A Marshall, a cake and a Master confectioner

(pentru varianta in limba romana, rulati pagina)

Ion Barbu, a well known Romanian writer, was the one who said that, this café is his cabinet work: "Capsa was the great Venetian mirror in which, the century had a look from head to toe. Capsa was the most notorious cafe in the process. Others were only as periscopes,  designed to locate something of the performance period. Simple weather umbrellas ".
Capsa Cafe or Capsa House with its list of "gems ", giving to you strange and sweet thrills, makes you to dream of a long past history, history of a famous bakery and cafe which gathered both, aristocrats, merchants and bohemian.
Capsa House (Capsa Cafe)
The house was founded by Dumitru Capsa, a Macedonian confectioner from Moscopole, who  arrived in Bucharest after destroying of his hometown  by the Ottoman artillery in 1788.
This job has been transmitted from one generation to another, passing on to Constantin (youngest son of Dumitru Capsa) and 4 of his sons (Vasile, Anton, Constantin and Grigore). But, half a century away, the glory and the reputation of the house will bear only the signature of Grigore. For the first time, in 1860, Grigore Capsa brings "The Green Fairy", the absinth, to the Bucharest's bohemian delight. A Parisian bohemian absinth with striking effects (the famous Van Gogh cutting off his ear to make it as a gift for his lover) do not seem to frighten the "gentlemen from Capsa" who was speaking in French about horses, women and wine, wore monocles, flower in the buttonholes and weren't afraid to offer compliments to young milliners (who were walking on Mogosoaia Bridge). Grigore Capsa also was the one who brought the Romanian wines on the European market, winning several Gran-Prix with local wine varieties.
Grigore Capsa (center) with
French workshop heads 
Learning the art of confectionery in Paris-France, at the famous Boissier House, Grigore Capsa became so famous that, he was the only one foreigner who had the right to participate at the Exhibition from Paris, where his sweets were tasted and had impressed crowned heads of Europe.Thus, Capsa House will have an absolute monopoly on the delivery of sweets to the Royal House of Romania.
Refined and ultrasecrets books with recipes of famous confectioner "Gregoire"Capsa speak very well for themselves and about that one who was an innovator but a visionary too. Bringing in Romania, western finesse of combinations and chocolate also, as the supreme expression of the sweet sin, he has limited the control of  East and the Balkans over the Romanian confectionery traditions. Educating the costumer's choice and taste, he just did to mold and adapt a future (that would confirm his visionary ideas), on the roots of too sweet and Orientals recipes and so deeply embedded in Romanians tastes.
Marshall Joffre
It was a rule of Capsa House that, every important event or official visit to be marked by ... 'something sweet '. The 1920's  wasn't apart from this rule when, the famous French Marshall Joseph Jacques Césaire Joffre, known as Papa Joffre, arrived in Bucharest at the invitation of Royal Family(King Ferdinand and Queen Mary). He is also known in history as the one who defeated the German resistance in the first battle of the Marne (September 1914).
To honorring the visit of distinguished  France guest, Grigore Capsa created a chocolate cake whith a cylindrical shape that suggests the French military helmets. And because of the Marshall diabetes, the master confectioner educated in Paris, prepared a cake not too small or too large , only good to be consumed without any risk by the honorred guest. The cake, which was named after Marshall's name, was made from butter, sugar, eggs, flour, flavors and the highest quality cocoa......all and everything covered by a delicious chocolate coating.
The result? A cake (Joffre cake) with a strong cocoa flavor that just melted into the mouth. After that, it has gone around the world, being taken over by French cuisine in which tradition it was inspired.
Paul Morand (the ambassador of France in Romania between 1943 and 1944) said: "Capsa is  the heart of the city, topographic and ethics (...). Capsa is the tympanum of the big ear that's Bucharest."
What can I say more about a Romanian cake filled by/with history ... in each gram of its deepest cocoa heart ?

