate glaze warmed to 80[degrees]F (27[degrees]C) is sufficient to glaze a buttercream-masked cake removed from the refrigerator. A hot glaze, however, will most likely melt the butterfat in the buttercream and the glaze will slide off the cake.

When ready to glaze, it is important that cakes are placed on a pouring screen over a clean sheet pan lined with a clean sheet of parchment paper. When the glaze is the appropriate consistency and temperature, it can be applied to the cake. The glaze should be poured around the perimeter of the surface of the cake first, ensuring that it reaches the bottom of the side walls (see Glazing Figure 17-5, Step 1), and then the center should be poured with enough glaze to fill in the unglazed center (see Glazing Figure 17-5, Step 2). This process should happen relatively quickly, especially with a quick-setting glaze. Any runoff glaze should be strained to remove crumbs before being reused. A torch may be used to pop any air bubbles. (See Glazing Figure 17-5, Step 3.) Use caution to not heat the glaze too much, or it may burn.

After the cake has been glazed, it should be returned to the refrigerator or freezer to set the glaze. Once set, the cake should be transferred to a gold board, where it can be decorated as required.


The decoration and garnishes for classically assembled cakes typically consist of icing, fruits, nuts, chocolate, and other similar items. The choice of decoration should be related to the theme of the cake, the fillings used, and the flavors present. Fruit is a great way to highlight seasonal flavors, which can be important for cakes designed to sell during certain times of the year.


Basic Piping Techniques

Proper use of a piping bag and the ability to pipe a variety of shapes and styles is essential. Figure 17-6 shows examples of piping rosettes, shells, and reversed shells.


Specialty cakes differ from classic layer cakes in composition and presentation. Many of their components have classical roots and have been around for decades, but what sets them apart is the approach to assembly and presentation. Specialty cakes are often made from multiple components that draw on different techniques of preparation and have varying textures. Often, these cakes achieve their unique shapes from specialty molds made out of metal, plastic, or silicone. Although many modern cakes feature mousse components, specialty cake bases and other cream preparations are common as well.

Specialty cakes are notable for their range of shapes and sizes. The vast array of commercially available and custom-designed specialty molds makes very unique presentations possible. In addition, the same dessert can often be seen in multiple sizes, including petits fours, individual, and entremets.


Just as for classic cakes, specialty cakes have their own set of mise en place. Cake components, hand tools, acetate strips and sheets, textured plastic sheets, cake molds, and silicone molds may all be used. The complexity of the cake is typically reflected by the number of components used as well as the formula processes used.


[1] Apply icing to the top of the
cake and work it toward and over
the edge, creating a level surface
on top of the cake.


[2] Work the icing around the side of
the cake, ensuring that enough
icing is built up that the cake
cannot be seen.


[3] Smooth the icing on the sides
of the cake to establish the
vertical sides.


[4] A metal scraper may be useful to
establish vertical sides.


[5] Carefully work the upsurge of icing
over the surface of the cake, removing
any excess.


[6] The finished iced cake is ready
for decoration.



[1] With the cake on a pouring
screen, pour the
glaze around the edges
of the cake.

[2] Fill the center.

[3] Using a torch, warm the
surface of the cake to pop
any air bubbles.

Cake Components

All specialty cake components should be prepared before assembly begins. In some bakeries, a supply of basic components is reserved in the freezer or prepared daily. They are set up in this way so the person or division of the business responsible for making specialty cakes only has to make the main component of the dessert, such as the mousse. In addition, depending on the size of the pastry shop, the pastry chef may make up specialty cakes once a week and freeze them, thawing and finishing as needed. This allows for easier production scheduling and less waste.

Completing all prep work and organizing the workstation minimizes distraction and streamlines cake production. If cake rounds require cutting before depositing in a dessert, it should happen before the assembly begins. If the mousse should be at a particular temperature while depositing, everything should be prepared and readied before the mousse is elaborated.

Hand Tools

The same basic hand tools that are used for classic cakes are used for specialty cakes. They include a chefs knife, serrated knife, an assortment of palette knives, and bowl scrapers, among others. Pastry cutters can be used to cut out cake rounds from biscuit jaconde sheets, and ladles may be used frequently for portioning mousse.

Acetate Strips and Sheets

Plastics have become an indispensable product in the pastry kitchen. They are usually used to line ring molds for cake assembly, to line mousse cakes with no cake walls, and to do decorative chocolate work. They can be acquired in many widths, which make adjusting cake heights simple and economical. Acetate strips and sheets can be reused if washed and dried well before storing. Note: Reuse is not a good idea for chocolate work because it will be a challenge to get a perfect shine.

Cake Molds

Cake molds are metal or plastic molds in which mousse cakes are built. They are excellent for this use because they ensure efficiency and consistent results with softer fillings. Cake molds typically have no base, which makes it easy to produce intricate cakes and easily remove them from the mold. They come in many shapes and sizes and can be lined or extended with acetate strips. Preparing cake molds can be labor-intensive, but they allow for quick assembly of items that typically sell for more than classic cakes.

Silicone Molds

Silicone molds are very popular for individual-sized desserts and are a very easy way to add visual texture to cake or shape to mousse. They can be used to create inserts, individual-sized desserts, entremets, cake bases, and much more. Desserts are easily removed from silicone molds once frozen, which makes them ideal for dessert production, even for very soft mousse. Silicone molds can be used for baking as well. This improves efficiency by eliminating steps, such as a roulade or roll cake that can be rolled with the assistance of the silicone baking mat on which the cake is baked.

Cake Frames

Cake frames are metal frames that are available in the size of a sheet pan or a half sheet pan and are designed for building specialty cakes. When using cake frames, one sheet of the cake is produced and then cut and sold as slices and cakes of desired size.

These are essentially large rectangular cake molds. Some stackable varieties are used to ensure even layers of dessert components. For example, a different mousse can be prepared and deposited into three different frames of the same height. Once frozen, they can be stacked to create a perfect, flat, even layer of mousse or other component for each of the selections.


The production options for specialty and mousse cakes include cake molds, cake pans, cake frames, silicone molds, and acetate strips. Some of the easiest methods use cake molds or silicone molds, sometimes in conjunction with acetate strips. It is easier to approach production methods in terms of how the cake is assembled than what it is assembled in because equipment can easily change.

There are at least two techniques for portioning mousse for the assembly of cakes: the upside-down technique and the bottom-up technique. These two techniques can be used depending on what type of mold is being used, and both will be described in detail. Before considering the techniques of assembling specialty cakes made in molds, it will be useful to consider the preparation of the cake base as well as the special handling considerations of mousse.

Preparing Cake Bases for Molded Cakes

To prepare the cake for use with a ring mold or Flexipan, cut out circles of cake that are slightly smaller than the base diameter of the mold. If using a ring mold, place it on a silpat or sheet of acetate and place the cake layer in the center, and optionally moisten the cake with a light cake syrup. To prepare a Flexipan, place it on a flat sheet pan, and keep the cake circles ready for later use.

Special Considerations for Portioning Mousse

No matter what type of specialty cake is being made, the portioning of mousse into molds should be done as quickly and efficiently as possible. As soon as the whipped cream is added, the temperature will drop, and the gelatin and/or chocolate will begin to set. If the mousse is mishandled during this stage, texture and volume will suffer.

It is best to portion larger mousse cakes with a ladle, which is unobtrusive and will not alter integrity. For petit four or individual-sized cakes, it may be best to use a pitcher or piping bag with a large plain tip. A piping bag can be used for a thicker mousse; forcing the medium out of the tip will reduce air and volume. After the mousse is portioned, it should be smoothed out and made flush with the top of the mold.

After the molds are filled, the cakes should be frozen for at least 6 hours. A shorter freezing time is possible with a blast freezer, but a longer period will ensure the product is frozen through. At this point, the cakes may be finished or stored in the freezer for later use. Some cakes with mousse components may not require freezing, especially if the cake does not rely on the shape of the mold for its structure. Cakes that are stored frozen can have their molds removed for reuse and should be well wrapped and used within 2 weeks for best results.

[1] Insert the cake wall into
the mold, which has been
lined with an acetate strip.
Next, insert the cake base.

[2] Pipe the mousse one-third
of the way up the mold.

[3] Press the frozen insert
into the mousse.

[4] Pipe on additional

[5] Level the mousse so it is
flush with the surface of the


Bottom-Up Assembly

Bottom-up assembly refers to the method of assembling cake from the bottom up. These cakes can be assembled in ring molds, cake frames, or other molds with no bottom. This may be required due the presence of a cake wall, or strip of thin cake that surrounds the dessert and can extend all the way up the side of the dessert.

For bottom-up construction, molds should be prepared with an acetate liner and a cake base. The acetate liner will assist in the release of the dessert from the mold, and if a cake wall is to be used, it should be cut to perfectly fit the inner circumference of the mold. If the wall is cut short, a piece of cake should be cut to fit in the gap. The cake should not be squeezed into the mold because it can spring away from the dessert and expose the center after the ring is removed. For cakes with a cake wall, it is important that the cake base fits inside the base of the cake wall. For preparations that do not require a cake wall, the cake base should be trimmed to a diameter that is less than the diameter of the cake so no cake shows.

