Chef demonstrating how to trim the cake. Succès is a 3 layered cake, but the layers aren't the "typical," fluffy cake-mix kind of layers, but are what is called a dacquoise, a meringue-type of mixture made with almond powder, flour, sugar (of course lol), and egg whites. Once the batter is made, you pipe it into the crop-circle looking spirals and bake it. Three circles/spirals are used to make each Succès.
This is a picture from one of the TV monitors in the class - that's why it looks like I was watching the Food Network or something instead of going to class. The TVs are set up so we can get a better view of what the Chef is doing. Here, he is piping buttercream (*French* buttercream, that is - not American!) onto the first layer of cake.
Chef had some leftover "scraps" and this is what he made with them...I'm sorry to say, most of my scraps usually just end up in the garbage and not on a nice white plate, surrounded by pretty chocolate decorations.
Chef's final product! As shown here, with a Succès cake, you are supposed to pipe the name of the cake on a thin piece of marzipan (which is basically all sugar). Then, for decoration, you can make leaves and acorns, using more marzipan and a few hazelnuts, as Chef did here. That brown color around the edges of the marzipan can be made using a blowtorch, some cocoa powder, or some coffee extract. Chef used a blowtorch ;) Also, when piping the word "Succès" Chef told us to be very mindful of which direction the accent mark above the "e" was going! The French would not be happy with a misdirected accent mark, he said. ;)
My Succès Cake!
I opted for a mixture of cocoa powder and coffee extract to make the brown parts...to be honest, I was a little scared of the blowtorch...but it wasn't always like that! I came into practical totally ready to just go for it, but once things got crazy in the kitchen towards the end of practical, and I kept hearing frantic cries of "where's the blowtorch?!" or frazzled screams of "you're burning the entire cake!!" as my fellow classmates dashed around the kitchen, I wanted to stay as far away from the fire as possible lol