• Tag Archives ganache
  • Chocolate Mousse Cake

    2014-04-10 13.53.01

    Not surprisingly this cake takes some doing…it requires a few different tasks…but trust me…it’s worth it!!! We’ve watched quite a few of the series Anna Olson Bakes and seen this cake made a couple of times and thought…man we really need to make that…sooooooo…here it is!

    And of course this is adapted from an Anna Olson recipe.

    Round One:

    Make the cake!

    1/2 c boiling water
    50 g plain chocolate chopped
    1/4 c butter, cut into pieces
    1 large egg
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 t vanilla extract
    1 1/4 c plain flour
    1 t baking powder
    3/4 t baking soda
    1/4 t salt
    1/2 c hot, strong brewed coffee

    Preheat the oven to 160c
    .
    Prepare the 8″ pans by lining with parchment and dust with flour.

    Get that water boiling and put the chopped chocolate into a bowl and pop the butter in as well and then pour that boiling water over the chopped chocolate and butter and put to one side.

    Whip the egg, sugar and vanilla until it doubles…takes a couple of minutes but whip away!

    Then fold in the chocolate mixture by hand, don’t be tempted to use the mixer as it will whip out all the air that you’ve whipped in!

    Sift the remaining dry ingredients over the batter and then fold in and then stir in the hot coffee…and pour yourself a cup too to enjoy!

    Split evenly between two pans, pop in the oven for about 25 minutes…I’d check after 20! As per usual it’s done when a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cakes cool completely…now you’ll only be using one so you can freeze the other one of just nibble away!

    Round Two:

    Make the mousse:

    3 c double cream
    300g plain chocolate chopped
    3 egg yolks
    1/2 c sugar
    1/3 c water

    Whip up 1 1/2 c of the cream and chill….not you…the cream!

    Heat the other 1 1/2 c of cream to just below simmering and pour it over the chopped chocolate…leave for a minute, stir, and pop to one side.

    Now…this is the technical part…whip the egg yolk on high speed. Put the sugar and water in a small saucepan…boil until it reaches 250c on a jam thermometer….be patient as this takes a while!

    Start whipping the egg yolks on medium in a stand mixer…now slowly and carefully pour the hot sugar down the side of the bowl to stop splashing and then whip on high until it cools to just above body temp. It should have doubled in volume.

    Check the temperature of that chocolate mixture to make sure it’s about the same temperature as the egg yolk mixture.

    Fold the two together…then let it cool for about 15 minutes.

    Fold in the whipped cream in two separate additions.

    Round Three:

    Assembly:

    Get a 9″ inch springform pan…I lined it with cling film to make it easier to remove and pour half the mousse into the bottom.

    Very carefully…slice the layer of cake in half and place half into the mousse.

    Pour the remaining mousse into the pan and then put the remaining half of cake on top and gently press it down so it’s level with the top.

    Carefully wrap the whole pan in cling film and pop it in the freezer for at least 4 hours…I was patient…unbelievable I know….and left it overnight.

    Round Four:

    Chocolate Glaze:

    1/2 c water
    1c sugar
    1/2 c double cream
    1/2 c cocoa
    1 1/2 T gelatine powder

    Bring the water, sugar and cream to a boil.

    Once it’s boiling whisk in the cocoa.

    Simmer for about 4-5 minutes.

    Soften the gelatine with 1/4 c water and whisk into the cocoa mixture until it’s dissolved and let cool to room temp and then chill for at least 3 hours….patience is needed again!

    Final Round!!!

    Glazing:

    Remove the cake from the freezer and remove from the tin. Helpful hint….use a hairdryer to gently heat the edges and pop the outside ring off.

    Place the cake on a cooling rack with a baking tray underneath.

    Warm the glaze slightly and slowly pour the glaze over the top and spread gently with a spatula.

    Chill for an hour and then take it off the tray and place carefully onto your presentation plate….and finally…..serve it!

    Enjoy…it goes really well with a chilled glass of Prosecco!



