Joni from Manitowoc, WI (2018 Week 9: Patisserie)




Manitowoc, WI

Baking Challenge

All three – Petits Fours, Fraiser Cake, and Choux Pastry Gateau

Have fun giving your creation a name and please describe your recipe.

In the Mooooooood for Wisconsin Dairy!
Petits Fours: chocolate and coffee Fondant Fancies, matcha-almond genoise with strawberry balsamic and pepper preserves, and rhubarb cheesecake with lemon fondant.
Cranberry and Strawberry Fraiser Cake
Wisconsin's Best Paris Brest

Tell us about your creation's final texture after baking. Are you happy with it?

Petit Fours: Chocolate and Coffee Fondant Fancies seemed dry, but with the buttercream and fondant, they were just fine. Matcha-almond was just right, but as thin as I spread the jam, I think it was too much – tasty little things, though. Rhubarb Cheesecake was glorious! Perfect cheese layer throughout, no dryness on the edges, rhubarb was smooth and its zippy flavor with the cheesecake layer and lemon fondant was delightful… but fondant doesn't stick to cheesecake!
Cranberry Fraiser cake has a cranberry syrup soaked into the cake layers by cooking dried cranberries along with the water and sugar. Kinnickinnic Whiskey was also added to the syrup. The texture of the almond paste made for perfect shaping of the cranberry decoration on the top… I realize it looks like a Christmas cake with holly berries, but honestly, I looked up cranberry plants and the berries and leaves look like that!
Wisconsin's Best Paris Brest was the first time I've ever made choux pastry. I am stoked that it rose and made a big hollow gap for the luxuriously rich Bavarian cream and freshly whipped Chantilly cream layers! I had the family anxiously waiting for me to finish a picture of it, and it was gone within minutes after!

Detail how you added a Wisconsin twist to your flavors or presentation.

Without fresh Wisconsin dairy products, none of these recipes would be possible. Butter, milk, heavy cream, sour cream – they all played an important part in each recipe. In the Petit Fours the chocolate and coffee ones used cold brew coffee made from the Two Rivers, WI coffee roasting company, "1800's Blend" to be exact. The matcha green tea with strawberry-balsamic-black pepper jam petit four was made to highlight Manitowoc's sister city of Kamogawa, Japan, and the balsamic vinegar and black pepper in the jam gave it a warm finish (and tamed the sweetness). The dairy star was the cheesecake. Beautiful, delicious, and I can't believe I was able to pick rhubarb this late in the season, but it is a pretty shady spot and the rhubarb was beautiful!

The Cranberry and Strawberry Fraiser Cake used dried cranberries in the syrup that was cooked and used to soak the cake layers. Kinnickinnic Whiskey was also used in that syrup since it is a Milwaukee distilerry. A lot of work went into the cranberry branches on the top of the cake. I noticed that the stems were red on the plants so I tried to make it as accurate as possible, even though it looks so Christmassy I'd make this one again, but maybe closer to the holidays!

The Wisconsin's Best Paris Brest was a family favorite! The Bavarian Cream layer is loaded with dairy, as is the Chantilly Cream layer. We just finished up with our local county fair and they sell cream puffs there, so this was definitely a recipe I HAD to try! I'm so glad we had extra time to do all of these recipes, now I feel I have the confidence to try anything!

How did you do?

Absolutely lovely.