You need :
1). Cookies -LANGUES DES CHATS ("Cat's tongues")
I bought them and I chose a variety that had a glazed base with chocolate (you'll  understand why). If you'll not buy them, you just bake simple "penny" made from:
-3 white eggs very well mixed with 120 gr powdered sugar till foam or doubled the size; add the egg yolks, a pinch of salt and 100 g flour (you may need an extra amount(1tbs) of flour, dependding on the eggs size or the moisture content of the flour.
 - with a spoon, put small quantities of mixture in a pan, bake at 200 C until cookies are slightly golden; let them cool. Fill them, 2 by 2 with cream, trying to give a cylinder appearance to the final product 
2). Ganache cream
The original recipe only Grigore Capsa knows. But, what we have inherited from his disciples were:
-make a thick syrup: boil 100g cocoa powder, 500 g sugar and 125 ml of water. Let it cool and then mixed all with 500 grams soft butter, cocoa 2-3 tbs, 2-3 tbs sugar, vanilla extract, rum and all you wish .... it's more on your own inspiration and taste. 
I didn't tried it and I just made this ganache as a truffle cream, melting 200 g chocolate(70% cocoa) in 200 ml whipped cream and a pinch of salt. I let it cool, then I filled cookies.
3). Icing
100 gr cocoa, powdered sugar 1-2 tbs, 3 tbs water, all  boiled until has some consistency then, mix it with 1 tbs of butter. 
I don't applied this method either and I used the same chocolate melted in a tablespoon of whipping cream. I rolled then the 'towers' in. Left all on a rack to cool and .... that was all.

Romanian version:

Ion Barbu (cel care spunea ca aceasta cafenea este cabinetul sau de lucru): “Capsa a fost marea oglinda venetiana in care veacul s-a privit din cap pana-n picioare. Capsa a fost cafeneaua cu cea mai notorie prestanta. Celelalte au fost doar niste periscoape menite sa repereze ceva din spectacolul epocii. Simple umbrele de intemperii”.
Casa Capsa sau Cafeneaua Capsa, cu a ei lista de nebune "dulceturi" si datatoare de stranii si dulci fioruri te face sa visezi la o istorie de mult apusa; istoria faimoasei cofetarii si cafenele unde se adunau, deopotriva, aristocratii, negustorii si boema.
Casa a fost intemeiata de Dumitru Capsa, un cofetar macedonean din Moscopole ajuns in Bucuresti in 1788, dupa distrugerea orasului sau natal de catre artileria otomana .
Meseria s-a transmis de la o generatie la alta, trecind pe la Constantin (fiul cel mai mic al lui Dumitru Capsa), apoi la 4 dintre fii acestuia(Vasile, Anton, Constantin si Grigore) pentru ca, la jumatate de secol distanta, gloria si renumele casei sa poarte semnatura celebrului Grigore Capsa.
Pentru prima oara, in 1860, Grigore Capsa aduce “Zana Verde” –absintul- pentru a delecta boema bucuresteana. Efectele absinthului care lovesc boema pariziana (celebrul Van Gogh taindu-si o ureche pentru a o face cadou iubitei sale) se pare ca nu ii sperie pe “domnii de la Capsa” care vorbeau frantuzeste despre cai, femei si vinuri, purtau monoclu,floare la butoniera si nu se fereau sa adreseze complimente tinerelor modiste (junele care se plimbau elegante pe Podul Mogosoaiei). Grigore Capsa a fost acela care a scos vinurile romanesti pe piata Europei, cistigind citeva Grand-Prix-uri vinicole cu soiurile de vinuri autohtone.
Invatind in Franta arta cofetariei, la celebra Casa Bois-sier, Grigore a devenit atat de faimos incat a fost singurul strain cu drept de participare la Expozitia de la Paris, unde dulciurile sale au fost gustate de capetele incoronate ale Europei. Astfel, Casa Capsa si-a asigurat si monopolul absolut asupra livrarilor de dulciuri catre Casa Regala a Romaniei.
Rafinatele si ultrasecretele caiete cu retete ale faimosului cofetar "Gregoire" Capsa vorbesc de la sine despre cel care a fost un inovator dar si-un vizionar in acelasi timp. Aducind in Romania,vestul reprezentat de finetea combinatiilor dar si de ciocolata, ca suprema exprimare a pacatului dulce, el a limitat controlul estului si-a Balcanilor asupra cofetariei romanesti. Educind gustul consumatorului, el nu a facut decit sa muleze si sa adapteze un viitor ce avea sa-i confirme vizionarismul pe radacinile adinc infipte in gustul romanului ale prea dulcilor si orientalelor retipise.
Era o regula a Casei Capsa ca, fiecare eveniment important sau vizita oficiala sa fie marcate de ...'ceva dulce'.
La fel s-a intimplat si in 1920 cind, celebrul maresal francez Joseph Jacques Césaire Joffre, cunoscut si ca Papa Joffre, sosea la Bucuresti, la invitatia Regelui Ferdinand si a Reginei Maria. El este, de asemenea, cunoscut in istorie drept cel care a infrint rezistenta germana in prima batalie de la Marne (septembrie 1914).
Pentru a onora vizita ilustrului oaspete francez, Grigore Capsa a creat o prajitura de ciocolata de forma cilindrica ce sugera forma caschetelor militare franceze. Si, deoarece maresalul suferea de diabet, maestrul cofetar cu studii la Paris a preparat o prajitura nici prea mica, nici prea mare, pentru a putea fi consumata fara risc de catre onoratul oaspete. Prajitura care purta numele maresalului era facuta din unt, zahar, oua, faina, arome si... cacao de cea mai buna calitate, toate si tot imbracate intr-o delicioasa glazura de ciocolata. Rezultatul ? O prajitura ( Prajitura Joffre)cu o puternica aroma de cacao, care se topea, pur şi simplu, in gura si care a facut apoi inconjurul lumii, fiind preluata de bucataria franceza, din a carei traditie fusese inspirata.
Paul Morand ambasadorul Frantei in Romania, intre 1943 si 1944, a spus: "Capsa est le cœur de la ville, topographique et éthique (…) Capsa est le tympan de cette grande oreille qu'est Bucarest."
Ce pot sa spun mai mult despre o prajitura romaneasca umpluta cu/de istorie...in fiecare gram al inimii ei adinci de cacao?