After the acetate strip and then the base have been deposited, the mousse can be deposited. If additional components are to be included within the cake, such as frozen inserts or biscuit, the cake is partially filled and then topped off after the insertion takes place. Frozen inserts are components of a cake that are too soft to add to the preparation when just refrigerated or at room temperature. Their texture is usually soft, such as a cremeux, a gelee, or gelatin-based creme brulee filling, but it may be crunchy such as for a crispy praline layer. Alternating layers of mousse or specialty creams with the frozen insert may take place several times, depending on the number of inserts. (See Bottom-Up Assembly Figure 17-7.) After the cake has been filled with the appropriate components, it should be frozen for at least 6 hours before unmolding.

Upside-Down Assembly

Upside-down assembly is best used with silicone molds and some specialty molds such as Buche de Noel and half dome or pyramid molds.

For upside-down assembly, the mousse is deposited in the mold, any inserts are added, and the cake base is placed on top of the mousse and made flush with the top of the mold. After the dessert is frozen, it is inverted so the cake base is on the bottom. At this point, it can be stored in the freezer for later use or finished for immediate use.

The pastry chef should always work on a flat surface and ensure that the molds are appropriately filled. After the insert is added, any additional mousse is added, taking care to leave approximately 1/8 to 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) at the top, depending on cake size. Then, the base of the cake is placed into the mold and pressed so that the bottom is flush with the top of the mold. Any air gaps or mounds are repaired by working the top with an offset spatula. (See Upside-Down Assembly Figure 17-8.)

Use of Silicone Mold for Upside-Down Assembly Once frozen, the cakes can be popped out of their molds but they should remain frozen until ready for finishing. Only enough molds should be taken out of the freezer as can be released to prevent the cakes from softening. The frozen cakes are returned to the freezer and finished as needed, and the mold is ready for reuse.


Finishing techniques vary for mousse and specialty cakes, and, in general, the techniques are faster than icing a cake. The finishing process for mousse cakes is not merely aesthetic. The glaze or gelee also preserves the mousse from oxidation and rancidity by creating a barrier between the cake, the cream and the air. This limits the flow of contaminants and oxygen and slows the process of degradation.

Depending on the finishing technique, the still-frozen mousse cake is released from the Flexipan, silpat, or acetate sheet and placed on a cake board or pouring screen. When removing cakes from Flexipans, the cake should be very frozen. If the whole cake is to be glazed, the cake should be placed directly on a pouring screen and the cake ring removed. However, if the glaze is to cover just the surface of the cake, it may be applied while the cake ring or acetate is still surrounding the cake, to guarantee that the glaze covers only the surface and not the sides of the cake.

To remove the cake ring, heat it lightly with a hot towel or a torch, taking great care to warm only the ring mold and not the mousse. The ring should then be lifted off the cake.

Decoration and Presentation Techniques

Specialty cake decoration should be of higher caliber than that for the classic cakes. This does not necessarily mean more expensive components or more decoration. Specialty cakes can be highly refined and aesthetically pleasing using easy, yet interesting, techniques. Cakes can also be presented seasonally by highlighting local flavors. The pastry chef's goal should be to use the best of what is available.

Clientele often dictate the type of decor used, and bakeries, pastry shops, high-end food service suppliers and wholesale accounts can all have different presentations for the same dessert. Wholesale suppliers typically use the smallest amount of decoration because they need to keep costs low and ensure stable movement of the product.


[1] Pipe the mousse into the mold
just below the surface of the


[2] Place the cake base on top of the
mousse, and press it down to
be flush with the surface of the

[3] Clean the edges of the pastry,
and fill in any gaps.

Other considerations for specialty cakes are temperature guidelines and serving instructions for customers, which are the responsibility of the sales staff. Many bakeries do this with a pamphlet that describes serving suggestions for each product.

The choice of finishing should be considered in relation to the flavor and style of the dessert and the appearance of other desserts within the line. Differences in appearance and dessert "autonomy" can help the line look more diversified, even if only several techniques are used to yield a dozen presentations.

Fruit and chocolate glazes are commonly used on specialty cakes. They are simple to make, relatively simple to use, and have an elegant simplicity. Other options include clear or cold process glazes. One very fast technique is to use spray chocolate for a velvety chocolate finish. Fruit mousse cakes should always be presented with complementary fresh fruit. If the cake is not glazed, the fruit should cover the majority of its surface in orderly or more abstract arrangements. If the cake is glazed, fruit can be arranged decoratively around the border or as a minicenterpiece. Glaze and powdered sugar should be applied to the fruit to preserve it and to add another visual element.

A small arrangement of fruit and chocolate or sugar work can also add a very nice visual element to entremets. Focus should be placed on balancing the contrast of colors, use of various mediums (chocolate, fresh fruit, sugar work), flow, and height. For a more detailed look at decoration, please refer to Chapter 21.


For a bakery or other business, cakes can be produced in larger quantities and pulled from the freezer as needed for finishing and sale. This cuts labor costs and reduces waste. During the finishing process, cakes should remain frozen until they are ready to be displayed for sale. If a cake is for a special order and is not needed right away, it may be sold frozen to eliminate any damage that could happen during transit.

If mousse cakes are for wholesale delivery, they should remain packed in their shipping boxes in the freezer until just before the delivery person leaves. Quality control methods must be in place to ensure that the desserts arrive to their destinations safely and are stored properly once they arrive.

Once unfrozen, mousse cakes on display can be stored under refrigeration for about 48 hours before quality starts to deteriorate. The high percentage of fresh cream and fresh fruit in mousse cakes creates a medium that is highly susceptible to breaking down. Mousse made with chocolate and higher quantities of sugar and acidity may last longer, but much depends on the elements and quality of the ingredients. Finished cakes should always be stored away from off odors as cream readily absorbs the smells of its environs. This is mostly a concern in restaurants and grocery stores, where a walk-in refrigerator is used for both sweet and savory preparations.


When composing cakes, pastry chefs need a solid understanding of ingredient functions, formula processes, and assembly techniques. In addition, imagination and creativity in flavor, presentation, texture, and surprise all play major roles. Other factors in cake composition include current trends, flavor profiles of the customer base, ingredient availability, and personal goals.


A wedding cake is the visual showpiece of any marriage celebration. Some consider it one of the most elaborate practices of the pastry arts, and there is no denying that the wedding cake business is a large and growing part of the pastry industry.

Wedding cakes represent the accumulation of the pastry chef's skill, talent, and creativity. An intricate cake may require days, or even weeks, to complete using a variety of techniques, flavors, colors, designs, and mediums.

When creating a wedding cake, it is very important to communicate with the customer--to make the bride's wishes a reality, to make the wedding day memorable, and, most importantly, to be at the site on time with the cake completed as planned. For these reasons, advance planning and organization are absolute requirements for wedding cake production.

This section will explore how wedding cakes have evolved, including historical and contemporary wedding cakes, as well as characteristics of cakes from different cultures. It will then describe the practical process of planning, producing, and delivering a wedding cake, including advice on how to work with clients through every step.


Although wedding cakes have greatly evolved in style over the centuries, their symbolic purpose has not changed. They represent the uniting of a new family, as well as best wishes for the future. Today, the custom of celebrating a wedding with a cake is practiced worldwide.

History of Wedding Cakes

Wedding cakes date as far back as the Roman Empire, around 400 BCE. Bread was initially used, but wedding cakes have elaborated into sweeter pastry over time. As early as 100 BCE, a piece of dense fruitcake or sweet bread was eaten by the groom, and the remainder of the cake was crumbled over the bride's head so that she would be blessed by the gods with fertility. This symbolic ceremony has changed to today's common custom, in which the bride and groom cut the cake together and then feed each other.

Sugar icing was invented during the 17th century, but for a long time it remained a luxury available only to the wealthy. Early wedding cakes, like wedding dresses, were white, symbolizing the bride's virginity.

Wedding cakes similar to today's style evolved in Great Britain, a major sugar importer with many refined varieties that led to the creation of royal icing, pastillage, and rolled fondant. Piping tips and other deco rating tools were also invented during this time, and the technique of cake decoration rapidly grew.

In the 19th century, Queen Victoria's own wedding cake created the fundamentals seen today. Decorated with royal icing, it measured 14 inches (36 cm) deep, 3 yards (2.8 m) across, and over 7 feet (2.2 m) high. Although it consisted of multiple tiers, only the bottom tier was a real cake. The top tiers consisted of pastillage and royal icing.

By the end of the 19th century, wedding cake decoration became more artistic. The quality of cake improved, due to the invention of chemical leavenings and more advanced tools and equipment. By the early 20th century, tiered cakes were becoming very common. Colors other than white began to be used, as were different shapes and flavors of cakes and fillings. Today, the wedding cake business has grown to $32 billion annually and keeps growing.

