Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Not as Simple as Apple Pie

With the holidays happening, and parties to attend, I was compelled to try something I'd been wanting to attempt for a while... Bouchon Bakery's Palet D'Or, the invention of Thomas Keller and his pastry chef, Sebastien Rouxel.  I've got that cookbook, after all, thanks to Eric, and I've sort of been working my way through it, though I've made pitstops to go back to awesome recipes I've already done.  (I've done the better nutters twice, the chocolate, praline, and cocoa nib tart four times, and the caramel nut tart and chocolate chunk and chip cookies more times than I can remember).

To be honest, they're all awesome.  Every single one has been a hit.  The only miss was really last summer when I redid the apricot flan tart as a peach flan tart and it wasn't absolutely stellar (with apricots, it was amazing as usual).  I think the peaches were too wet compared to apricots, and it made the flan a little weird.  In order for Eric to try it, though, I had to alter it - he's allergic to apricots, poor guy.

Anyway, back to the Palet D'Or.  Literally:  gold disc.

In real life?  A rich two-layer devil's food cake with thin layers of melted (and re-hardened) semisweet chocolate, rich chocolate cream and rich chocolate ganache glaze.  Lots of chocolate.  Lots of heavy cream.  Lots of egg.  A little sugar.

And gold leaf.

Holy crow.

I actually ordered gold leaf from a supplier in Syracuse, and I'm glad I did.  While it's obviously not necessary for anything but presentation, it just really completes the look and makes it a showpiece.

So, this is what is pictured in the cookbook.

And I think I did a damned fine job, especially for my first try.

I only had a round platter in white, which I wanted for contrast, so to avoid the whole thing looking like a weird eyeball, Eric suggested the plating idea.  It was such a hit at the party!  More of a hit, though?

How it tasted.  Look at this.

Not the prettiest picture with all the remnants strewn about, but gorgeous to anyone who tasted it.  It was amazing.  No other word for it.  So amazing that Eric, who's generally not a fan of chocolate cake nearly lost his eyes when they bugged out of his head while trying it.  So amazing that our friends, the party hosts, removed the piece that was left to keep fro themselves and give me back the platter when I was leaving.

Nothing like people appreciating your food when you bake.  Nothing at all like it.

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