Tuesday, December 11, 2007

First Birthday cake

I made this cake for my daughters first birthday. My main inspiration has been Charm City cakes who have a charming (:)) show on Foodnetwork. I was nervous on a number of levels, this is the first time I was going something this big with cakes. This Cake was also a departure from my earlier Buttercream heavy style.

I narrowed down the process to the following steps:

1. Look at a lot of cake pictures and decide what kind of look and end product i wanted.(Princess cake, frilly cream detailed look, cool modern finish etc etc)
2. Decide on the number of people I wanted to serve
3. Then decide the shape of the cake, Do i want a single layer flat sheet cake or a tiered sculpted look etc
4. Model the cake in a 3d drawing software - Sketchup in this case to see if the proportions look good.
5. Decide on the non edible decorations: The balloons, Flying butterflies etc.
6. Make the gosh darn thing!

The final cake was a 6x6 square on top of a 10x10 square and served 40 people. The layers were Chocolate Chiffon cake with Vanilla Buttercream and Chocolate Ganache fillings that alternated. Boy was it delicious, even if i say so myself.



Monday, October 29, 2007

Alphonso Mango Mousse Cake

modified from Epicurious.com

This mousse cake is in three parts,
1. The cake base
2. The mango mousse
3. The miroir topping

For decoration i used chocolate butterflies piped on wax paper. Once dry i put the butterflies on top just before serving.

So here goes:
1. The cake base.

1/2 cup sifted cake flour ( Can substitute with all purpose)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400°F. Butter a jelly pan or tray or a lasagna foil pan - around 11 " by 9". Line bottom of cake pan with waxed paper. Butter paper and dust lightly with flour.
Sift flour and baking powder into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and yolks in large bowl until frothy. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar and beat until pale yellow and slowly dissolving ribbon forms when beaters are lifted, about 4 minutes. Fold in flour mixture. Fold 1 heaping tablespoon batter into melted butter. Fold butter mixture back into batter. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until cake is just golden brown around edges and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 10 minutes. Cool cake completely in pan on rack.

2. Mango Mousse
1/4 cup orange liqueur ( I used bourbon - if you are not comfortable with alcohol substitute with water)
1 package unflavored gelatin (Knox )
1 tin Alphonso mango slices ( from Indian store)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup chilled whipping/heavy cream

Pour liqueur into small bowl; sprinkle gelatin over. Let gelatin soften 10 minutes. Puree mango slices in blender. Donot add any water. If the mango slices are in a juice, carefully remove all the juice into a bowl and reserve for miroir. Add sugar to mango puree in processor and blend well. Set bowl of gelatin on top of a saucepan of simmering water,such that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water . Stir until gelatin dissolves. Add gelatin mixture to mango in processor and blend. Whip cream in large bowl to soft peaks. Fold in mango mixture.

At this point, you should assemble the mousse cake and referigerate it for atleast three to four hours. In the pan with the cake , pour the mousse mixture . Cover pan with plastic wrap.

After about three hours, make the miroir.

Mango Miroir:
11/2 cups mango juice
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp kirsch ( a liquer - can substitute with water)
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp gelatin ( = 1 envelope Knox)

Add the gelatin to about 1/2 cup of the mango juice in a small saucepan , soften for ten minutes. Melt the gelatin by putting the pan on gentle heat. Donot boil. As soon as the gelatin melts, the solution will become clear. Add all the other ingredients and the rest of the mango juice.

Remove the mousse and cake from the fridge, top with miroir and return to referigerator for another hour.

If you want to trim the edges neatly, place the container in the freezer for about 10 to fifteen minutes. Use a sharp knife to trim the edges neatly.

Top with chocolate decorations - Serve!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Chocolate cake

Chocolate cake with chocolate Mousse

Modelling chocolate recipe:
8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Melt the chocolate in a metal bowl set over a pan of hot but not boiling water. Stir the chocolate with a wooden spoon until smooth, then stir in the corn syrup; the chocolate will stiffen almost immediately. Stir until completely combined. Transfer the chocolate to a sturdy plastic bag and refrigerate until firm.
Work the Modeling Chocolate with your hands until pliable. Hand-shape the Modeling Chocolate into flowers, braids or ropes. Or pat it into a disk and roll it out to the desired thickness by hand or in a manual pasta machine and use it to make ribbons or for cutting out shapes.

Cooks notes: Recipe from Colette peters. Easy to shape with a rolling pin. Melts pretty fast.