Wedding Cakes From Different Cultures

As the centerpiece of marriage celebrations throughout the world, wedding cakes vary in shape and function, but many are firmly rooted in the British tradition.

Great Britain Today's British wedding cakes are similar to the cakes of the 19th century. The traditional cake is a dense fruitcake soaked in liqueur and covered in white marzipan or rolled fondant. Stacked or tiered, it is decorated with layers of intricate piping of royal icing and pastillage. The flavor of this style of cake matures as time passes: It does not require refrigeration and has a very long shelf life.

France The French tradition of wedding cakes is very different. The most traditional style of pastry for weddings is croque en bouche or small profiteroles filled with pastry cream or creme Chiboust, which are then dipped in hot caramel and stacked to make a cone shape. This is usually placed on a nougatine base and decorated with sugar flowers, pulled sugar ribbons, and marzipan fruits. Assembly must be done just before the wedding because croque en bouche is very sensitive to humidity.

When served, the decorations are removed and individual profiteroles are broken off and served to guests, with the number of profiteroles per guest dictating the size of the croque en bouche. Today, a growing number of French couples are breaking with this tradition and opting for layer cakes, with some choosing a combination of a layer cake base with a croque en bouche set on top.

Australia and New Zealand The strong British influence on Australia and New Zealand includes the style of wedding cakes. In Australia, rolled fondant is commonly used to cover fruitcake to give it a softer edge. White is the traditional color, but soft pastel colors can be used as well. Cakes are then decorated with extensive royal icing decor, including ornaments, embroidery, laces, and string work. Intricate sugar and gum paste works, such as ribbons and flowers, are often used. Wedding cakes in New Zealand are very similar to Australia's; however, rolled fondant is more popular in New Zealand, and much less royal icing decor is used. Instead, flowers made with gum paste are the major decoration.

South Africa South African wedding cakes closely resemble those of Great Britain and Australia. They usually have multiple tiers and are covered with rolled fondant. The distinct characteristics of South African wedding cakes are royal icing "wings," which are piped on waxed paper, released when dry, and attached to rolled fondant. This is a time-consuming and labor-intensive process, but it adds a very elaborated and delicate dimension to the cake.

United States American wedding cakes are also influenced by British style; however, pound cake, sponge, or butter cake takes the place of fruitcake. American wedding cakes normally consist of multiple stacked or tiered cakes, and different colors and shapes are often used. Classic wedding cakes are iced with buttercream and decorated with buttercream roses and piping, plastic decorations, pearls, and cake toppers that are often figures of the bride and groom.

Contemporary American wedding cakes are not restricted by traditional wedding cake styles. Unusually shaped cakes are often created to reflect the couple's tastes, hobbies, and personalities; however, tiered cakes are still the most common because of the structural support they provide. Styles are constantly evolving, and many artistically designed cakes regularly appear in wedding magazines and professional publications that specialize in cake decoration.

When it comes to ingredients, any type of cake and icing can be used, including more fragile components like whipped cream, chocolate or fruit mousse, and fresh fruit. Fresh and seasonal ingredients are preferred, and a clean, light appearance is favored. For decor, pastillage cutouts and chocolate decorations are popular, as are gum paste flowers, marzipan figures, and fresh flowers and fruit.

Groom's cake is a popular custom in the southern United States. It is commonly made with chocolate cake and is smaller than the wedding cake, but more uniquely decorated. There is no single groom's cake style or shape. Some choose a classic glazed chocolate cake, while others prefer something playful that reflects their personality, such as a guitar shape, or a cake decorated like a football stadium. Groom's cake can be served at the rehearsal dinner, or next to the wedding cake at the reception.


A well-planned schedule for cake production ensures a successful wedding cake business. This is largely a seasonal business, and simultaneous work on multiple wedding cakes is often required. It is important to plan accordingly by establishing a good relationship with clients and by making it clear that you need to be informed immediately if there are any changes to the initial plan-and that you will do the same.


There are numerous possibilities when designing a wedding cake. Many techniques and materials can be incorporated, making it a great showcase for the pastry chefs skill. This section is divided into two parts: the first explains types of structural supports used in wedding cakes, while the second includes a list of materials used to decorate wedding cakes and examples of how they are used.

Structure There are two basic types of structures for building multitiered wedding cakes: a cake stand and columns. When choosing the style, the structural stability of the cake itself must be considered.

A variety of cake stands are available in different designs, and many of them can be rented. Usually made from plastic or metal, cake stands feature multiple horizontal platforms for each cake, with the largest typically on the bottom and smaller ones toward the top. During assembly, decorated cakes are simply placed on their corresponding platforms. The advantages of using a cake stand are ease of assembly and suitability for fragile cakes like tiramisu and charlotte. The major disadvantage is the initial purchase or rental cost.

When cakes are stacked, there is typically no visible support. Cakes are placed directly onto one another, straight or offset. Support comes from columns or dowels inserted into the cake. These columns are the same height as the cake and provide support for additional cakes above.

The tiered style has a more elegant and elaborate appearance, with visible support columns between each cake. These columns, which are usually made with durable plastic, are extended into the cake below and touch the bottom cardboard. The tiered style is suitable for any type of cake, but the tiers must be built with perfect balance. When using columns, be sure to choose those that are made with food-safe materials or are specially made for wedding cakes.

Materials This section explores different materials that are commonly used in the composition of wedding cakes. The consideration is to use elements that meet the bride and groom's preference, as well as something that is structurally sound in the given environment at the wedding. The characteristics of each material are important to understand when determining the composition of a wedding cake.

Buttercream Buttercream is the most basic material to ice and fill wedding cakes. It usually has a natural yellow tint from butter, but it can be colored as desired. On the surface of a cake, buttercream can be spread flat or piped into a pattern, such as basket weaves. It can also be used to pipe rosettes, shell borders, decorative patterns, roses, and other flowers.

Due to its stiff consistency and durability, basic buttercream is suitable for decorating wedding cakes that will be set up in a place without air-conditioning. Italian buttercream has the best mouthfeel but not the best stability, and it cannot be out of refrigeration for an extended period of time in warmer climates. For a thorough discussion of buttercream, please see Chapter 15.

Rolled Fondant Rolled fondant is used to cover cakes that are usually already iced with a very thin layer of buttercream. It forms a seamless coat, providing a clean, elegant appearance. Unlike buttercream, rolled fondant has many versatile applications. It can tightly cover a cake, or it can be draped to create a soft look. Color can be kneaded into rolled fondant before the cake is covered, or airbrushed on afterward, with designs ranging from simple gradation of colors to intricate drawings. Rolled fondant can also be textured and embossed. For more detailed information about rolled fondant, please refer to Chapter 21.

Pastillage Pastillage is suitable for making small decorative pieces or decorations to place on top of a cake. Because it dries out very fast and becomes very hard when completely dry, it is also used to make support pieces for pulled and blown sugar. Pastillage is pure white, which makes it a great canvas for paint or airbrushing. It is made with edible ingredients but is not meant to be consumed, so every piece of pastillage must be removed when the cake is served. More information about pastillage appears in Chapter 21.

Gum Paste Gum paste is typically used to make various flowers and leaves. It is a time-consuming and labor-intensive process, but the end result is breathtaking: flowers made by very experienced artisans look exactly like the real thing. Once dried out, gum paste flowers are not sensitive to humidity and can last indefinitely when properly stored. Detailed information about gum paste appears in Chapter 21.

Marzipan Marzipan can be used to cover cakes or to create small figures such as flowers, fruits, and animals. Color can be kneaded into marzipan, or figures can be painted and/or airbrushed. It is an easy material to work with because it does not dry out quickly and remains soft for a long time. Flowers as intricate as gum paste flowers cannot be made with marzipan because of its much coarser grain.

Pulled Sugar Skill and experience are required to create pulled sugar pieces, which can include elaborate, colorful ribbons and shiny sugar flowers. Pulled sugar pieces are very sensitive to humidity, so they must be stored in airtight boxes with humectants and placed on the cake at the last minute. For more information about pulled sugar, please refer to Chapter 21.

Blown Sugar Elegant swans and figures of the bride and groom are examples of pieces that can be created with blown sugar. Although blowing sugar requires a high level of skill and specialized equipment, these pieces create very elegant and beautiful artwork. Like pulled sugar, blown sugar pieces must be kept away from humidity. More information about blown sugar can be found in Chapter 21.

Royal Icing Even though royal icing was used to cover cakes hundreds of years ago, it is no longer used for this purpose. Instead, royal icing is commonly used to create intricate piped decorations, as seen in examples of Australian and South African wedding cakes. More information about royal icing can be found in Chapter 15.

Modeling Chocolate Modeling chocolate is a combination of couverture chocolate and inverted sugar, such as corn syrup, glucose, or simple syrup. Inverted sugar provides a pliable and workable consistency that sets up as the paste cools down. Modeling chocolate can be made with dark, milk, or white chocolate, with the ratio of chocolate to inverted sugar varying, depending on the ratio of cocoa butter and a specific cocoa mass in each chocolate.

