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Parisienne aka Chocolate Whipped Cream Cake


ambra
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This cake, from the bakery inside Gelson's is my all-time favorite cake. They call it a Parisienne. I call it Chocolate Whipped Cream cake. I grew up eating it only on special occasions but as of late-since I don't live there- I get one every visit. And actually, sadly, over the years the quality and deliciousness has declined. :sad:

Basically, it's a yellow layer cake, or maybe a spongy cake. (Either way, very light cake.) With sweetened chocolate whipped cream "frosting" decorated with chocolate shavings....

I am no where near Los Angeles, 8 months pregnant, and nothing satisfies my craving for this cake.

So I decided to try to make it myself. Can't be so difficult, right? Simple Yellow cake? Whipped cream with chocolate in it? Chocolate shavings?

My question is this: Do I need to add gelatin to the whipped cream to stiffen it? So that it "frosts?" If so, how much? Their cake needs to be refridgerated, but it holds it's shape for quite some time outside the fridge...

Any input will be greatly appreciated by me and my unborn son.... :biggrin:

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basically it is a very light ganache. boil cream, pour over chocolate, whisk together and allow to cool (usually overnight is good). then, the next day, whip the cream. be gentle as it is very easy to overwhip and have a grainy texture.

other than that, easy-peasy!

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No, Alanamoana. I live in LA and know about Benes bakery. I remember getting stuff from them as far back as when they only had their own shop on 3rd Street near Cedars-Sinai hospital, before they began selling also though Gelsons. If memory serves (an iffy proposition), ambra is not looking for a ganache filling -- even a light one. I do believe it's more of a chocolate whipped cream and then chocolate shavings on top.

Darn, I'll need to find an excuse to run over and check it out.

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So long and thanks for all the fish.
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No, Alanamoana.  I live in LA and know about Benes bakery.  I remember getting stuff from them as far back as when they only had their own shop on 3rd Street near Cedars-Sinai hospital, before they began selling also though Gelsons.  If memory serves (an iffy proposition), ambra is not looking for a ganache filling -- even a light one.  I do believe it's more of a chocolate whipped cream and then chocolate shavings on top.

Darn, I'll need to find an excuse to run over and check it out.

creme parisienne is cream and chocolate...ganache. yes, it is also chocolate whipped cream. semantics.

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No, Alanamoana.  I live in LA and know about Benes bakery.  I remember getting stuff from them as far back as when they only had their own shop on 3rd Street near Cedars-Sinai hospital, before they began selling also though Gelsons.  If memory serves (an iffy proposition), ambra is not looking for a ganache filling -- even a light one.  I do believe it's more of a chocolate whipped cream and then chocolate shavings on top.

Darn, I'll need to find an excuse to run over and check it out.

Yes JF, your memory is right! And that is how I remember the bakery- on 3rd....and the Gelson's ones are not delicious, they still manage to make the Parisienne edible, but it doesn't compare...but the memory keeps me going! I guess it reminds me of my Grandma who used to get it. I usually only go to the Gelson's on Laurel Cyn and I have to special order it. Sometimes, It's good and sometimes its not.

Thank you all, I am going to try the Ganache, no Gelatin.

Edited by ambra (log)
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Here's PH's formula from Chocolate Desserts:

1 1/2 cups (375 grams) heavy cream

1 Tbsp sugar

2 1/4 (65 grams) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Basically same method as Alanamoana mentioned. I find if you first add just enough cream to cover the chocolate, mix it in with a spatula till smooth and then gradually add the rest of the cream you ensure that all the chocolate gets melted. Sometimes if you add all the cream at once you will sometimes have lots of tiny flecks of chocolate that won't melt so you don't get as smooth a texture.

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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Here's Alice Medrich's method:

melt chocolate first with a little bit of water or cream (she suggests a tblspn of water or milk per 2 oz of chocolate).... stir to completely smooth (no problem with unmelted flecks this way) and then allow to come up to room temp.

Whip the cream, not too stiff, and then gently fold into the chocolate. She recommends using it quickly, otherwise it will harden too much.

