For the final class of this course, we made a tall cake, with brownie layers sandwiching two kinds of cream and strawberries. First up, the brownies. We melted dark chocolate and butter in a saucepan, then whisked in granulated sugar to make a sandy brown mixture. In the mixer, we beat it with a paddle while adding the eggs and Grand Marnier, then a sifted flour and cocoa mixture. The batter went into 4 lined cake tins in very shallow layers.
The next component was the garnish, which in our handouts, said chards. I kept thinking of some bizarre vegetable that tasted like chocolate. We made the shards by drizzling white chocolate on a piece of parchment, letting it set, then spreading warm couverture chocolate over it using an offset spatula. A final drizzle with white chocolate completed the two-sided decoration which was set aside to harden.
The Grand Marnier cream and chocolate creams were simple, just flavoured whipped cream set with gelatin. I haven't used this bitter orange-flavoured liqueur before but its intense citrus flavour was quite noticeable. Our white cream was overwhipped so it split: you can see a bit of the graininess in the rosettes on top.
For assembly, we piped the chocolate cream on a brownie disc, then layered sliced strawberries on top. A bit more chocolate cream helped to anchor the next cake layer on which we piped rosettes of the Grand Marnier cream. We broke the shards into pieces and propped them between the strawberries in a semi-random but quasi-artistic fashion. I also cut chocolate triangles to place around the base of the cake but they didn't adhere too well. All the tasters pronounced this cake to be wonderful. The Grand Marnier cream was a winner, as was the dense brownie layers contrasting with sweet strawberries.
Other images from George Brown students here and here.