Modeling chocolate can be textured (including a fabric-like texture), or shaped into ribbons and bows, or flowers and leaves. Coating chocolate cannot be substituted for couverture chocolate because cocoa butter and cocoa mass content are required for pliability and stability (once set).

Modeling Chocolate Formula

18.8 percent simple syrup (1:1 ratio)

31.3 percent glucose

100 percent dark couverture chocolate

Modeling Chocolate Process

Bring the simple syrup to a boil. Add the glucose to the simple syrup.

Cool the mixture to 90[degrees]F (32[degrees]C).

Add the cooled mixture to the tempered chocolate, and mix until well blended using a rubber spatula.

Spread the mixture 1 to 11/2 inches (2 to 4 cm) thick on parchment paper.

Cover lightly with plastic wrap, and make sure no moisture collects on the surface of the chocolate.

Let the modeling chocolate rest in the refrigerator overnight before using.


When meeting with prospective clients, be sure to describe your philosophy and how it differs from the competitors. Whether the focus is on a well-balanced combination of flavors or intricate sugar decoration, it should be mentioned at this stage so that your work can be distinguished from others. Ask prospective clients to fill out a brief form that will enable you to collect as much information about the wedding as possible, including vendors, florists, and caterers. This will help to determine the overall quality of the wedding. One should also be prepared to provide an approximate price for the wedding cake, or the price per slice.

Date, Time, and Venue The first information to be determined from the client is the date, time, and location of the wedding. Make sure that refrigerator space is available on-site, in case some components need refrigeration. It is also important to establish the location of the cake; for example, if it will be outside in summer, a shaded space should be reserved. If the reception will occur late at night, the cake will need to hold for long hours. Also, be sure to ask if the reception hall will be air-conditioned. All of these factors will affect the design and components of a well-structured cake.

Next, ask who will serve the cake. Some clients prefer to have the caterer do it, whereas others prefer that the pastry chef serve. Finally, after you learn the location, consider the mode of transportation. The date and time of day can have a significant influence on travel time; for example, if the wedding is held during a holiday season, traffic can have an effect on the timely delivery of the cake.

Size So that you can give the client a realistic cost estimate, you should determine the size of the cake. Ask the client how many guests are expected to attend, and explain that it is better to have enough cake to serve everyone at the wedding, including photographers, musicians, and wedding coordinators. And, although some guests can be expected to leave before the cake is served, some guests will eat more than one slice.

Next, ask if the bride and groom want to save the top tier of the cake; many couples follow the tradition of saving this tier for their first anniversary. If this is the case, the top tier cannot be part of the estimated size for serving at the reception. Ask if there is a chance that the number of guests will change drastically before the wedding, and explain that it will be very helpful to let you know as soon as they know. If the client does not anticipate that the number of guests will grow by more than 10 percent, ask for a confirmation of the final number 2 weeks before the wedding.

Figure 17-9 shows the number of servings that can be yielded per tier. These are general numbers because serving sizes change depending of the type of cake chosen. Richer cakes yield more than lighter cakes because the serving size is typically smaller.
Figure 17-9 Serving Yield per Tier

Tier Size, Diameter   Estimated Number of Servings

 5 inch (13 cm)                    6
 6 inch (15 cm)                    8
 7 inch (18 cm)                 10 to 12
 8 inch (20 cm)                 12 to 14
 9 inch (23 cm)                 16 to 20
10 inch (25 cm)                 24 to 28
12 inch (31 cm)                 36 to 42
14 inch (36 cm)                 48 to 64
16 inch (41 cm)                 72 to 84
18 inch (46 cm)                 92 to 108

Portfolio When designing a wedding cake, it is very helpful for the bride and groom to see actual photos of cakes. For this reason, presenting a portfolio that displays work you have done in the past is highly recommended. It can also include photographs from books and magazines, as long as it is noted that they are taken from outside sources, along with photographs of the same work recreated, if applicable.

When clients can visualize a wide variety of cakes, they have a better idea of what they prefer in terms of shape (round, square, or heart-shaped), stacked or separate tiers, type of finish (buttercream icing, rolled fondant, glaze, etc.), gum paste or fresh flowers, and more. Whenever creating a new cake, bring a camera to the wedding and take as many photographs as possible. Some wedding photographers will be happy to provide photographs of the cake for your portfolio.

Selecting Style When deciding flavor, ask the bride and groom if they have a preference. Be prepared to present some examples of past work because people like to know what has been successfully done. Prepare a list of cakes and fillings, as well as a list of current best sellers. If the client isn't sure, be prepared make some recommendations. Incorporate seasonal ingredients, if available.

It is possible to have two types of cakes with different flavors in one wedding cake, as long as the flavors complement each other. Avoid similar flavors, or flavors that do not go well together: Ideally, a lighter flavor should contrast with a heavier one. Also note that incorporating a combination of flavors is a way to up-sell the cake because it increases the price.

Structure of the cake is another concern. Wedding cakes usually stand in the reception hall for hours, and they must have enough structure to hold up under any condition. If softer cake bases and fillings are used, use separate pillars for multiple tiers. If the cake will be standing where there is no air-conditioning, avoid using temperature-and humidity-sensitive components, such as sugar garnishes and mousse fillings.

If time allows, and the bride and groom prefer, arrange a cake tasting before the final decision is made. This will help provide clarity, especially if they are deciding between several types of cakes. It also presents an excellent opportunity to sell upgraded versions of cakes and fillings by introducing several new flavors.

For large weddings, the composition of the cake should be focused on. Even though the cake is made exclusively for the bride and groom, it showcases work that has been done over months of planning and days or even weeks of production. Keep in mind that a wedding with over 200 guests is likely to include at least one potential client.

Finally, the cake's appearance should match the theme of the wedding, including colors and flowers of choice. Utilize the portfolio to provide visual examples and explain the materials used, including their characteristics and technical differences. For example, buttercream has limited applications in cake finishes, while rolled fondant can be colored, airbrushed, textured, shaped, and draped. In addition, marzipan and gum paste flowers last much longer than fresh flowers, which look good only for a couple of hours. This discussion also provides an opportunity to introduce components that can up-sell the cake: the more advanced the techniques used, the higher the price will be.

Contract and Deposit It is very important to have a contract that contains detailed information. The form should be filled out while you are talking to the client, to ensure that all necessary details are included and mutually agreed upon. After the contract is signed, the initial deposit is paid. The amount of the deposit should be based on the estimated number of guests and estimated price of the cake and should cover the cost of food and equipment, as well as a cancellation penalty. The final balance can be calculated after the number of guests is confirmed. Be sure to receive final payment on the day of wedding, before the reception starts.

Assembly and Transportation One day before the wedding, confirm the time when the cake is arriving and the time it needs to be finished. Also, be clear about where to unload the cake and where it can be assembled.

The first suggestion for wedding cake delivery is to transport the cake unassembled. Cakes can be filled and iced, and stable decorations such as buttercream piping can be done on each tier. However, fragile decorations like sugar flowers should be placed on the cake at the reception site. This is the safest way to prevent cake deformation and damage to the decorations. Depending on distance of travel, the type of vehicle available, the weather, and the size of the cake, some stacked wedding cakes may be able to be delivered already assembled.

Before transport, each cake should be placed in a different box and secured by placing nonslip mats underneath the cake. In addition, take care to ensure that the cake boxes do not move around in the vehicle by placing nonslip mats between the boxes and the floor. Upon arrival at the wedding site, you can assemble and apply the final decorations to the finished cake.

As a rule, always bring extra icing, piping bags and tips, and tools to assemble or fix the cake in case any damage occurs during transport or assembly. If you are cutting and serving the cake, bring your own tools because they may not be available on-site. If you are expected to make an appearance to wedding guests, bring an extra, clean jacket.


As discussed, a wedding cake should be priced based on the number of servings. Factors that determine the base price per serving are the cost of labor, food, and equipment.

* Labor costs include the actual time that you and/or your staff work on the cake, plus the day of the wedding, from transporting the cake until leaving the site. Hourly labor costs may vary depending on the location and level of difficulty of the project.

* Food costs include the prices of all ingredients, as well as decorative elements on the cake.

* Equipment costs include other tools and equipment, such as cardboard, plastic cake toppers, pillars, and pearls.

When calculating a base price, start with a basic sponge cake and buttercream icing and calculate price per serving. The base price can also vary depending on the location and reputation.

The next step is to calculate the cost of the cake once the flavor and design of the cake are determined. It is important to remember that customers often have a budget when shopping for a wedding cake. It can be your goal to help the couple get the best cake possible within their budget. Add on flat fees for special fillings, liqueur and fresh fruits, specialty garnishes, and flowers as needed. When the number of the guests is confirmed, calculate the final price of the cake to create an official invoice.


