Prior to our departure I had a busy week preparing goodies for a 50th birthday bash, including the final rendition of the Danish specialty sportskage (you can read about the trial preparation and assembly in my 12/7/14 post.) Early in the week I had prepared the various components (choux puffs, nougatine and dacquoise), and since I was making two of these creations, I opted to make one almond and one hazelnut.
|choux waiting to be dipped in caramel|
|cooking sugar for caramel|
|two nougatines waiting for assembly|
The whipped cream is the one component that has to be done just before assembly, so I made sure I had everything at the ready, including my well chilled cream.
The nougatine is folded into the whipped cream and then formed as a domed mound on top of the dacquoise base.
|Voila! Pretty straight forward, right?|
Then, using a petal tip, I finished it off . . . .
Hey, that actually went better than expected - hooray!!
Next I place caramel-dipped choux puffs over the surface, pressing them in ever so slightly . . .
|the almond version|
and the deed was done - whew!! I will say this is one of the most interesting things I've made over the years. Never let it be said that I won't accept a challenge, yessir, you betcha.
In addition to the Danish "cakes" and seven different flavors of shortbread (salted caramel, espresso, pistachio, orange hazelnut, honey herbes de provence, toasted coconut and lime ginger) I made three versions of moelleux chocolat . . .
and several tarts: chocolate ganache, caramel nut, pear almond and Breton pistachio-raspberry.
|tarts awaiting garnishes|
It was a busy, but organized and enjoyable week of planning and preparation - a lot of what the pastry world is all about!
Now it's time for some Christmas relaxation, being with family and friends and scheming about new projects for 2015! Joyeux Noel, Buon Natale and Merry Christmas to all!