Sunday, December 28, 2008

Help! I ate my Christmas tree and I blame the Daring Bakers for it!

Hello people celebrating holidays! I hope you're all having wonderful moments and meals during this special time of the year. My Christmas was nice and sunny, cold and warm, with family, with friends, with a lot of food and even more text messages!

This year we had 2 Christmas trees: One to light up and decorate our dinning room and another one to... well... eat!

This month's challenge is brought to us by the adventurous Hilda from Saffron and Blueberry and Marion from Il en Faut Peu Pour Etre Heureux for the December Daring Bakers' Challenge: a French Yule Log by Flore from Florilege Gourmand.

They asked for a log I know, but I decided to do the whole tree!

I've been eating a lot of peanut butter and chocolate stuff that I brought back from the States and I'm not tired yet of that wonderful combo! I really love Peanut Butter Cups and I'm almost thankful that I can't get them here. I also really enjoyed the Peanut Butter M&ms that I got and I can't forget a wonderful chocolate & peanut butter chips cookie I bought at Levain Bakery.

So from all the "christmasy" flavours I could have chosen for this I was faithfull to my pb&choc love.

This dessert has 6 elements:
  1. Dacquoise Biscuit
  2. Mousse
  3. Ganache Insert
  4. Crisp Insert
  5. Creme Bruleé Insert
  6. Icing

Peanut Dacquoise Biscuit:

  • 2.8 oz (3/4cup + 1Tbsp / 80g) ground roasted peanuts
  • 1.75 oz (1/2 cup / 50g) confectioner’s sugar
  • 2Tbsp (15g) all-purpose flour
  • 3.5oz (100g / 100ml) about 3 medium egg whites
  • 1.75 oz (4 Tbsp / 50g) granulated sugar

Finely mix the peanut meal and the confectioner's sugar. Sift the flour into the mix. Beat the eggs whites, gradually adding the granulated sugar until stiff. Pour the peanut meal mixture into the egg whites and blend delicately with a spatula. Grease a piece of parchment paper and line your baking pan with it. Spread the batter on a piece of parchment paper to an area slightly larger than your desired shape and to a height of 1/3 inches (8mm). Bake at 350°F (180°C) for approximately 15 minutes until golden. Let cool and cut to the desired shape.

Milk Chocolate Mousse:

  • 2.5 sheets gelatine or 5g / 1 + 1/4 tsp powdered gelatine
  • 1.5 oz (3 Tbsp / 40g) granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp (10g) glucose or thick corn syrup
  • 0.5 oz (15g) water
  • 50g egg yolks (about 3 medium)
  • 6.2 oz (175g) milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1.5 cups (350g) heavy cream (35% fat content)

Soften the gelatine in cold water. Make a Pate a Bombe: Beat the egg yolks until very light in colour (approximately 5 minutes until almost white), cook the sugar, glucose syrup and water on medium heat for approximately 3 minutes (if you have a candy thermometer, the mixture should reach 244°F /118°C). If you do not have a candy thermometer, test the sugar temperature by dipping the tip of a knife into the syrup then into a bowl of ice water, if it forms a soft ball in the water then you have reached the correct temperature. Add the sugar syrup to the beaten yolks carefully by pouring it into the mixture in a thin stream while continuing to beat the yolks. You can do this by hand but it’s easier to do this with an electric mixer. Continue beating until cool (approximately 5 minutes). The batter should become thick and foamy.

In a double boiler or equivalent, heat 2 tablespoons (30g) of cream to boiling. Add the chopped chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Whip the remainder of the cream until stiff. Pour the melted chocolate over the softened gelatine, mixing well. Let the gelatine and chocolate cool slightly and then stir in ½ cup (100g) of whipped cream to temper. Add the Pate a Bombe. Add in the rest of the whipped cream (220g) mixing gently with a spatula.

Dark Chocolate – Peanut Butter Ganache Insert:

  • 1.75 oz (4 Tbsp / 50g) granulated sugar
  • 4.5oz (2/3 cup – 1 Tbsp/ 135g) heavy cream
  • 5 oz (135g) dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3Tbsp + 1/2tsp (45g) unsalted butter softened
  • 2 Tbsp crunchy peanut butter

Make a caramel: Using the dry method, melt the sugar by spreading it in an even layer in a small saucepan with high sides. Heat over medium-high heat, watching it carefully as the sugar begins to melt. Never stir the mixture. As the sugar starts to melt, swirl the pan occasionally to allow the sugar to melt evenly. Cook to dark amber colour (for most of you that means darker than last month’s challenge). While the sugar is melting, heat the cream until boiling. Pour cream into the caramel and stir thoroughly. Be very careful as it may splatter and boil. Pour the hot caramel-milk mixture over the dark chocolate and peanut butter. Wait 30 seconds and stir until smooth. Add the softened butter and whip hard and fast (if you have a plunging mixer use it). The chocolate should be smooth and shiny.