Wedding cakes have a long and interesting history, and it is now a common custom to have one at a wedding in many different countries. By knowing what materials are suitable to a given situation and what are not, it is possible to create a cake that is structurally practical and meets the bride and groom's desires. Close communication with the clients and advanced production planning ensures a well-organized production of the cake, which leads to a successful presentation of the cake. Wedding cakes can be the most memorable pastry for anyone who has been married. The success of this relies on the pastry chef's skill and creativity to compose one unique wedding cake for every marrying couple.


This delightful cake is a striking medley of tart and sweet
flavors, with bright visual appeal. Lemon curd cake is made with
light genoise moistened with lemon cake syrup. The filling is a
light creme Chantilly, with accents of lemon curd and fresh
raspberries. Other seasonal fruit can be used as desired. It is a
perfectly light and refreshing dessert for a warm summer evening.

Mise en Place

Components                   Kilogram   US decimal   Lb & Oz

Genoise                        1 each       1 each    1 each
Cake syrup                      0.100        0.220         4
Lemon curd                      0.200        0.441         7
Creme Chantilly                 0.500        1.100        12
Fresh raspberries                  SQ           SQ        SQ
or blueberries
Snow icing                         SQ           SQ        SQ

Yield: 1 [8 inch (20 cm)] cake


1. Split the genoise into three layers.

2. Place the bottom layer on a 9 inch (23 cm) cake board.

3. Apply a light layer of cake syrup to the cake with a pastry

4. Next, apply a thin layer of lemon curd with a palette knife.

5. Spread a layer of Chantilly over the curd layer 1/4 inch (0.5
cm) thick and press raspberries into the cream.

6. Repeat the process twice more until the last layer has been

7. Mask the cake with a thin layer of Chantilly, and reserve the
cake in the refrigerator until ready to finish.

8. To finish, transfer the cake to a 9 inch (23 cm) gold board, ice
the cake with a 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) layer of Chantilly, and place in
the freezer for 1 hour.

9. Apply a layer of curd on the top of the cake, leaving about a
border 1/2 inch (1 cm) from the edge.

10. Dust about 8 to 12 fresh raspberries with snow icing and place
them around the border of the curd. Place three dusted raspberries
in the center of the cake.

11. Store under refrigeration.



This cake takes the classic flavor combination of chocolate and
hazelnuts and gives it a twist with unexpected texture. The
hazelnut japonaise is a surprising crunch in the mouth and a
refreshing palate cleanser balanced with the rich praline
buttercream. The chocolate cake is moist, and even though it calls
for a high-ratio chocolate cake, any chocolate cake can reasonably
be substituted.

Mise en Place

Components                   Kilogram   US decimal   Lb & Oz

High-ratio                     1 each       1 each    1 each
chocolate cake
Hazelnut japonaise disc        1 each       1 each    1 each
Apricot jam                     0.150        0.331         5
Praline buttercream             0.550        1.213        13
Plain buttercream               0.075        0.165         3
Chocolate shavings              0.100        0.220         4
Roasted hazelnuts              8 each       8 each    8 each
Cocoa powder                    0.050        0.110         2

Yield: 1 [8 inch (20 cm)] cake


1. Trim the japonaise disc to match the diameter of the cake.

2. Split the cake into three layers (only two will be used) and
place the bottom layer on a 9 inch (23 cm) cake board.

3. Apply a very thin layer of apricot jam to the cake, pressing it
into the crumb.

4. Spread praline buttercream over the jam at 1/4 inch (0.5 cm)

5. Place the Japonaise layer over the buttercream.

6. Spread more praline buttercream over the Japonaise layer at 1/4
inch (0.5 cm) thick.

7. Place another cake layer over the buttercream and apply another
thin layer of jam.

8. Mask the cake with a thin layer of praline buttercream and
reserve the cake in the refrigerator until ready to finish.

9. To finish, transfer the cake to a 9 inch (23 cm) gold board. Ice
the cake with a 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) layer of praline buttercream.

10. Pipe three rings of shells of marbled buttercream [3/a inch (2
cm) in height].

11. Pipe chocolate glaze between the rings of shells.

12. Place candied hazelnuts in the center of the shells.

13. Store in a refrigerated case or refrigerator.



This light cake, layered with Kirsch cake syrup, cherry cream,
chocolate whipped cream, sour cherries, and chocolate curls,
probably originated in the late 16th century in the Black Forest
region (Der Schwarzwald) of Germany. This region is known for its
sour cherries and Kirschwasser. Our version honors the combination
of chocolate chiffon, brandy-soaked cherries, and two flavors of
whipped cream, which has made this traditional German delicacy a
lasting classic.

Mise en Place

Components                   Kilogram   US decimal   Lb & Oz

Chocolate chiffon cake         1 each       1 each    1 each
Cake syrup with Kirsch          0.100        0.220         4
Cherry cream                    0.400        0.892        14
Chocolate creme Chantilly       0.200        0.446     7 1/8
Morello cherries              16 each      16 each   16 each
Creme Chantilly (decor)         0.075        0.165         3
Brandied cherries, drained     8 each       8 each    8 each
Chocolate shavings                 SQ           SQ        SQ

Yield: 1 [8 inch (20 cm)] cake

Cherry Cream Formula

Ingredients      Baker's %    Kilogram   US decimal

Whipping cream      100.00       1.465        3.229
Powdered sugar       21.00       0.308        0.678
Cherry puree         24.00       0.352        0.775
Gelatin leaf          2.20       0.032        0.071
Kirsch                6.40       0.094        0.207
Total               153.60       2.250        4.960

Ingredients        Lb & Oz        Test

Whipping cream    3  3 5/8    10 3/8 oz
Powdered sugar      10 7/8     2 1/4 oz
Cherry puree        12 3/8     2 1/2 oz
Gelatin leaf         1 1/8       1/4 oz
Kirsch               3 1/4       5/8 oz
Total             4 15 3/8         1 lb

Yield: 5 [8 inch (20 cm)] cakes
Test: 1 [8 inch (20 cm)] cake

Process, Cherry Cream

1. Whip the cream and powdered sugar to soft peaks and reserve.

2. Bloom the gelatin and warm the puree. Temper the two together.

3. Continue to whip the cream and slowly add the cherry mixture,
whipping to medium peaks.

4. Add the alcohol last and continue whipping just until proper
consistency for icing.

5. Use immediately.

Chocolate Creme Chantilly Formula

Ingredients           Baker's %   Kilogram   US decimal   Lb & Oz

Whipping cream           100.00      0.189        0.417     6 5/8
Powdered sugar            15.00      0.028        0.063     1
Atomized couverture       17.00      0.032        0.071     1 1/8
Total                    132.00      0.250        0.551     8 7/8

Process, Chocolate Creme Chantilly

Whip the cream, powdered sugar, and atomized couverture to medium


1. Split the cake into three layers and brush the bottom layer with
melted coating chocolate.

2. Once set, place the bottom layer on a 9 inch (23 cm) cake board.
Brush lightly with cake syrup.

3. Spread cherry cream on the cake 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) thick. Dot
with Morello cherries.

4. Place the next cake layer over the cream, and repeat the process
of adding syrup, cream, and cherries until the third layer has been
placed on the cake.

5. Mask the cake with a thin layer of cherry cream; reserve in the
refrigerator until ready to finish.

6. To finish, transfer the cake to a 9 inch (23 cm) gold board, and
ice the cake with a 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) layer of chocolate creme

7. Pipe rosettes of Chantilly blended with cherry cream [1 inch
(2.5 cm) in height] at eight portion markings. Top each rosette
with a dry, brandied cherry.

8. Place chocolate shavings in the center of the rosettes and dust
with powdered sugar or sucraneige.

9. Store in a refrigerated case or refrigerator.



Lush coffee buttercream is paired with light chocolate chiffon cake
in this addictive layer cake with classic appeal. A hint of apricot
jam pressed into the crumb of the cake adds a refreshing note of
acidity to balance the richness of the buttercream and chocolate
glaze in this delectable mocha cake.

Mise en Place

Components               Kilogram   US decimal   Lb & Oz

Chocolate chiffon cake    1 each      1 each      1 each
Cake syrup                 0.100       0.220           4
Apricot jam (optional)     0.150       0.331           5
Coffee buttercream         0.500       1.102      1    2
Chocolate glaze            0.250       0.551           9

Yield: 1 [9 inch (23 cm)1 cake


1. Split the cake into four layers.

2. Place the bottom layer on a 9 inch (23 cm) cake board.

3. Apply a light layer of cake syrup to the cake with a pastry

4. Next, apply a thin layer of jam with a palette knife (if using).

5. Spread a layer of buttercream 1/8 inch thick (0.5 cm).

6. Repeat this process three more times until the last layer has
been placed.

7. Mask the cake with a thin layer of buttercream, and reserve in
the refrigerator until ready to finish.

8. Ice the cake with a'/a inch (0.5 cm) layer of coffee
buttercream. Create a level top and next level the sides. Leave the
upsurge of buttercream to create a border to hold the glaze.