My experience is that once you use it in a cake, it remains creamy, not hard.

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I always do chocolate whipped cream with cocoa. Beat til soft peaks, add sugar, vanilla and cocoa powder. I don't know measurements, I just do it by eye. It only takes about a tablespoon of cocoa for a pint of whipping cream, I think, and that makes it really chocolatey.

"Life is a combination of magic and pasta." - Frederico Fellini

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absolutely. the version you mention sounds a little too difficult. trying to incorporate melted chocolate into already whipped cream makes for all kinds of trouble. this is just chocolate cream that you whip. obviously, like any whipped cream, you can take it to different levels of stiffness. again, you do have to be careful of overwhipping. due to the chocolate content, that can happen quicker than just plain whipped cream. you can pipe it with a star tip and it holds the shape nicely. deliciously rich, it is a quick cheat to chocolate mousse as well.

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absolutely.  the version you mention sounds a little too difficult.  trying to incorporate melted chocolate into already whipped cream makes for all kinds of trouble.  this is just chocolate cream that you whip.  obviously, like any whipped cream, you can take it to different levels of stiffness.  again, you do have to be careful of overwhipping.  due to the chocolate content, that can happen quicker than just plain whipped cream.  you can pipe it with a star tip and it holds the shape nicely.  deliciously rich, it is a quick cheat to chocolate mousse as well.

The Herme version sounds good. I'm gonna try that.

Medrich's version, though, is actually very easy. Not troublesome or difficult. The first time I tried it I worried it sounded a little finicky, but once it was done I was surprised by how lovely it was. I'll try Herme's next time.

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absolutely.  the version you mention sounds a little too difficult.  trying to incorporate melted chocolate into already whipped cream makes for all kinds of trouble.  this is just chocolate cream that you whip.  obviously, like any whipped cream, you can take it to different levels of stiffness.  again, you do have to be careful of overwhipping.  due to the chocolate content, that can happen quicker than just plain whipped cream.  you can pipe it with a star tip and it holds the shape nicely.  deliciously rich, it is a quick cheat to chocolate mousse as well.

The Herme version sounds good. I'm gonna try that.

Medrich's version, though, is actually very easy. Not troublesome or difficult. The first time I tried it I worried it sounded a little finicky, but once it was done I was surprised by how lovely it was. I'll try Herme's next time.

i'll check it out. i do love most everything of hers anyway, so i don't know why i assumed it would be difficult.

if you try the herme version, do take the time to chill it completely. overnight is best. if i'm in a huge hurry, i'll stir it over an ice bath until it is very cold and then chill in fridge or even in the freezer for a bit before whipping.

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I made the cake today...it was....wonderful.....

I used the PH recipe posted above because Alana said it was the best and It was incredible. I do however think I need to use a better chocolate next time. I used bittersweet chips made by Perugina because that's what my local grocery had and maybe they were a little too sweet. It was either that or choose chocolate based on percentages, and I didn't know which percentage (60, 70 etc)...I had to fold in some plain whipped cream to balance it...especially since my yellow cake was so sweet.

SO thank you so much everyone- it was sooooo easy.

Can anyone recommend a good yellow cake recipe to use with the cream? It should be really light, cuz the cream is so rich. I didn't like the recipe I used today which was basically like an Italian Pan di Spagna- I just didn't choose the right recipe. Any suggestions?

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone....

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No, Alanamoana.  I live in LA and know about Benes bakery.  I remember getting stuff from them as far back as when they only had their own shop on 3rd Street near Cedars-Sinai hospital, before they began selling also though Gelsons.  If memory serves (an iffy proposition), ambra is not looking for a ganache filling -- even a light one.  I do believe it's more of a chocolate whipped cream and then chocolate shavings on top.

Darn, I'll need to find an excuse to run over and check it out.

Yes JF, your memory is right! And that is how I remember the bakery- on 3rd....and the Gelson's ones are not delicious, they still manage to make the Parisienne edible, but it doesn't compare...but the memory keeps me going! I guess it reminds me of my Grandma who used to get it. I usually only go to the Gelson's on Laurel Cyn and I have to special order it. Sometimes, It's good and sometimes its not.

