le monte cristo

This was the second cake I worked on, and it involved six separate elements: sacher chocolate cake, pastry cream, butter cream (combined into a mousseline coffee cream), coffee ganache, and trablit syrup.

This recipe also diverged the furthest from the printed version. By way of example, I am going to give you the cake and the mousseline procedures, as written and as performed.

Sacher chocolate cake:
650g marzipan at 50% (use almond paste)
400g icing sugar (use powdered sugar)
320g yolks (note: one yolk is ~15g)
150g butter
150g cocoa
75g flour
75g cornflour (use cornstarch)
480g egg whites
70g sugar

Recipe as printed:
In an electric mixer, whip the marzipan with the icing sugar. Add the yolks and the whole eggs gradually, beating until smooth. Whisk the eggs whites and and sugar to a firm snow, then fold a part of this into the marzipan mixture, then the melted butter, and the sifted mixture of flour, cornflour, cocoa, and finally the remainder of the egg whites. Spread out onto 60cm x 40cm silpat sheets at the rate of 650g/tray.

Recipe as performed:
Using the paddle, beat the almond paste at high speed until smooth. Lower speed and add the yolks one by one, beating until incorporated before adding the next. Change to the whisk attachment. Beat the whole eggs and sugar into the yolk-almond paste until uniform. While this is happening, use another mixer to beat the egg whites and sugar to firm peaks. By hand, fold this into the egg-almond-sugar mixture. Then fold in all the remaining sifted dry ingredients. Then fold in all the butter. Spread onto one silpat-lined sheet tray.

Mousseline coffee cream:
700g pastry cream
1200g buttercream
60g trablit (coffee essence)

Recipe as printed:
In the beater, with a whisk, flavor the pastry cream with the trablit, then, in second gear, incorporate the butter cream bit by bit.

Recipe as performed:
Whip the pastry cream by hand. Whip the trablit and buttercream by hand. Fold buttercream and pastry cream together, VERY CAREFULLY, by hand. Work the mixture as little as humanly possible.

(Chef's comment: "If you put this in the mixer, at all, I guarantee that it will break.")

Even the pastry cream and buttercream procedures as written do not mention tempering the egg yolks (they say "pour scalded milk over the creamed yolks and sugar") and so basically ask you to scramble your eggs.

Lesson: careful with recipes.

The cake turned out well, with two layers of chocolate-almond cake, a layer of the coffee mousseline, and a thick layer of coffee chocolate ganache. The sheet cake had to be skinned and leveled by hand, which was a terrifying procedure, but in the end my layers looked better than I'd expected they would. The whole cake was auctioned off for charity and the small slices were sold in the pastry case.


Jay said...

It all looks so good. Where can I get it.

Adina said...

Hi, I have a question, you initialy specified the ingridients as 320g yolks (note: one yolk is ~15g) and 480g egg whites but when you descbribed the recipe you mentioned whole eggs, could you please explain?

lana said...

Adina- you're right. Unfortunately my recipe book for this is across the country and I can't check for the quantity of whole eggs. I apologize for the omission.