It’s called “The Ultimate” but there’s something else this home baker makes that I consider worthy of that title.
The Ultimate (photo below) is mentioned in the recent M.I.Y.O Monday question about chocolate cake. Made by Mary Anne Ramos of Blue Toque, I think it providential that I receive an email from her a few days before that post goes up.
Calling something “The Ultimate” (quotes hers) is an intimidating proposition – it brings to mind resolute superlatives and sets the stage for radiant confirmation. Or downright disappointment. The all-encompassing term refers to a mousse cake made with Belgian chocolate and is enigmatically described as “A multiple layer cake … with an utterly unique blend of flavors and textures: the right mix of crunchiness and creaminess… simply the ultimate!” (italics hers). Mary Anne recounts that, “I was just playing around when I created it and [I] felt that it was one of the best desserts that I tasted. And since it takes a few days and effort to make, I decided to call it The Ultimate.”
This is a delicately flavored chocolate sponge cake toting a trio of elements – two mousses: chocolate and hazelnut, and a gianduja glaze. Melding gently together, the whole gradually submits to the singular flavor of hazelnut echoing in the crunch of feuilletine that makes up the base. I like this cake enough, it’s obviously made with quality ingredients but it’s far from being my ultimate.
The name Blue Toque represents the two major institutions that are instrumental in Mary Anne’s formation as a pastry chef. Blue is for Ateneo and the Toque represents her culinary know-how, she being a multi-awarded graduate of ISCAHM. She proudly calls her cakes Blue Toque originals – “We don’t just copy desserts, we create,” she says, citing her Nutella Mousse Cake as an example.
Quite the looker this one, with its crafted joconde cake band, a fitting background for the chocolate paste design. It surrounds a mirror of Nutella glaze that when cut, echoes the dark starkness of a dense chocolate cake carrying a light mousse that’s feathery in texture. I try this cake immediately after bites of The Ultimate and they’re practically identical in flavor, although this dessert has a sturdier cake.
It’s to Mary Anne’s hard work and participation in large-scale food tasting events (Ultimate Taste Test, Foodgasm, etc.) that she’s gained attention for Blue Toque, which has only been around since last April. I feel that she lives up to her goal to “… serve desserts with premium home-baked quality [but] with a professional touch.” My personal favorite from Blue Toque, definitely what I would consider its “The Ultimate” is the MIYM (Melt-In-Your-Mouth) Belgian Chocolate Cake (cover photo and above). It doesn’t really melt so much as smolder: a swarthy cake whose expansive, smoky chocolate flavor emanates from its tight crumb. It could use more ganache I think, both in the filling and frosting, but there’s no denying the dazzle this dessert brings.
My Bin describes Blue Toque’s Belgian Chocolate Cookies as “…like having a bit of cookie with lots of chocolate.” Tiptoeing into the territory of almost too chewy, it’s as if cookie dough is formed around a nugget of what’s undeniably Belgian chocolate. Buttery and big in flavor, it practically pulsates with chocolate. The only bad thing about these cookies is that they’re crafted so small and my Bin, well, he just keeps on popping ‘em into his mouth, and before I know it, he’s wiped out the entire box.
Mary Anne Ramos of Blue Toque
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