Peanut Butter – Milk Chocolate Feuilletine Crisp Insert:

  • 3.5 oz (100g) milk chocolate
  • 60 gr / 4 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • 2.1oz (60g) lace crepes (gavottes- feuilletine)

Melt the chocolate and peanut butter in a double boiler. Add the coarsely crushed lace crepes. Mix quickly to thoroughly coat with the chocolate. Spread between two sheets of wax paper to a size slightly larger than your desired shape. Refrigerate until hard.

Peanut Butter Crème Brulée Insert:

  • 1/2 cup (115g) heavy cream
  • ½ cup (115g) whole milk
  • 4 medium-sized (72g) egg yolks
  • 0.75 oz (2 Tbsp / 25g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 60 gr/ 4 tbsp crunchy peanut butter

Heat the milk, cream, and peanut butter to just boiling. Whisk together the sugar and egg yolks (but do not beat until white). Pour the milk over the sugar/yolk mixture. Mix well. Wipe with a very wet cloth and then cover your baking with parchment paper. Pour the cream into the mould and bake at 210°F (100°C) for about 1 hour or until firm on the edges and slightly wobbly in the center. Let cool and put in the freezer for at least 1 hour to firm up and facilitate the final assembly.

White Chocolate Icing

  • 1.5 gelatine sheets or 3g / 1/2Tbsp powdered gelatine
  • 3.5 oz (100g) white chocolate
  • 2 Tbsp (30g) unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup (90 g) whole milk
  • 1 2/3 Tbsp (30g) glucose or thick corn syrup
  • 1/ 4 tsp green food colouring

Red fondant circles and yellow starsSoften the gelatine in cold water for 15 minutes. Coarsely chop the chocolate and butter together. Bring the milk and glucose syrup to a boil. Add the gelatine. Pour the mixture over the chocolate and butter. Whisk until smooth and add the food colouring. Let cool while checking the texture regularly. As soon as the mixture is smooth and coats a spoon well, use immediately.

How To Assemble your French Yule Log as a Christmas Tree:

I’ve used ice cream glass cups, that have a slightly cone shape that I thought it would look like Christmas trees when inverted.

  • Line your moulds with foil and then plastic wrap.
  • Pipe one third of the Mousse component into the mould.
  • Take the Creme Bruleé Insert out of the freezer at the last minute and set on top of the mousse. Press down gently to slightly ensconce it in the mousse.
  • Pipe second third of the Mousse component around and on top of the Creme Brulee Insert.
  • Cut the Praline/Crisp Insert to a size slightly smaller than your mold so that it can be surrounded by mousse. Lay it on top of the mousse you just piped into the mold.
  • Pipe the last third of the Mousse component on top of the Praline Insert.
  • Freeze for a few hours to set. Take out of the freezer.
  • Pipe the Ganache Insert onto the frozen mousse leaving a slight edge so that ganache doesn’t seep out when you set the Dacquoise on top.
  • Close with the Dacquoise.
  • Freeze until the next day.
  • Unmold the cake/log/whatever and set on a wire rack over a shallow pan.
  • Cover the cake with the icing and decorate with the foundat cirles to resemble Christmas balls and yellow stars on top.
  • Let set. Return to the freezer.
  • Transfer to the refrigerator no longer than ½ hour before serving as it may start to melt quickly depending on the elements you chose.

I bet you would have eaten your Christmas tree as well, wouldn't you?!

You can check all the other Yule Logs here.

Have a wonderful 2009 wonderful people!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

We're back!

Yes! We're back! Me and my new pounds! Yay!

I had a wonderful vacation in Philadelphia. I've lived there some years ago, so it's not like I needed to visit all the turistic sites, I just used my time to be with my friends and... eat.

What else did I do?

I went to a big Bar Mitzvah party!

I've walked arround town a LOT!

I ate tons of Kugel (love that stuff)!

I've visited a famous bakery in Philly and was allowed into the kitchen where they were baking cookies. The baker was so nice to give me a bag of freshly baked ones still warm from the oven. Oh lucky me!

I went to the Reading Terminal Market and ate soft pretzels.

I've spent a day in New York and I met and laughed with two crazy french food bloggers !

