Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ispahan Cake (recreated)


I made this Ispahan cake for one of my close friends' birthday yesterday. He requested anything but chocolate cake. Fine with me. As I mentioned befre on my previous post, Ispahan is a type of rose. The cake however, was first created by a renowned French pastry chef, Pierre Herme. He's like the master of the masters in pastry. He was first created the combination of rose, raspberry, and lychee (which he named Ispahan) in a macaroon form, and after that, this combination is seen in almost every patisserie in Paris. Pierre never seems to get bored or tired to create more desserts with this combo. In fact, he seems to be excited about it. His Ispahan line includes ispahan cheesecake, ispahan saint honore, ispahan macaron, etc.

It took me quite a while to decide what cake I wanted to make. There are a couple of flavor combinations that came up in my mind. One was a cake with pistachio buttercream and some kind of vanilla bavarian cream maybe, and chopped pistachio for texture. Another one was charlotte aux poire that I've been dying to make for a long time but never come to realization due to the expensive cost of pear eau de vie ($40 for 375ml. Any donation would be greatly appreciated :) ). The last cake that I was thinking to make is jasmine flavored creme brulee, jasmine flavored cream, and chocolate mousse. I can't think of any other flavor that can pair up with jasmine other than chocolate. So, that option was eliminated since chocolate is present.

Until the last minute, I decided not to make all those three (what a waste of time for all that brainstorming time). I really didn't have time for experimentation. So, I went ahead and played it safe with something that I've made before that he'd never tasted.

I made Ispahan cake twice in here and here. Both had good reviews. The cake consists of sponge cake, rose flavored mascarpone mousse, fresh raspberries and lychees, and raspberry glaze. For this cake, I used a softer sponge type cake instead of genoise that I used the first time. I modified the filling a little, as well as the decorations. I also tried to make wood grain pattern on the chocolate sheet. I bought the tool a couple of weeks ago and I couldn't wait to use it. I think it looks anything but wood grain pattern. I read all the instruction, but I still couldn't figure out how it works. I'll practice more next time until I get the hang of it.

Actually, I didn't eat the cake the first two times that I made it. Yesterday was my first time eating the whole cake all together. Usually, I just taste each component. The cake yesterday was a bit on the sweet side for my taste. I should reduce the amount of syrup next time.



I liked the appearance of the cake a lot, especially with the deep red color. With the flavor combination, I think it only make sense to use rose petals and raspberry for the decoration. So, in the morning, I had to hunt some red roses around my neighborhood and finally fine one house that has it. I didn't steal it by the way in case you're curious, I asked nicely to the owner.

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