  • Gingerbread Macarons with Chocolate Ganache

    2014-03-05 21.01.36-2

    Ok….so what’s all the hype about? I’ve always heard that macarons are really difficult to make so I’ve never tried to make them. So after having egg white left over from making the creme brulee I thought why not? So I took on the challenge, rolled up my sleeves and got stuck in!

    200g fine icing sugar
    112g ground almonds
    3 large egg whites (100g)
    35g caster sugar
    1/2 t powdered ginger
    2t cocoa powder

    Sift the icing sugar and ground almonds into a big bowl (big bowls are good as icing sugar dust gets bloody everywhere!) Now add the ginger and cocoa to this mix and whisk it together til it’s all evenly distributed.

    Push to one side and get a decent size bowl and make sure it’s grease free….I have a medium sized glass bowl I use all the time when making meringues…got it from Morrison’s for about £2! For this amount of egg white I use a hand mixer, if I was doing more egg whites then I’d use my stand mixer.

    Whip these up and when they are foamy slowly add the caster sugar and then whip these guys up until they are thick and glossy and loverly! They are done when you can hold the bowl over your head and if you don’t end up with an egg white hair conditioning treatment then they are done :)

    Now comes the deciding factor in how they turn out….gently fold the egg white into the dry mix. Turn the bowl and lift the spatula through and keep repeating until it’s thoroughly and evenly mixed.DO NOT be tempted to use a mixer…this needs to be done with a spatula or you’ll beat the air out of the whites. To tell when it’s ready….it should roll off the spoon and flow like molten lava. If you drop some onto a plate and jiggle it it will flatten down. If you don’t get flat then you’ll have to fold some more. Now draw some circles on some white paper in the diameter you want your macaron. Ours were about 4 cm. Then get your baking tray, put your template on the tray and put some baking parchment over it.

    Get a piping bag and either use a plain nozzle with about a 1 cm hole tip or do what I did and just cut the piping bag and don’t use a nozzle. Fill your piping bag, now be careful as this will start to flow out right away….my tip here is fold the end over so nothing can escape, then when you pick up the piping bag the mix will start to flow and you have a bit of hang time before it’s everywhere!

    Now you need to work fairly quickly…hold the bag over the centre of the circle and gently squeeze….when it’s nearly at the edges of the template, pull up and move on to the next one…keep going until the bag is empty. I got enough to make about 12 full ones…24 discs in total. Give the tray a gentle jiggle and put to one side. Get the oven heating up to 140 c and go make a brew and grab a magazine, catch up on Facebook, have a shower…..do whatever ya like for about 30 minutes until there is a kind of shell on top of the macaron. When you have the shell then you can pop them into the oven….make sure you take the paper template out…very carefully! Don’t let this go into the oven. Carefully pop the trays into the oven.

    In about 10 minutes open the oven and turn the trays around and then give it about another 10 minutes and check for doneness, if you gently touch the top and they jiggle…if the top and bottom move independantly then they aren’t ready. Pop them back in and give them a couple of minutes more.

    When they are done take them out of the oven and immediately take them off the hot trays and slide the parchment onto the counter. If you leave them on the trays then they will keep cooking. Now as much as you want to poke prod and sample them they must be left to cool completely! Use a metal spatula and very carefully take them off the parchment.

    Now for the fun part…preparing the filling and making the sandwiches. I used a dark chocolate ganache for the filling for this one.

    100 g dark chocolate…if you can get the Montezuma Chocolate with Ginger get that one as it’s yummy!
    100 ml double cream

    Heat up the double cream and while it’s heating up break up the chocolate into small pieces and put in a bowl. Sample a bit of course :) When the cream is very hot but not boiling…take off the heat and pour over the chocolate pieces and mix thoroughly until completely smooth. Let cool until a nice creamy consistency and it’s cool enough to spread on the macarons.

    Now pair up your macarons so they are all ready to go. Take a teaspoon or put in a piping bag if you can be bothered and put the ganache on one cookie and top with the other cookie and GENTLY squish together and voila…a macaron…repeat until all done…and leftovers are cooks perks for testing of course!
    Dust with cocoa if you fancy!