I've seen squirrels in Central Park and tried to take pictures of them.

I went to Levain Bakery...

... and ate a huge chocolate chip cookie!

I also had to try Jacques Torres famous cookie.

I've been followed by a group of piegons (maybe the smell of cookies?)...

I've bought (and ate) a lot of candy!

I've seen the Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center!

And as if I hadn't have enough cookies I've baked some more with the kids!

Ok, back home: diet time. Oh no! There's Christmas arround the corner... Oh well...

Monday, December 1, 2008

I leave you with some books

Tomorrow morning I'll leave for a vacation! I really can't wait! Since I' won't be arround much, here are some books for you to read while I'm away!

My portuguese buddies Suzana and Leonor tagged me for a meme to share 3 books. I have more cookbooks than I would like to admit, but when I looked arround to choose just 3, these popped out of the shelf quickly. I love them! They're from Konemann and besides these 3 they have 1 about France, 1 for Greece, a double volume about the whole Europe and some smaller ones like Hungary (I also own that one). What I love about these huge books is that they are divided by the country's regions, they don't just give you traditional recipes of the but they tell you the story of the places thru its foods! They're really interesting! If you like food and traveling you'll love them.

Speaking of travelling, another tag came from FFichiban, to share 6 random facts. So here are 6 random facts about my vacation:

  • I'll be going to Philadelphia
  • I'll travel via London
  • I'll be away for 10 days
  • I'm going to a Bar Mitzvah
  • From the time I'll leave my house tomorrow morning until the time I'll arrive in "my" house in the US, about 20 hours will have passed
  • I'll spend a day in New York eating cookies

And before I go some awards: Thanks Yasmeen for the Inspiration and the Great Buddy awards and grazie Valentina for the Fantasia award!

See you soon! I'll try to keep you posted!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Daring Bakers caramelize everything, even my brain...

This month we had to do a Caramel cake, with a caramel syrup and caramelized butter frosting. With all this caramelization, my brain got in the spirit and got caramelized as well. I managed to delete all the step by step pictures, and could only save these ones. I was so mad at myself, it was a good thing that I had a sweet cake close-by, or in my case sweet Madeleines!

This was my version of Shuna Fish Lydon's of Eggbeater (http://eggbeater.typepad.com/) signature Caramel cake (as showed here) and Alice Medrich’s Golden Vanilla Bean Caramels. The responsibles for all this caramelization were hosts: Dolores(http://culinarycuriosity.blogspot.com/), Alex (http://blondieandbrownie.blogspot.com/) and Jenny (http://forayintofood.blogspot.com/).

Triple caramel: Caramel madeleines and vanila & honey caramels sandwiched with caramelized butter & lavander frosting!

CARAMEL MADELEINES

· 10 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature · 1 1/4 Cups granulated sugar · 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt · 1/3 Cup Caramel Syrup (see recipe below) · 2 each eggs, at room temperature · 1 splash vanilla extract · 2 Cups all-purpose flour · 1/2 teaspoon baking powder · 1 cup milk, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter one tall (2 – 2.5 inch deep) 9-inch cake pan. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth. Add sugar and salt & cream until light and fluffy. Slowly pour room temperature caramel syrup into bowl. Scrape down bowl and increase speed. Add eggs/vanilla extract a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down bowl again, beat mixture until light and uniform. Sift flour and baking powder. Turn mixer to lowest speed, and add one third of the dry ingredients. When incorporated, add half of the milk, a little at a time. Add another third of the dry ingredients, then the other half of the milk and finish with the dry ingredients. {This is called the dry, wet, dry, wet, dry method in cake making. It is often employed when there is a high proportion of liquid in the batter.} Take off mixer and by hand, use a spatula to do a few last folds, making sure batter is uniform. Turn batter into prepared cake pan (in my case I’ve used Madeleine’s moulds). Place pan on cookie sheet or 1/2 sheet pan. Set first timer for 30 minutes, rotate pan and set timer for another 15-20 minutes. Bake until sides pull away from the pan and skewer inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool cake completely before icing it.

CARAMEL SYRUP

· 2 cups sugar · 1/2 cup water · 1 cup water

In a small stainless steel saucepan, with tall sides, mix water and sugar until mixture feels like wet sand. Brush down any stray sugar crystals with wet pastry brush. Turn on heat to highest flame. Cook until smoking slightly: dark amber. When color is achieved, very carefully pour in one cup of water. Caramel will jump and sputter about! It is very dangerous, so have long sleeves on and be prepared to step back. Whisk over medium heat until it has reduced slightly and feels sticky between two fingers.

