Sunday, September 6, 2009

This week in Kel's kitchen

Posted by kel @ sweet treats at 4:59 PM
I've been doing a little baking this week so I thought I'd do a quick round up of what I've been up to.

Firstly, it was mini cupcakes for work. I had to do a presentation along with some colleagues and there was a prize up for grabs, so I thought I'd attempt to bribe management with cupcakes. Shrug. Seemed like a good idea to me!
I made some vanilla bean mini cupcakes and topped them with chocolate buttercream and fondant cutouts. Super cute!
Next, it was a cake for my dad for Fathers Day. I bought the Wilton Fanci-Fill pans about two years ago and hadn't ever used them, so I thought it was time I bit the bullet and gave them a go. I should have known, being a Wilton product, that it would never turn out the way it looks on the box. I am so completely over Wilton products, I really am. I will be removing them from my list of recommended suppliers as I'm sick of their products failing on me (can anyone say Icing Sculptor?) The cake stuck to the 'plug' in the middle of both pans (I greased the pans AND they are meant to be non stick - yeah right). This meant that my filling was spread right across the middle of the cake and I didn't get the defined gap like in the pictures on the box the pans came in. Ho hum. Don't waste your money on these pans - just fill the cake as normal because you'll get pretty much the same result. /end rant
Ok, so what did I actually make Dad? was a chocolate cake filled with Toblerone mousse and coated in dark chocolate ganache and dulce de leche. Try saying that five times fast!
I used my trusty chocolate cake recipe x 2 to fill both Crappy-Fill pans. I made the ganache and mousse ahead of time because I knew I'd be short on time later.
Toblerone Mousse
200g Toblerone (I used dark)
1/2 cup whipping cream, whipped
2 eggs, separated
Break up Toblerone and melt either using a double boiler or in the microwave. I am lazy and always microwave my chocolate. I've been told by a professional chocolate maker that this is fine, so don't make extra work for yourself by dragging out the double boiler!
Allow chocolate to cool slightly, then mix egg yolks in. Fold in whipped cream. Whip egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites in to chocolate mixture until well combined. Refrigerate for several hours until set, then smooth over cake layers.
The general rule with a spreadable ganache is a ratio of 2:1 (chocolate to cream). You always want more chocolate than cream, otherwise it will be runny. This may be ok for a thin pouring ganache, but for a spreadable one you'll always need more chocolate.
I used this awesome Chocovic Spanish couverture I picked up at the Taste festival last week. I used 2:1 but I found that it was a bit too much chocolate - next time I would drop the amount of chocolate by about 100g (I used 500g chocolate to 250ml cream). It set quite hard and I would have liked a softer ganache.
To make the ganache, slowly heat cream until it is almost boiling. Gradually add chocolate and mix until smooth and glossy.
Pop the mixture in the fridge and allow to set. When you go to use it, allow it to return to room temperature (or use the trusty microwave - but be mindful of melting it too much as it literally needs about 5-10 seconds).
Use a pallet knife to spread the ganache on to the cake. To get a very smooth finish, use a bench scraper and a turntable. If you don't have these, a hot pallet knife is a good substitute - just make sure you don't get any water into the ganache.
At this point the ganache is stabilised and can be left out of the fridge for a couple of days (this is what truffles are made of, so it is perfectly fine). Boiling the cream changes the structure of the cream, and this is what allows it to become stabilised. This particular cake must remain refrigerated because of the mousse filling, but if you're filling your cake with ganache you can leave it out of the fridge.
I love the razor sharp edges ganache gives - it is perfect to go under fondant instead of buttercream, and it gives a grown up, indulgent feel to a cake.
My dad loves the caramel goodness that is dulce de leche so I used that to decorate the cake.
It's not the most elaborate in terms of decoration, but it is decadent in flavour. It is the richest cake I've made in my life...but oh so good.

Another variation of this recipe is to bake one chocolate cake in a springform tin, and then smooth a double batch of the Toblerone mousse over it. Sprinkle the top with grated chocolate, refrigerate until set and voila! A delicious mousse cake. Enjoy!

1 comments on "This week in Kel's kitchen"

Rilsta on Wednesday, 16 September, 2009 said...

Wow, that cake looks sensational! I love you are able to get the edges so straight and the icing so smooth!


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