9. Pour the glaze onto the cake, refrigerate, and then transfer to
a gold board.

10. Store in a refrigerated case or refrigerator.



Sacher cake consists of two layers of dense chocolate cake with a
thin layer of apricot jam in the middle and dark chocolate icing on
the top and sides. It is traditionally eaten with whipped cream and
coffee, as most Viennese consider the Sachertorte too dry to be
eaten without.

Ingredients        Baker's %   Kilogram   US decimal

50% almond paste     333.00      0.768      1.694
Sugar #1             125.00      0.288      0.636
Eggs                 114.00      0.263      0.580
Egg yolks            208.00      0.480      1.058
Melted butter        100.00      0.231      0.509
Pastry flour         100.00      0.231      0.509
Cocoa powder         100.00      0.231      0.509
Egg whites           312.00      0.720      1.587
Sugar #2             125.00      0.288      0.636
Total               1517.00      3.500      7.715

Ingredients          Lb & Oz         Test

50% almond paste   1   11 1/8        5 3/8 oz
Sugar #1               10 1/8            2 oz
Eggs                    9 1/4        1 1/8 oz
Egg yolks          1      7/8        3 3/8 oz
Melted butter           8 1/8        1 5/8 oz
Pastry flour            8 1/8        2 5/8 oz
Cocoa powder            8 1/8        2 5/8 oz
Egg whites         1    9 3/8        5 1/8 oz
Sugar #2               10 1/8            2 oz
Total              7   11 1/2   1 lb 8 3/4 oz

Yield: 5 [8 inch (20 cm)] cakes

Test: 1 [8 inch (20 cm)] cake


1. Line the cake pans.

2. Warm the almond paste in a microwave.

3. In a mixing bowl with the paddle attachment, mix the almond
paste with the first sugar.

4. Add the egg yolks slowly, mix well, and then add the eggs
slowly. Mix for approximately 10 minutes.

5. Add the cooled melted butter, flour, and cocoa powder.

6. In a mixer with a whip attachment, whip the egg whites with the
second sugar to soft peaks.

7. Fold the whipped egg whites into the cake batter.

8. Deposit 1 lb 8 oz (700 g) into each cake pan.

9. Bake at 335[degrees]F (168[degrees]C) in a convection oven for
approximately 30 to 35 minutes.


1. Divide the cake into two equal layers.

2. Spread apricot jam between the two layers.

3. Cover the cake with chocolate glaze and pipe Sacher on the top
decoratively with cooled and thickened chocolate glaze.




According to food historians, our modern carrot cake most likely
descended from cakes made during the Middle Ages in Europe, when
sugar was scarce and carrots were used as sweeteners. Although they
were baked in the United States early in the 18th century, carrot
cakes do not appear in American cookbooks until well into the
1900s. They enjoyed a revival in the United States in the last
quarter of the 20th century, when they were perceived to be "health
food." In 2005, Food Network listed carrot cake, with its cream
cheese icing, as number five of the top five fad foods of the
1970s. The worthy carrot cake is now ready for yet another revival,
as evidenced by this deliciously updated, wholesome, and delectable

Ingredients          Baker's %   Kilogram   US decimal

Canola oil             50.60       0.477       1.051
Buttermilk             57.00       0.537       1.184
Sugar                 145.60       1.372       3.025
Vanilla                 5.10       0.048       0.106
Eggs                   50.60       0.477       1.051
Bread flour            75.90       0.715       1.577
Pastry flour           24.10       0.227       0.501
Baking soda             3.80       0.036       0.079
Cinnamon                1.50       0.014       0.031
Salt                    1.00       0.009       0.021
Pineapple, crushed     75.90       0.715       1.577
Carrots, grated        83.50       0.787       1.735
Coconut, shredded      24.10       0.227       0.501
Walnuts, toasted       38.00       0.358       0.789
Total                 636.70       6.000      13.228

Ingredients            Lb & Oz          Test

Canola oil            1      7/8         3 3/8 oz
Buttermilk            1        3         3 3/4 oz
Sugar                 3      3/8         9 5/8 oz
Vanilla                    1 3/4           3/8 oz
Eggs                  1      7/8         3 3/8 oz
Bread flour           1    9 1/4             5 oz
Pastry flour                   8         1 5/8 oz
Baking soda                1 1/4           1/4 oz
Cinnamon                     1/2           1/8 oz
Salt                         3/8           1/8 oz
Pineapple, crushed    1    9 1/4             5 oz
Carrots, grated       1   11 3/4         5 1/2 oz
Coconut, shredded              8         1 5/8 oz
Walnuts, toasted          12 5/8         2 1/2 oz
Total                13    3 5/8   2 lb 10 3/8 oz

Yield: 5 [8 inch (20 cm)] cakes

Test: 1 [8 inch (20 cm)] cake


1. Sift together the dry ingredients and reserve.

2. Combine the oil, buttermilk, vanilla extract, sugar, and eggs.

3. Slowly add the sifted dry ingredients to this mixture.

4. Fold in the pineapple, carrots, coconut, and nuts. Deposit into
papered and greased cake pans at 1 lb 5 oz (600 g) each.

5. Bake at 325[degrees]F (163[degrees]C) in a convection oven for
about 25 to 30 minutes.

Cream Cheese Icing Formula

Ingredients       Baker's %   Kilogram   US decimal

Unsalted butter      11.00      0.145      0.321
White chocolate      16.00      0.212      0.467
Cream cheese        100.00      1.323      2.916
Powdered sugar       51.00      0.675      1.487
Sour cream           11.00      0.145      0.321
Total               189.00      2.500      5.511

Ingredients        Lb & Oz         Test

Unsalted butter        5 1/8            1 oz
White chocolate        7 1/2        1 1/2 oz
Cream cheese      2   14 5/8        9 3/8 oz

Powdered sugar    1    7 3/4        4 3/4 oz
Sour cream             5 1/8            1 oz
Total             5    8 1/8   1 lb 1 5/8 oz

Yield: 5 [8 inch (20 cm)] cakes

Test: 1 [8 (20 cm)] cake

Process, Cream Cheese Icing

1. Melt the butter and chocolate together, taking caution to not
overheat. Reserve.

2. In a bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, blend the cream
cheese until smooth.

3. Add the sifted powdered sugar and mix well.

4. Add the butter and chocolate mixture; mix just until blended.

5. Mix in the sour cream just to incorporation.


1. Place a carrot cake on a cake board.

2. Spread 9 oz (250 g) of cream cheese icing on top of one layer of
the cake, using caution not to get any on the side of the cake.

3. Add a second cake layer and apply another 9 oz (250 g) of icing
on top, just to the edges of the cake.

4. If desired, garnish with traditional piped carrot decor.



This noble French dessert is constructed from several lush layers
of baked puff pastry and pastry cream. Traditional napoleons are
poured with white fondant and then chocolate fondant is piped
laterally and feathered throughout the white fondant. The more
contemporary approach here uses powdered sugar, which is "branded"
with a hot metal rod. Another modern method is to lightly dust the
puff pastry with sugar and then brulee it as one would a creme
brulee, producing a pleasantly shiny crisp crunch.

Mise en Place

Puff dough sheet, baked, 1 each Pastry cream for napoleon, 3 lb
47/8 oz (1.5 kg) Powdered sugar, SQ Yield: 1/3 sheet

Pastry Cream for Napoleon Formula

Ingredients    Baker's %   Kilogram   US decimal    Lb & Oz

Whole milk      100.00      0.920       2.028      2     1/2
Vanilla bean      Each      1           1              1
Cornstarch        8.00      0.074       0.162          2 5/8
Sugar            20.00      0.184       0.406          6 1/2
Egg yolks        20.00      0.184       0.406          6 1/2
Butter           15.00      0.138       0.304          4 7/8
Total           163.00      1.500       3.306      3   4 7/8


1. Scale the whole milk and vanilla beans into a stainless steel
pot and bring to a boil.

2. Meanwhile, scale the sugar and cornstarch into a bowl, and mix
to combine.

3. Scale the egg yolks into the sugar-starch mixture, and whisk
until just combined. Do not incorporate air.

4. After the milk comes to a boil, pour one-third of it onto the
egg yolk mixture, and stir to incorporate evenly.

5. Return this mixture to the pot, constantly stirring.

6. Continue to cook the custard while stirring until it has boiled
for 2 minutes.

7. Turn off the heat, add the butter and stir until mixed in

8. Pour the pastry cream into a clean, shallow container and cover
to the surface with plastic wrap.

9. Refrigerate immediately until needed.


1. Trim the edges of the puff dough sheet and reserve.

2. Cut the sheet into three strips lengthwise, about 4 inch (10 cm)
wide each.

3. Whip the pastry cream until smooth.

4. Apply half the pastry cream to the base strip and spread evenly.

5. Gently press the second strip of puff pastry onto the pastry

6. Apply the second layer of pastry cream and top with the last
strip of puff pastry.


1. Dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar.

2. Cut slices to the desired size [approximately 4 inches (10 cm) x
11/2 inches (4 cm)].

3. "Brand" the powdered sugar with a hot metal rod and garnish as



Traditionally served as a Twelfth Night cake, when it is baked with
a fava bean, this large round puff pastry tart with scalloped edges
usually contains almond cream, but has been open to many
interpretations since its origin in the city of Pithivier, in the
Orleans region of France. Some versions call for a filling of
crystallized fruits and a frosting of white fondant.

