Gâteaux de Voyage
Friday, October 28, 2011

Sorry again for the delayed post! Art homework had occupied my evenings earlier this week. We had to create a floor plan for a kitchen, a holiday cake, a collection of 6 macarons, sketches for our chocolate sculpture, and our final design (to scale) for our chocolate sculpture! We won’t be working on the chocolate sculptures till January but since it was our last art class, we had to finalize our designs now.

So back to baking. On Monday and Tuesday, we made a feast of gâteaux de voyage which translates literally to travelling cakes. They are basically variations of pound cake. Since they can keep for up to a week at room temperature, I guess that’s why they’re called travelling cakes.

Just like last week, we each made 2-3 recipes on our own. I’m not sure if it was the recipe or the lack of guidance, but we ended up with some interesting cakes. We had some that didn’t rise and ended up too wet and dense, and some that wouldn’t stop bubbling out of the pans (due to an error in our book on the amount of baking powder).

Here's my large tray of brownies. Having made many brownie recipes before, I thought this one was just alright. I got a nice crackly, shiny crust though!

And here's my brownie after being glazed and decorated.

Next, I made pain d'épices, a french spice bread. It's similar to gingerbread but more dry and less sweet. It tasted a bit bland to me but maybe it's because it's a bread and not a cake. It's made with rye flour, a lot of honey, and spices.

Pain d'épices, glazed and decorated.

Next, I made gâteaux au fromage blanc (french cheesecake) with a tart shell crust.

Since Philadelphia cream cheese isn't as common in France, they use fromage blanc to make their cheesecakes. It's a very light cheese that has the texture of yogurt and tastes like a more pungent sour cream. Here's my filled cheesecake before entering the oven.

The completed gâteaux au fromage blanc. It's very light and airy compared to a New York cheesecake, and you could really taste the cheese in it even though the fromage blanc is rather light. Maybe the flavour of the cheese will mellow out after cooling and sitting in the fridge overnight.

Pain de Gênes, an almond cake made with a lot of almond paste (50% of the recipe).

Extra tall gâteaux au citron (lemon loaf).

Gâteaux aux fruits (fruit cake). I don't like brightly coloured candied fruits so I wasn't a big fan of this one.

Date crumble cake.

Olive oil and fruit cake.

The carrot cake that didn't rise. We stacked 3 cake layers together.

Crêpes. For some reason, French people don't mind eating these cold. I see them for sale in bakeries quite often, with just butter and sugar inside.

 

Here's all our efforts over 2 days.

Here are some of the cakes that didn’t make it.

Overflowing cake.

Another overflowing cake. This one was my friend's pain d'épices. There was probably had an error in the recipe. It said 40g of baking powder, probably should've been 4g.

Just to be on the safe side, we stacked 3 trays on top of the next batch of pain d'épices in addition to adjusting the baking powder to 4g.

 

Well? Let me know what you think. Write me a comment below!