Mogador Cake and Pear Charlotte

My friend Yvonne took a summer course in French pastry at the famous French culinary institute Le Cordon Bleu Paris. And we got together to make some of the beautiful classic cakes -- Mogador cake and pear charlotte. A Mogador cake has a chocolate sponge cake bottom, imbibed (a culinary term I just learned, meaning saturated/soaked) with raspberry syrup, topped with a layer of raspberry jam, then a layer of chocolate mousse, and finally a glossy raspberry jam glaze. A pear charlotte is mainly a pear mousse cake, consisting of whipped cream, pureed poached pears, and dissolved gelatin and surrounded by freshly baked lady fingers. We made several mistakes and learned some interesting baking lessons. The Mogador cake came out tasting and looking great regardless of the errors. We were afraid the pear mousse was not going to solidify, so we reconstructed it into a multi-ramekin dessert. Important notes:

1. The sponge cake batter for the Mogador cake required first whisking eggs and sugar over a waterbath until ~120F, followed by more whisking at room temperature to double its volume and to cool. I made the mistake of tripling/quardrupling its volume (practically its volumizing capacity) while heating it to 120F. With the air bubbles already so warm and expanded, they failed to let the cake rise properly in the oven, and the top of it shrank miserably after cooling. Fortunately we only need about 3/4" of the cake, and the bottom part didn't shrink as much.

2. Perhaps also due to the overbeating, the cake was somewhat lumpy tasting. But imbibing pretty much took care of that. It also expanded the cake a little bit, making up a bit for the shrinking.

3. Jumbo eggs and large eggs do differ quite a bit, especially if the recipe uses more than 1 egg.

4. Valrhona chocolate costs ~$5.50 per 200 grams, which was well worth it.

5. Pear liqueur would have made a world's difference for the pear charlotte. No skimping next time.

Comments

erica said…
Is that the rasberry cake Charles was talking about? It looks good! But sounds like a lot of work though.

So what are you making for tonight? ;) Remember to take photos...since I can't be there. :(

Happy New Year!
Catherine said…
how about the mousse? any tricks?

I've only tried making chocolate mousse once and I could not get the chocolate and eggwhite to mix well... so it turned out looking like 豬血糕~~~ haha~~

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