Thank you all, I am going to try the Ganache, no Gelatin.

I used to go to that one on Laurel cyn and also Victor Benes behind the bakery. Actually my ex used to work at that bakery on 3rd st.

Small world

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I made the cake today...it was....wonderful.....

I used the PH recipe posted above because Alana  said it was the best and It was incredible. I do however think I need to use a better chocolate next time. I used bittersweet chips made by  Perugina because that's what my local grocery had and maybe they were a little too sweet. It was either that or choose chocolate based on percentages, and I didn't know which percentage (60, 70 etc)...I had to fold in some plain whipped cream to balance it...especially since my yellow cake was so sweet.

SO thank you so much everyone- it was sooooo easy.

Can anyone recommend a good yellow cake recipe to use with the cream? It should be really light, cuz the cream is so rich.  I didn't like the recipe I used today which was basically like an Italian Pan di Spagna- I just didn't choose the right recipe. Any suggestions?

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone....

Please let me know what the final recipe ends up being. I felt the same way as you, but it was over their chocolate cake slice. Same version but in chocolate, very light and melts in your mouth texture. When my ex left Benes I even tried to get the recipes which were posted on the walls in the back room of the bakery.

Edited by oli (log)
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Ciao Oli....

what kind of cake do you think it is? I am not a baker, so I am having a hard time even picking the right recipe, what would your guess be?

The whipped cream topping recipe from above is right on. It's even better than Bene's.

Thanks CanadianBakin' I will try to find a good chiffon recipe.

Thanks Alana for the thread link!

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Ciao Oli....

what kind of cake do you think it is? I am not a baker,  so I am having a hard time even picking the right recipe, what would your guess be?

The whipped cream topping recipe from above is right on. It's even better than Bene's.

Thanks CanadianBakin' I will try to find a good chiffon recipe.

Thanks Alana for the thread link!

Ciao Ambra:

I can't speak for the yellow cake part. I do know Wendy DeBord did a lot of testing for her cakes, so I might even read up on hers. But, I will wait to hear from your results because I am not sure I have eaten that cake, but maybe I have. Once you are happy that you are spot on with your recipe, I will definitely give it a go, because Victor Benes was my favourite bakery outside of Europe.

My favourite was the chocolate one which eventually I got the recipe by accident .

Good luck, I will be watching.

Edited by oli (log)
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Once you are happy that you are spot on with your recipe, I will definitely give it a go, because Victor Benes was my favourite bakery outside of Europe.

My favourite was the chocolate one which eventually I got the recipe by accident .

OK, if this bakery was all that and then some.... can you please post the recipe for the chocolate one you have? :biggrin: Thanks!

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Once you are happy that you are spot on with your recipe, I will definitely give it a go, because Victor Benes was my favourite bakery outside of Europe.

My favourite was the chocolate one which eventually I got the recipe by accident .

OK, if this bakery was all that and then some.... can you please post the recipe for the chocolate one you have? :biggrin: Thanks!

Yes Oli, could you? Or at least PM it?

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Once you are happy that you are spot on with your recipe, I will definitely give it a go, because Victor Benes was my favourite bakery outside of Europe.

My favourite was the chocolate one which eventually I got the recipe by accident .

OK, if this bakery was all that and then some.... can you please post the recipe for the chocolate one you have? :biggrin: Thanks!

Yes Oli, could you? Or at least PM it?

Just remember that my favourite wine does that mean it will be your favourite.

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Once you are happy that you are spot on with your recipe, I will definitely give it a go, because Victor Benes was my favourite bakery outside of Europe.

My favourite was the chocolate one which eventually I got the recipe by accident .

OK, if this bakery was all that and then some.... can you please post the recipe for the chocolate one you have? :biggrin: Thanks!

Yes Oli, could you? Or at least PM it?

Just remember that my favourite wine does that mean it will be your favourite.

Me too!!?? Would love to have it.

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