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It has been a few months since I started selling cakes online. There were ups and downs, of course. Sometimes when I saw other professional chefs I got scared, I lost my confidence. The business itself wasn’t in my plan at first. I’m young, I still want to learn a lot more but not everything you want could be bought with money. People keep telling me that I’m young, that I still have a lot of time, that it’s easier for me to learn stuff. However, I think they’re wrong, even if you’re young, does not mean you can just relax, does not mean you learn better, I think someone learns better when there’s willingness, when there’s passion.
I’ve been selling typical indonesian cakes and they are totally different from french patisserie. Sometimes I felt that the skills that I’ve learned before are just useless because I no longer used them. I was really upset but I know not everything goes as plan and you just have to make the best out of it. I started looking for ingredients and equipments for french patisserie (really difficult to find). I made an entremet, my favourite dish when I was in school. It felt amazing and I fell in love with it all over again.
One day one of my loyal customers ordered a Valrhona Opera Cake. It has so many memories, it was indescribable. When I made it, it reminded me of the reasons why I did all of these, I love to cook, it’s my forever love. I realize I have to fight my fear of other people’s capability of creating things that are so much better me. Do what you can do best and keep learning. A dream is like the moon and the stars. Many people know it exists but not many people believe that they could actually get there, not many people are willing to work that hard to get there. In the past people would think that it’s not possible to reach the moon, but eventually people found a way to get there and actually landed on the moon, now the impossible becomes possible. I’m here believing that I would get there someday, I would try my very best and if I didn’t reach it, that’s okay too,I know something better would come along to those who work hard enough for their dreams. Now I really understand what “nothing is impossible” means.
First of all, MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015! Sorry for being away for quite some time, I’ve had a few problems but now I’m back with more stories. This wedding cake was made by my mom. Isn’t she talented ? The tall cake wasn’t real inside, there were styrofoam underneath the gum paste. The wedding decoration was 100% made of gum paste. Everything was made from scratch. The small cake on the right, however, was real. It was a very delicious Surabaya Lapis Cake or in Indonesia we call them Lapis Surabaya or Spiku.
The cake has two layers of sponge cake and one layer of chocolate sponge cake in the middle. Traditionally, there was a layer of strawberry jam between each layers. A lot of eggs (especially egg yolks) and butter are needed to make this cake, so imagine how soft the texture and how rich the flavor is going to be. This is one of my favorite cakes ! Find the recipe here:
The day before the graduation, Chef Paul (chef de cuisine) asked superior students to compete for one last time. We were given the opportunity to go to the fridge and freezer and take any items that we wanted. We were divided into 2 groups to make 6 plates of mains and 6 plates of desserts. There were supposed to be 6 people in the competition but 2 couldn’t make it so only 4 people left ,2 in each group. 1st group: Kaylin & I ; 2nd group: Jonathan & Hood
The photo below shows Kaylin’s and my dishes. We made sirloin steak with carrot & squash puree and lentils cooked with duck confit.
The desserts are mini baked Alaska, with chocolate cremeux, caramel sauce, raspberry coulis and freeze dried raspberries.
The winner was announced on my graduation day and I will post some pictures of the night of my graduation.
And yes Kaylin and I did win the cuisine cup. I was so grateful because not only that I finished the course, I finished the course proudly, I was one of the top 2 students in Patisserie class as well as Cuisine class. That really was a dream come true. After everything that I’ve been through, this was and still is the greatest moment in my life.
This week I prepared some plated desserts using the same components in every plate but different designs. The dessert is a lychee mousse on top of the hazelnut dacquoise garnished with tuile, meringue, tempered chocolate work, raspberry coulis and mango & passionfruit coulis. They tasted amazing but on this lesson I focused on the plating. This lesson was really amazing because you can see everyone’s creativity in their plates and they all looked different. I plated these 4 desserts, I wasn’t too happy with all of them as I was running out of time but they were not bad, yes ? So which one is your favourite ? 🙂
Last week’s entremet week ! One of the entremets that I made is chocolate-vanilla entremet. This entremet was made of chocolate mousse, flourless chocolate biscuit and vanilla crème brulée insert. Yup, crème brulée as an insert. The amazing thing about the entremet is I used Varlhona chocolate for the chocolate mousse. For those who have tried Varlhona dark chocolate, you know that Varlhona chocolate has a unique flavour, I think it is more fruity than normal dark chocolate that we eat. The other interesting thing is that I used tonka bean instead of vanilla beans for the creme brulee, which looks like this:
It doesn’t have that strong vanilla fragrance, it has a unique flavour and you can smell the different spices all combined in one bean. It’s really interesting for me because back home I didn’t really use tonka beans.
If you’re wondering about the glaze, we used a spray gun (chocolate milk flavoured) to glaze the cake so it has that unique texture. This is a picture of my chef, Chef Sebastien demonstrated how to use the spray gun. It was pretty cool. Follow my Instagram: nananadyas, to see the video of the demonstration.
This entremet was also garnished with cocoa nib nougatine and shiny chocolate glaze.
Let’s rewind a little. A few weeks ago we had an entremet week, a week when we made entremets. I love those lessons, we learned different types of products that we can assemble as an entremet. The photo above is a chilled cheesecake entremet, layered with scottish shortbread and raspberry gelee insert, glazed with raspberry mirror glaze. It’s a really simple entremet and yet really delicious. It’s almost like a normal chilled cheesecake with but with a little surprise in the middle which is the raspberry gelee insert.
I also made a small version of the entremet (photo on the left) sooo cute and also can be used as plated dessert. I garnished the top of the cake with tempered chocolate which some have been coloured using a coloured cocoa butter. It’s quite a challange for me to work with the cocoa butter, I hope I could do it perfectly by the end of the course.
Okay, so far, this is the most amazing lesson in Superior class. I mean those chocolate works look awesome, yes ? I love this lesson so much, even though I was sick during the practical ugh but I did a pretty good job and I was really happy with the products that I made. I made egg sculpture, chocolate box and bonbonniere. It’s really amazing because all that you see in these photos are made of chocolate. Yup, 100% chocolate, including every small parts in the egg sculpture. Pretty amazing, huh?
I’m really glad because this is my first chocolate sculpture that I’ve ever made and it turned out pretty good, and I have to temper the chocolate by myself which is quite a challenge for me as I have to keep an eye on the temperature of the chocolate. However, the results are amazing. The bonbonniere that you see (the chocolate with ganaches fillings) has different ganaches flavours. They are raspberry ganache, pistachio ganache, milk chocolate infused star anise ganache and they are amazing. Absolutely delicious. And a big thanks to my awesome chef for teaching me , Chef Sebastien !
Behind the scene, I told him that he was too tall, so he laughed, squatted and took another picture with me 😛