CARAMELIZED BUTTER & LAVENDER FROSTING

· 12 tablespoons unsalted butter · 1 pound confectioner’s sugar, sifted · 4-6 tablespoons heavy cream · 2 teaspoons vanilla extract · 2-4 tablespoons caramel syrup · Kosher or sea salt to taste · 1 tbsp lavender

Cook butter until brown, add the lavender after and let it cool. Pour through a fine meshed sieve into a bowl and discard the lavender. Pour cooled brown butter into mixer bowl. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, add confectioner's sugar a little at a time. When mixture looks too chunky to take any more, add a bit of cream and or caramel syrup. Repeat until mixture looks smooth and all confectioner's sugar has been incorporated. Add salt to taste.

GOLDEN VANILLA & HONEY MADELEINE’S CARAMELS

· 1 cup golden syrup (I’ve used ½ cup glucose + ½ cup honey) · 2 cups sugar · 3/8 teaspoon fine sea salt · 2 cups heavy cream · 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract · 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks, softened

Combine the golden syrup (see note), sugar, and salt in a heavy 3-quart saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, until the mixture begins to simmer around the edges. Wash the sugar and syrup from the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes. (Meanwhile, rinse the spatula or spoon before using it again later.) Uncover the pan and wash down the sides once more. Attach the candy thermometer to the pan, without letting it touch the bottom of the pan, and cook, uncovered (without stirring) until the mixture reaches 305°F. Meanwhile, combine the cream and ground vanilla beans (not the extract) in a small saucepan and heat until tiny bubbles form around the edges of the pan. Turn off the heat and cover the pan to keep the cream hot. When the sugar mixture reaches 305°F, turn off the heat and stir in the butter chunks. Gradually stir in the hot cream; it will bubble up and steam dramatically, so be careful. Turn the burner back on and adjust it so that the mixture boils energetically but not violently. Stir until any thickened syrup at the bottom of the pan is dissolved and the mixture is smooth. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, to about 245°F. Then cook, stirring constantly, to 260°f for soft, chewy caramels or 265°F; for firmer chewy caramels. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Pour the caramel into an aluminium lined greased pan (in my case the a madeleine’s silicone mould). Let set for 4 to 5 hours, or overnight until firm. To unmould easily, pop them in the freezer for a while.

If you can handle the sweetness you can take a bite of mine or go check all the other caramel madness of my fellows Daring Bakers!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Hello Kittyed-out

Is the whole world obssesed with Hello Kitty, or is it just here?

I had to do a Hello Kitty birthday party during the weekend: cookies, cupcakes and cake, all Hello Kitty. Yes I was a bit Kittyed-out at the end of it, but the birthday girl was happy, and that's what it counts!

Let's start with the cookies. I don't have a Hello Kitty or even a cat cookie cutter, so I'll share with you what I did. You can use this technic to create cookie shapes when you don't have the proper cutters.

Start with a round cookie cutter and round cookies.

You should get a tear drop cookie cutter next.

With the rounded part of the tear drop cutter cut the round cookies where the cat ears would be.

Cut tons of tear drops shapes: 2 for each round cookie, unless you're planning to do 1 ear cats...

Place the tear drops shapes in the holes you had done before with the cutter. It's better to do this allready in the cookie sheet, so you don't have to move them. Don't worry about glueing, they'll glue as they bake.

So these strange cookies are what you'll get. They're ready for some frosting and decorantions.

Hello Kitty cookies done!

Basic butter cookie recipe here.

Let's move on to the cupcakes. Those are mini chocolate cupcakes with whipped white chocolate frosting and little fondant Hello Kittys.

PINK WHITE CHOCOLATE WHIPPED FROSTING

  • 200 gr/7 oz white chocolate
  • 300 ml cream
  • 3 drops red food coloring

Chop the chocolate. Boil the cream and poor it over the chopped chocolate. Leave it for 1-2 minutes and then mix with a spatula until all the chocolate is melted and incorporated into the cream. Add the food coloring and mix well, so you have an uniform color. Take it to the fridge and leave it for 24 hours or at least overnight. Whipp just before using.

And finally the cake! Even the birthday girl's dress has a Hello Kitty!

Ok, that was a lot of sugar. Aren't you a little Hello Kittyed out now?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I won't call it Inside-out Cheesecake

It's a Cheesecake Sphere, dressed up as a Christmas ball ornament.

Remember back in September when I made a layered Pannacotta for a new blog event called "Probocación", created by my Spanish friends from Blogolosas? If you don't know about this event, it's really fun. We are not challenged with a recipe, but with an image, and then have to make a creation based on it. This time we were invited to create something with a sphere shape, the idea came from this image.