Aveti nevoie de:
1.) Piscoturi "Limbi de pisica" (LANGUES DES CHATS) - eu le-am cumparat si-am ales o varietate care avea baza glazurata in ciocolata (o sa intelegeti de ce). Daca nu le cumparati atunci coaceti simpli "banuti" din: 
-3 albuse frecate spuma cu 120 gr zahar pudra; cind isi dubleaza volumul se adauga galbenusurile, un praf de sare si 100 gr faina (s-ar putea sa necesite un extra adaus de faina, depinde de marimea oualor si gradul de umiditate al fainii). 
-compozitia se pune in tava cu ajutorul unei linguri; se coace la 200 C pina fursecurile devin usor auri. 
-cind sunt reci se umplu cu crema, incercind sa dam o forma de cilindru produsului final
2).Crema ganache: 
Reteta originala doar Grigore Capsa o stie. Ceea ce noi am mostenit insa de la discipolii lui a fost: 
-se face un sirop gros din: cacao 100gr care se fierbe cu zahar pudră 500 g si 125 ml de apa. Se da la rece apoi se amesteca cu 500 gr de unt moale, 2-3 l-ri cacao, 2-3 l-ri zahar, vanilie, rom si....ce mai doreste inspiratia si gustul propriu.
Eu nu am aplicat metoda asta ci am facut simpla crema ganache de trufe, topind 200 gr ciocolata 70%cacao in 200 ml frisca lichida si-un praf de sare. Am dat-o apoi la rece si-am am umplut fursecurile.
3). Glazura: 
100 gr cacao, 1-2 l-ri zahar pudra,3  l-ri apa se fierb pina se leaga apoi se amesteca cu 1 l-ra unt.
Eu am folosit alta metoda si aici, "uzind" de aceeasi ciocolata de mai sus si topita intr-o lingura de frisca si-n care am tavalit apoi turnuletele. Le-am lasat apoi pe un gratar ca sa se raceasca si....asta a fost tot.



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