Making the European Cake
By Présidence française de l'Union européenne - Rédaction du site
A NEW CAKE BAKED TO THE TASTE OF THE 15 MEMBER STATES!
Within the framework of the communications campaign, commenced on the occasion of the French Presidency of the European Union, a gastronomic competition has been launched: "The European".
Each country has its own culinary heritage and, more specifically, its own pastries: for example, France has Upside-Down Apple Pie, Germany Black Forest Cake, Great Britain Fruit Pudding, Austria Apple Strudel, Portugal Whey-Cream Pastry, Italy Cof-fee Cream, etc.
So why not a European cake, a symbol of European taste and flavours?
This competition, open to young European students in French pastry schools, began in the month of July 2000. It was set up by the Eurotaste Association, which reunites 3,000 European chefs and which has the main purpose of ensuring the respect and promotion of national culinary traditions in Europe. After a pre-selection by Bernard Fournier, President of France Eurotaste and President of the jury, the final applicants presented today their creation before a jury composed of 15 great European chefs.
In December at the time of the Nice Summit, the jury chose as winner: Mr. Julien Kientzler (Dalloyau School).
The 15 great European chefs also met in order to discuss the theme of alimentary se-curity, to which European Union citizens are particularly sensitive and which France has made one of the priorities of its presidency.
RECIPE FOR THE EUROPEAN CAKE
Ingredients (to serve 6-8 people) include- 220 g ground almonds- 355 g chocolate- 40 g cocoa- 255 g granulated sugar- 170 g icing sugar- 20 g Demerara sugar- 6 eggs- 30 g butter- 90 ml milk- 200 ml water- 970 g crème fraîche, pouring consistency- 2 sheets of gelatine (or app. 8 g powdered gelatine)- 2½ vanilla pods- 1 cinnamon stick- a pinch of star anise powder- a pinch of allspice- 5 white peaches in syrup
- 100 ml peach syrup
- The previous day or 4 hours in advance, prepare the spicy cream mixture. Mix and brown 67 g of sugar, 330 g of crème fraîche, 1 vanilla pod, split, the star anise powder and the allspice in a saucepan until boiling point is reached. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add 4 egg yolks. Mix into the other ingredients. Put the mixture back on to a low heat and stir constantly (do not allow to boil) until the mixture thick-ens - it should coat the back of the spoon like egg custard. Then add 1½ sheets of gelatine (5 g powdered gelatine) softened in the cold water. Pour the mixture into an 18 cm circular mould. Freeze.
- The chocolate base: preheat the oven to 180° C. Beat 6 egg whites until stiff, gradu-ally adding 55 g of sugar. Combine the icing sugar, cocoa and ground almonds in a bowl. Fold this mixture (sugar, cocoa and almond) into the beaten egg whites. Pour the prepared mixture into a smooth metal tin, previously greased with butter. Place in the oven for 20 minutes (180° C).
- The cinnamon pastry cream: Chop up 135 g of chocolate. Set aside. Bring 180 g of crème fraîche and 15 g of sugar to the boil in a saucepan. Remove from the heat; add the cinnamon stick to the saucepan and leave to infuse for 5 to 10 minutes. Put the prepared mixture back on the stove and bring to the boil; pour over the chocolate. Mix gently without beating. Set aside.
- Chocolate mousse: Bring the milk, 90 g of crème fraîche and 18 g of sugar to the boil in a saucepan. Take off the stove, and add 2 egg yolks. Put back over a low heat and stir constantly until the mixture coats the back of the spoon like egg custard. Melt 220 g of chocolate in a bowl standing in boiling water and gently amalgamate into the prepared mixture. Add half a sheet of gelatine (3 g of powdered gelatine) softened in the cold water. Set aside. Beat 370 g of crème fraîche until thick, and add it to the pre-pared mixture. Set aside.
- Peaches stewed with vanilla: Cut the peaches roughly into quarters. Brown 30 g de butter in a pan, add the peaches, sprinkle with the Demerara sugar and add 1 vanilla pod, split. Fry gently, then set aside.
- Liquid for soaking: Bring 200 ml water, 100 g of sugar and ½ vanilla pod, split, to the boil. Allow to cool, and add the peach syrup.
Assembling the European Cake
Put the chocolate base at the bottom of a round tin, 20 cm in diameter and 5 cm deep. Soak the base with the syrup using a brush to apply.
Put the cinnamon pastry cream on top, then stand the quarters of peach in it in ro-settes. On the peaches, put the frozen spicy cream mixture, pressing down gently, and finally garnish the top with the chocolate mousse.
Refrigerate for 2 hours, and then serve.