Phil’s birthday cake February 20, 2010Posted by croissantandbagel in Uncategorized.
I promised Phillip I’d make him whatever birthday cake he chose. I should have known he would choose one that took the best part of a day to make because the desserts he likes the best always seem to be the ones that take the longest to make. His ultimate favourite is a cheesecake that takes 8 hours in a water bath at a very low temperature, but I can understand that because it is particularly nice.
His birthday cake is made up of layers of chocolate cake and chocolate mousse studded with cherries, wrapped in biscuit joconde and topped with chocolate ganache. To get the stripes, spread a thin layer of pate au cigarette on to a silpat mat and create the design by running a comb through it. I’ve tried a few methods but I’m still trying to find one that eliminates smudges- I’m going to try and make a proper stencil for my next attempt.
Pate au cigarette
- 30g unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
- 1/4 cup sifted icing sugar
- 1 egg white
- 1/4 cup plain flour
- 1tbsp cocoa powder (I used Dutch process for a darker colour)
- Cream butter and sugar until very smooth. Add egg white gradually and scrape down the bowl.
- Add flour and cocoa powder and process further until very smooth.
- Spread a thin layer on a silpat mat and create your pattern. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes (or while you make the joconde)
- 13 oz. tant pour tant, sifted (equal parts icing sugar and almond meal)
- 5 eggs
- 5 whites
- 2 tbsp. caster sugar
- 3 tbsp. melted butter1/3 cup flour
- Preheat oven to 250C. This seems hot but it needs to be.
- Beat tant pour tant & whole eggs to ribbon.
- Whip whites, gradually adding sugar until they form firm peaks.
- Fold butter into whole egg mixture, then flour and finally the whites.
- Spread the batter thinly on a silpat baking mat (as in 3/4cm) and bake for about 5 minutes. I cook mine until the middle is done, which means the edges can be very crisp but it makes it easier to work with.
Chocolate mousse (adapted from mum’s Australian Women’s Weekly Cookbook, 1970)
- 113g dark chocolate
- 4 eggs, separated
- 285ml cream
- 1tbsp brandy
- 1tsp gelatin, sprinkled on 1/4 cup cold water
- 1tbsp sugar
- Chop chocolate roughly, put into top of double saucepan, stir over hot water until melted.
- When chocolate is cooled a little, blend in egg yolks one at a time. Beat until mixture is smooth and thick.
- Place gelatin in microwave for 15 sec until melted. Add gelatin and brandy to mousse mixture. (The original recipe doesn’t use gelatin, but as I needed to mousse to be firm enough to cut I added it in)
- Whip the egg whites with the sugar to stiff peaks (again I added the sugar in to give the egg whites a bit more body).
- Gently fold in whipped cream and then egg whites.
- Line a springform pan with biscuit joconde.
- Trim chocolate cake to fit in the pan and place a disk at the bottom. Brush it with a little cherry juice.
- Spoon in enough mousse so that it comes half way up the pan. Stud the mousse with cherries (I used tinned ones because they’re softer)
- Place another layer of chocolate cake in the mold and repeat the mousse and cherries as above. Top with a thin layer of cake (I didn’t have this layer as by this point Little Sister and Father had been sneaking cake)
- Refrigerate well (overnight) before topping with chocolate ganache.