Friday 6 March 2009

If you go down to the (green) woods today you're sure of a big dacquoise

Today (in between the stages of the 6hr Brioche challenge, see post above) we polished off another large entremets called a Bois Vert ('green wood'). This is a nutty pistachio job, consisting of, from the top down:

1. White chocolate decor
2. Clear gel glaze
3. Wood effect in cocoa cigarette paste
4. Pistachio sponge imbibed with kirsch syrup
5. Pistachio crème mousseline dotted with morello cherries (preserved in Kirsch)
6. Hazelnut dacquoise
7. Hazelnut mousse
8. Hazelnut dacquoise

Quite a beast. Here are some snaps, starting with two wood effect combs. The lines are simply portions of concentric circles so the wood effect they generate is quite unexpected.

You place your paste at one end of a baking sheet and drag the comb through it while gently rocking it back and forth in the same plane. It's pretty tricky to make work. This is what you get:

The pistachio sponge is spread directly on top (after the choco-paste is frozen) and the two cooked together. The dacquoise sheets are also separately cooked on baking trays while the mousses are made, then the whole thing is assembled, upside down since the wood print is on the bottom. Here is a shot of the glazed cake before being chopped:

And after chopping and variable decor:

This is the 6 person issue as it might be seen by, say, a passing thrush:

Here is an individual portion with non-classic decor. In fact, the decor above would not be appropriate for the CAP exam when we are advised to go traditional and fancy to show off our cornet skills. Unfortunately, mine are yet to be discovered.

I think the thing looks pretty nice and all the component parts are really yum. But IMHO the whole simply does not work. The pistachio and hazelnut work against each other and the lovely alcoholic cherries get lost in the stodgy mass. This is a typical style of French entremets but it doesn't whisk my egg. Which is unfortunate, since it took a bloody long time to make.

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