I have never had a bad day at school, I had seen other had a bad day but had never happened to me until now. And not only was it bad, but it was the day I made the Opera, and I was excited/nervous since the decoration for this cake is going to be our technical part of our final exam. It may look simple but is much much harder to be able to write well in chocolate. You have to make it look clean but elegant at the same time.
For the demo the chef made two cakes, which have the same construction and same basic elements. He made the Opera and a Pave Orange (Orange Cake).
The Opera is a chocolate and coffee cake, when I saw it I was really expecting a much more chocolaty taste, but was gladly surprise when I tried it and is mostly coffee with just a touch of chocolate. This cake has several layers it starts from the bottom up with a joconde biscuit imbibed with a coffee syrup, then a coffee buttercream, then joconde biscuit with coffee syrup, the a chocolate ganache layer, joconde biscuit with cofee syrup, cofee buttercream again, and a final layer of a chocolate glaze.
The Pave Orange is made of layers as well, but we present it sideways, the layers are made of joconde biscuit with a bit of orange peel imbibedd with a Grand-Marnier syrup, praline buttercrea, layer, and chocolate ganache. It was decorated with a bit of chantilly cream.
The Pave Orange was ok, not bad, but not really good either. The Opera in the other hand, was so good since I was expecting to taste mostly chocolate I was pleasantly surprised when I tried it since I absolutely love coffee flavored cakes.
Going back to my practical it was awful, first of all I was coming late from work, so I was already stressed out about not being on time to school. I was technically on time, but wasn't able to prepare all my stuff and change clothes calmly like I usually do. Then I was class assistant, so I had to get everything ready for class, but what was my surprise that we get to the classroom and the people form cuisine where still there cooking. It was 3:20 and as I was peaking in trying to see if they were almost finished since it was 10 minutes before my class started I see people working in no rush at all, they were calmly finishing their dishes like they had plenty of time. So when I was supposed to calm down form my being late in the bus, only got worse since now, we were going to be late setting everything up in the kitchen and therefore we could all be starting late the cake. I had this felling of being rushed the whole time. I did my joconde biscuit and turned out ok. While trying to make the chocolate ganache I was waiting and waiting so that it would not boil. I step away for a few seconds, and as I go back to my stove the cream is boiling, so I had to throw it, and start the ganache again. Then I was making my buttercream, and I overcooked my sugar, so when I poured it into the egg yolks instead of incorporating it just crystalized. So there it goes AGAIN into the trash, and I had to start that one again too. By this point my friends where realizing I was not having a bad day, but a horrible day.
Once I manged to finally make my buttercream, and was assembling my cake, I could even spread the buttercream into the imbibed joconde, it would just simply not stay there. I calle dthe chef and he helped me. My friend helped me and rewarmed the chocolate ganache for me so it would be soft for me to spread it, but by the time I was ready it was too cold, hard and very difficult to spread in an even layer. For the final buttercream layer we were supposed to make this one particularly straight and even since any defect we had would show when we poured the chocolate glaze n top. I was able to spread it, but not in my usual way, and when I asked one of my friends if it looked ok he just answered: "For normal you is not ok, but for today just leave it like that" hahahaha. Afterwards he even helped me smooth it out. By the way I had also lost my towel the one we have in our apron and the lovely chef after seeing how my day was going he found it for me, and helped me glazed my cake before I could even try since as mentioned we were late.
Now the moment of truth the cake decorating. I had practice some borders, which I made nice in my cake, but was taking so long that the chef was grading and I wasn't even done. I managed to finish my border but since time was pressing I had to write Opera in a rush, and didn't come out as nice as the ones I had practiced before.
In the end, I was able to present a descent looking cake, taking in account how my practical went and I was really happy, but in the bottom I knew I could have done a bit of a better job on the presentation.