For every level of our Diplôme de Pâtisserie we are given a new recipe folder. On the front cover of each folder there is a different photo – Basic is Madeleines, Intermediate is a Passionfruit Entremet and Superior is some sort of strawberry cake with never-ending vertical layers of Biscuit Joconde.
The only difference between these photos is that we were given and taught the recipes for the first two front covers – Madeleines and Passionfruit Entremet. But that mysterious Superior front cover strawberry cake… well, lets just say it’s been staring at my face since I received the folder early January. And no recipe for it. What a tease.
My friend Stef’s* surprise birthday dinner party was held at my place. As usual, I saw this as the perfect opportunity to bake. A cake. That has been. Bugging me. For the past. 2 months.
* Stef: has similar foot steps like me: Malaysian Chinese Australian, left her job, came to Paris to study at Ferrandi, now a Pastry Chef, lover of food, almost the same age, loves chestnuts… you get the picture. We now call each other ‘Twin’ because it’s weird calling out your own name.
So anyway, bake I did. And create my own version I did too. From this day onwards, I hereby declare this cake to be called: “Eternity”.
No, wait. Let’s give it a French touch.
Éternité. Gâteau de Éternité. Ooh la la! The yum factor has already pumped up 10 notches!
Thanks to my friend Cammy, who came to visit me from London suggested to throw in the trimmings. Before filling it with Wild Strawberry Mousse and topping it with glazed strawberry halves, I arranged the trimmings so that with each serving there’d be a small ‘base of eternity’ too.
The layers of Biscuit Joconde was taken from my school’s Opéra cake recipe then I spread a generous lathering of home made* Mixed Berry Jam, sandwich’d it together, sliced and arranged it inside a plastic-strip lined cake ring.
* “home made” = made in our class practical
Result: the layers of Biscuit Joconde was a little dry and the strawberry mousse wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked it to be. Luckily, my lovely friend Gabriella* who is studying Pâtisserie at Ferrandi, is coming over this Thursday to help me recreate and improve my Gâteau de Éternité.
* Gabriella and I randomly met at a café in 2012. Apparently, when she overheard my familiar Aussie accent and saw my Le Cordon Bleu notes she felt compelled to speak to me about my whole LCB experience. Talk about picking up! 😉 (apparently I have this reaction on people… especially on hairy, beard’y homeless men on London busses. I was visiting Cammy in summer 2012. Everyone was warm and sticky and I was wearing shorts. When the bus turned a corner, I felt a clammy face and prickly beard on my exposed thighs. My reaction was a girly squeal before I jumped on top of Cam next to me. Cam, I included this story for your entertainment).
I’m very grateful to have been ‘picked up’ by the gorgeous Gabriella, who constantly reminds me of bundles of sunshines. Through her I met Twin, both their partners and other friends. Ever since, we’ve had some of the bestest times and most delicious feasts that have made my Parisian life so memorable. Friends and moments like these tie in perfectly with the name of my new gâteau. Éternité.