Mise en Place

Puff pastry with six single folds


1. Sheet the puff pastry down to 1/16 inch (2 mm) and relax the

2. For one finished Pithivier, cut two 8 inch (20 cm) diameter
circles and a strip 1/2 inch (1 cm) wide, long enough to
circumnavigate the circle.

3. Chill the pastry if it warms while handling.

4. Place one circle of dough on a parchment-lined sheet pan.
Lightly brush the edges with water and place the 1/2 inch (1 cm)
strips around the perimeter.

5. Pipe frangipane in the center of circle, spiraling out toward
the edge. Do not cover the strips. Optional: Place fruit over the

6. Brush the top of the strips lightly with water.

7. Top with the second piece of puff pastry; press lightly to
secure it to the moist sides.

8. To crimp the edges: Press down firmly with two fingers (index
and middle finger recommended). Using a nonsharp, straight edge
object such as the stem of a thermometer, draw the outside edge of
the dough between the two fingers. Move the fingers over one
finger's width (that is, one finger will be placed in the formed
indent). Proceed in this manner around the edge of the circle to
form a decorative, scalloped pattern.

9. Lightly egg wash the puff pastry top, and reserve at least 1/2
hour in the refrigerator.

10. Before baking, apply a second egg wash and lightly score the
traditional Pithivier pattern (curved radial lines that originate
at the center and reach almost to the crimped edge).

11. Vent the pastry with a center hole.

12. Bake at 350[degrees]F (177[degrees]C) in a convection oven for
about 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown on the sides.

13. Brush with apricot glaze (optional).



The jalousie consists of two long rectangular pieces of puff pastry
dough filled with almond cream or frangipane. The top crust is
lined with slices to create the appearance of a window shutter when
baked. The inclusion of fruits such as apples, pears, peaches, or
berries adds seasonal color, placed just atop the filling. After
baking, the pastry is often glazed and garnished with a shimmer of
pearl sugar. Jalousie is typically sold by the slice.

Mise en Place

Puff pastry with six single folds


1. Sheet the puff pastry to 1/16 inch (2 mm) and relax the dough.

2. Cut two wide strips of puff pastry, one with a width of 4 inches
(10 cm) will be used for the bottom and the other 41/2 inches (11.5
cm) wide will be used for the top.

3. In addition, cut enough 1/2 inch (1 cm) wide strips to run the
length of each of the sides of the wider strips of dough.

4. If the pastry warms while handling, place it in the refrigerator
to chill.

5. Place a 4 inch (10 cm) wide bottom strip of dough on a
parchment-lined sheet pan.

6. Lightly brush the sides with water.

7. Place a 1/2 inch (1 cm) strip along each side of the rectangle,
as if creating a frame.

8. Pipe frangipane down the center, between the two side strips,
using caution not to cover the strips. Optional: Place fruit over
the frangipane.

9. Brush the tops of the strips lightly with water.

10. Using the "shutter" cutter, cut the 41/2 inch (11.5 cm) wide
piece of puff pastry down the center.

11. Transfer to the assembled pastry and secure the top dough to
the moist sides.

12. Crimp the edges and seal with the stem of a thermometer.

13. Lightly egg wash, and reserve at least 1/2 hour in the

14. Egg wash again, and bake at 350[degrees]F (177[degrees]C) in a
convection oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown on the

15. Brush with apricot glaze and garnish with pearl sugar.



St. Honore cake is named for the French patron saint of bakers and
pastry chefs, Saint Honore, Bishop of Amiens. This sophisticated
confection is built from a gateau consisting of a layer of puff
pastry, which is then crowned with choux paste, and decorated with
delicate caramel-glazed choux balls. The extravagant presentation
of this traditional French cake is stunning to behold, perfect for
special occasions.


Traditional puff pastry Pate a choux Caramel Creme Chiboust Creme
Chantilly Yield: 5 [8 inch (20 cm)] cakes Test: 1 [8 inch (20 cm)]


1. Cut one 8 inch (20 cm) round circle of puff pastry dough for
each cake; dock with a dough docker.

2. Using a pastry bag with a round tip, pipe a circle of pate a
choux around the outside edge of the puff piece. Also, pipe a
loose, open spiral that starts at the outside and finishes in the
center, decreasing in height as it moves to the center.

3. Egg wash the puff pastry and pate a choux.

4. Bake at 350[degrees]F (177[degrees]C) in a convection oven until
golden brown.

5. On a parchment-lined sheet pan, pipe small pate a choux puffs.
Each cake will need 12 to 15 puffs.

6. Bake at 350[degrees]F (177[degrees]C) in a convection oven until
golden brown.

Creme Chiboust Formula

Ingredients    Baker's %   Kilogram   US decimal

Milk            100.00       1.069      2.358
Vanilla bean      Each       1          1
Sugar #1          5.00       0.053      0.118
Cornstarch       10.00       0.107      0.236
Egg yolks        24.00       0.257      0.566
Gelatin           1.75       0.019      0.041
Butter           10.00       0.107      0.236
Rum              10.00       0.107      0.236
Water            10.00       0.107      0.236
Sugar #2         33.00       0.353      0.778
Glucose           6.00       0.064      0.141
Egg whites       24.00       0.257      0.566
Total           233.75       2.500      5.511

Ingredients     Lb & Oz      Test

Milk           2   5 3/4   13 3/4 oz
Vanilla bean       1        1/2 each
Sugar #1           1 7/8      5/7 oz
Cornstarch         3 3/4    1 3/8 oz
Egg yolks          9        3 1/4 oz
Gelatin              3/4    3 sheets
Butter             3 3/4    1 3/8 oz
Rum                3 3/4    1 3/8 oz
Water              3 3/4    1 3/8 oz
Sugar #2          12 1/2    4 9/8 oz
Glucose            2 1/4      7/8 oz
Egg whites         9        3 1/4 oz
Total          5   8 1/8        2 lb

Process, Creme Chiboust

Make Pastry Cream

1. Bloom the gelatin in cold water, and reserve.

2. Scale the whole milk, vanilla beans, and half of the first sugar
into a stainless steel pot and bring to a boil.

3. Meanwhile, scale the other half of the first sugar and
cornstarch into a bowl, and mix to combine.

4. Scale the egg yolks into the sugar-starch mixture, and whisk
until just combined. Do not incorporate air.

5. Once the milk comes to a boil, temper one-third of it into the
egg yolk mixture; stir to incorporate evenly.

6. Return this mixture back to the pot, stirring constantly.

7. Continue to cook the custard while stirring until it has boiled
for 2 minutes.

8. Off heat, add the butter and bloomed gelatin; stir until mixed
in completely. Next, add the rum.

9. Pour the pastry cream into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to
prevent a skin from developing. Reserve and make the Italian

Make Italian Meringue

1. Heat the water, glucose, and second sugar until it reaches the
boiling point.

2. Wash down the sides of the pan with water.

3. When the sugar reaches 241[degrees]F (116[degrees]C), start
whipping the egg whites on medium speed.

5. When the sugar reaches softball stage [246[degrees]F
(119[degrees]C) to 250[degrees]F (121[degrees]C)], slowly pour it
into the whipping egg whites.

6. Whip until 104[degrees]F (40[degrees]C).

Finish Creme Chiboust

Once the desired temperatures are achieved, fold the warm meringue
into the pastry cream and use immediately.

Caramel Formula

Ingredients   Baker's %   Kilogram   US decimal    Lb & Oz      Test

Sugar          100.00      0.524       1.156      1   2 1/2   9 1/4 oz
Glucose         40.00      0.210       0.462          7 3/8   3 3/4 oz
Water           33.00      0.173       0.382          6 1/8       3 oz
Total          173.00      0.907       2.000      2   0           1 lb

Process, Caramel

1. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, glucose, and water.

2. Cook over medium heat until the sugar mixture reaches the
caramel stage and has a golden brown color.

3. Remove the caramel from the heat, and shock the pan in cold
water to stop the cooking.

Assembly and Finishing

1. Fill the pate a choux puffs with creme Chiboust and reserve.

2. When the puff pastry is cooled, pipe the creme Chiboust over the
base using a plain tip leaving the puffed edges of pate a choux

3. Using the caramel, seal the custard-filled cream puff all around
the pate a choux edges.

4. Using a pastry bag with a St. Honore tip, pipe creme Chantilly
over the creme Chiboust in a decorative pattern.



Paris-Brest was created in 1891 when an industrious Parisian pastry
cook recognized an opportunity in owning a patisserie situated
along the route of a bicycle race (precursor to the Tour de France)
from Paris to Brest. Filled with creme Paris-Brest and garnished
with sliced almonds and powdered sugar, Paris-Brest are baked in
the shape of bicycle wheels in honor of the race's cyclists. Today
this winning confection continues to tempt customers in pastry
shops throughout France.


Pate a choux (Paris-Brest) 4 inch (10 cm) diameter

Sliced almonds

Granulated sugar

Creme Paris-Brest

Powdered sugar

Process, Pate h Choux (Paris-Brest)

1. Prepare the pate a choux, and load into a piping bag fitted with
a star tip.

2. Pipe 4 inch (10 cm) diameter circles of choux.

3. Lightly egg wash, garnish with sliced almonds, and sprinkle with
granulated sugar.

4. Bake as for pate a choux.

5. Reserve until needed.

Creme Paris-Brest Formula

Ingredients     Baker's %   Kilogram   US decimal

Pastry cream     100.00       2.057      4.535
Praline paste     25.00       0.514      1.134
Butter            50.00       1.028      2.267
Total            175.00       3.600      7.936

Ingredients      Lb & Oz       Test

Pastry cream    4    8 1/2    8 1/8 oz
Praline paste   1    2 1/8        6 oz
Butter          2    4 1/4   12 1/8 oz
Total           7   15          3/8 oz

Yield: 30 [4 inch (10 cm)] diameter Paris-Brest

Test: 10 [4 inch (10 cm)] diameter Paris-Brest

Process, Creme Paris-Brest

1. For best results, pastry cream, praline paste, and butter should
be at room temperature [65[degrees]F (18[degrees]C) to 70[degrees]F

2. In a mixer with the paddle attachment, smooth the praline paste
and add the soft butter, and mix until incorporated.

3. Mix the pastry cream until smooth and then fold the
butter/praline mixture into it.


1. Split the choux pastry in half and pipe the cream filling onto
the base with a star tip.

2. Place the top over the piped cream and dust with powered sugar.

3. Store under refrigeration.



The Baba Savarin is a yeast dough baked in a ring mold and soaked
in rum syrup. The center hole can contain pastry cream, creme
Chantilly, or fresh fruit. It may have been invented in the 1600s
by Polish King Leszczynski, who soaked his stale Kugelhopf in rum
and named the resulting dessert after Ali Baba, the hero of the
king's favorite book, A Thousand and One Nights. Many years later,
a Parisian pastry maker decided to experiment with the original
baba recipe, changing the shape of the ring mold and adjusting
other details, such as leaving out the raisins. The culmination of
his efforts was the rich and tasty Baba Savarin. Baba Bouchon is a
similar pastry, but in the shape of a cork.

Ingredients         Baker's %    Kilogram   US decimal

Bread flour          100.00        1.916       4.223
Water                 44.00        0.843       1.858
Eggs                  30.00        0.575       1.267
Yeast (instant)        2.40        0.046       0.101
Salt                   2.40        0.046       0.101
Sugar                  8.00        0.153       0.338
Melted butter         30.00        0.575       1.267
Macerated raisins     20.00        0.383       0.845
Total                236.80        4.536      10.000

Ingredients           Lb & Oz       Test

Bread flour          4    3 5/8   13 1/2 oz
Water                1   13 3/4        6 oz
Eggs                 1    4 1/4        4 oz
Yeast (instant)           1 5/8      3/8 oz
Salt                      1 5/8      3/8 oz
Sugar                     5 3/8    1 1/8 oz
Melted butter        1    4 1/4        4 oz
Macerated raisins        13 1/2    2 3/4 oz
Total               10    0            2 lb

0.040 kg (1.5 ounce) per piece for 1 individual portion,
0.300 kg (10.7 ounce) per piece for 1 entremets

Yield: about 110 individual babas

Test: about 22 individual babas

Process, Baba Savarin

1. Combine the flour, water, eggs, yeast, salt, and sugar and mix
with the dough hook.

2. Mix for 5 to 7 minutes after incorporation to cleanup stage,
using medium-high speed.

3. Once the dough is developed, add the melted butter on slow

4. Next add the raisins.

5. After mixing, divide and shape the dough into loose balls.

6. Deposit the dough into appropriate molds halfway up the mold,
and let ferment 25 to 30 minutes.

7. The dough is ready to bake once it reaches the top of the mold.

8. Bake at 400[degrees]F (205[degrees]C) in a convection oven until
golden brown.

Baba Syrup Formula

Ingredients      Baker's %   Kilogram   US decimal

Water              100.00      3.024       6.667
Sugar               50.00      1.512       3.333
Vanilla bean         Each      6           6
Lemons, zested       Each      3           3
Dark rum         To taste
Total               75.00      4.536      10.000

Ingredients        Lb & Oz         Test

Water             6   10 5/8   2 lb 3 1/4 oz
Sugar             3    5 3/8   1 lb 1 5/8 oz
Vanilla bean           6              2 each
Lemons, zested         3              1 each
Dark rum                            To taste
Total            10    0       3 lb 4 7/8 oz

Process, Baba Syrup

1. Boil the water, sugar, vanilla, and zest.

2. Add the rum when slightly warm.


1. Soak the babas until no longer dry.

2. Garnish with creme Chantilly and fruits.




Layers of chocolate meringue and dark chocolate whipped cream are
the harmonious elements of this unusual cake, notable for its
decoration of miniature chocolate meringue "logs."


Chocolate meringue

Concord cream

Powdered sugar

Chocolate Meringue Formula

Ingredients          Baker's %     Kilogram      US decimal

Egg whites              100.00       0.933          2.058
Sugar                   100.00       0.933          2.058
Powdered sugar          100.00       0.933          2.058
Dark cocoa powder        12.00       0.112          0.247
Cocoa powder              8.80       0.082          0.181
Total                   320.80       2.995          6.602

Ingredients           Lb & Oz        Test

Egg whites           2    7/8        6 5/8 oz
Sugar                2    7/8        6 5/8 oz
Powdered sugar       2    7/8        6 5/8 oz
Dark cocoa powder        4             3/4 oz
Cocoa powder            2 7/8          5/8 oz
Total                6  9 5/8   1 lb 5 1/8 oz

Yield: 5 [8 inch (20 cm)] cakes
Test: 1 [8 inch (20 cm)] cake

Process, Chocolate Meringue

1. Preheat the oven to 250[degrees]F (122[degrees]C).

2. Sift together the powdered sugar and cocoa powders. Set aside.

3. In a mixing bowl with the whip attachment, whip the egg whites
and the granulated sugar to stiff peaks.

4. Fold in the sifted powdered sugar and cocoa powders.

5. Using a pastry bag with a large round pastry tip, pipe the
meringue into 7 inch (18 cm) round disks, and pipe logs for the top
and side of the cake.

6. Bake until the meringue is dry to the touch.

Concord Cream Formula

Ingredients          Baker's %     Kilogram      US decimal

Cream                   100.00       2.952          6.508
64% chocolate            35.00       1.033          2.278
Gelatin leaf              0.50       0.015          0.033
Total                   135.50       4.000          8.818

Ingredients           Lb & Oz        Test

Cream                6  8 1/8    1 lb 4 7/8 oz
64% chocolate        2  4 1/2         7 1/4 oz
Gelatin leaf              1/2           1/8 oz
Total                8 13 1/8    1 lb 12 1/4oz

Yield: 5 [8 inch (20 cm)] cakes
Test: 1 [8 inch (20 cm)] cake

Process, Concord Cream

1. Bloom the gelatin in cold water and reserve.

2. Bring the cream to a boil, and then cool to 180[degrees]F
(83[degrees]C). Add the gelatin.

3. Next, pour the cream over the chocolate and form an emulsion.

4. Cool the mixture completely and allow to rest in the
refrigerator for at least 12 hours.


1. Before assembly, whip the concord cream to medium peaks.

2. In an 8 inch (20 cm) cake ring, place a disk of chocolate

3. Using a pastry bag with a round pastry tip, fill the ring or pan
with a thin layer of concord cream.

4. Place the next layer of chocolate meringue on top of the cream.
Add enough concord cream to fill the ring or pan.

5. Smooth and level the cream with a pastry spatula.

6. Refrigerate the cake for at least 2 hours.

7. To unmold, warm the cake ring with a torch and lift it off.

8. To finish, break the meringue logs into pieces that are slightly
longer than the height of the cake. Arrange vertically around the
side of the cake, lightly pressing the flat side of the meringue
into the chocolate cream.

9. Cover the top of the cake with broken meringue pieces, mounding
in the center.

10. Dust the top with powdered sugar.

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Title Annotation:Part 1: PART 4 PASTRY
Author:Suas, Michel
Publication:Advanced Bread and Pastry
Date:Jan 1, 2009
Previous Article:Chapter 16 Mousse.
Next Article:Chapter 17: Classic and modern cake assembly.

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