These are made out of cooked cheesecake, thas is shaped inside a rounded cookie crust (with a previous coat of white chocolate) and with a little hole in the center where a bit of strawberry jam is placed. Two halfs are used to create 1 sphere glued in middle in a drop of white chocolate.

I guess you can think of it as an inside-out cheesecake, but since I've allready made some inside-out stuff before, I'm not going to be the one calling it that, or you might think I have some sort of inside-out paranoia. And that would be just weird...

Warning: These are not suited to play golf with!

CHEESECAKE SPHERES

Crust:

  • 140 gr/5 oz cookie crumbs (I've used oatmeal cookies)
  • 2 tbsp melted butter

Cheesecake:

  • 180 gr/6.5 oz cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp corn flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Assembly:

  • White chocolate
  • Strawberry jam (or any other flavour)
  • Rolled fondant (optional)

Preparation: With a small brush pain a thin layer of white chocolate inside half sphere molds (I've used an ice plastic mold with that shape). Let it dry.

Crust: Mix the crumbs with the butter until you have a wet sand consistency. Shape inside the molds, puting the crust arround its walls. Take to the freezer to harden.

Filling: Beat the cream cheese with the sugar. Add the egg and vanilla. Mix in the milk, sifted corn flour and salt. Beat until all blended. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 325ºF (170ºC) for about 20 minutes, depending on the pan you'll use (I've used a small rounded pan). Let the cheesecake cool completely before handling. When cool, scoop tsps of it and place inside the molds, pressing slightly. Make a small hole with your finger or the back of a knife (to put the jam after). Take to the freezer for 10 m to harden a bit.

Assembly: Put the jam on the little hole you made in the cheesecake and again take to the frezzer. Carefully unmold, fliping the mold onto a table. If it's cold enough they will come out perfectly. You're now left with half spheres (2nd picture). Melt a little bit of white chocolate and put a drop in half the spheres, glue the other half on top and take back to the freezer (a few minutes are enough). You can eat them as such (3rd picture) or cover with a thin layer of fondant and decorate it. Since Christmas is arround the corner a Christmas ball seamed a good choice.

En Español: Otra Probocación! El reto este més era hacer esferas, y yo las hice de Tarta de Queso y además vestiditas de bola de árbol de Navidad!

ESFERAS DE TARTA DE QUESO

Masa de galleta:

  • 140gr de polvo de galletas (yo use galletas de avena)
  • 2 cucharadas de mantequilla derretida

Tarta de queso:

  • 180gr queso cremoso
  • 1 huevo
  • 1 cucharada leche
  • 1 cucharada amido de maiz
  • 1/3 taza azúcar

Montaje:

  • Chocolate blanco
  • Mermelada de fresa (o otro sabor)
  • Fondant (opcional)

En un molde de medias esferas (yo use uno de hacer hielo) se pinta una capa de chocolate blanco con una brochita. Llevar al congelador. Se hace la masa de galletas, mezclando el polvo con la mantequilla. presione la masa en las paredes del molde. Se lleva de nuevo al frio. Para la tarta: Se bate el queso con el azúcar, se añade el huevo y vanilla. Se añado por fin la sal, leche y el amido (tamizado). Batir un poco más y llevar al horno a 170ºC, más o menos 20 minutos. Dejar enfriar por completo y despues sacar cucharadas y moldearlas dentro del molde, haciendo un poco de presión. Hacer un huequito con el dedo para hacer espacio para la mermelada. Llevar de buevo al congelador por unos minutos. Sacar y rellenar los huequitos con la mermelada. Después de llevar al frio un poco más, desmoldar con cuidado y pegar las mitades (foto 2) con un poquito de chocolate blanco derretido. Llevar una ultima vez al congelador para que las esferas se queden bien pegadas. Se pueden forrar con fondant y decorar a gusto o comer asi mismo (foto 3).

Le quieres pegar un bocado, a mi probocado?

Do you care for a ball bite?

You can check the other spheres here, just follow the links on the comments.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Could this be the best in the world?

"The best chocolate cake in the world"

Do you think that's a bit pretentious? That's not me saying it, that's the name of a cake and of the small pastry shop that sells said cake in Lisbon. It's famous arround here but since I was living abroad for such a long time, I only tried it not long ago when I was lucky to meet 2 cool fellow bloggers. It was my first time meeting other bloggers AND eating "the best chocolate cake in the World". Too much emotion for one afternoon!

The cake was very good. The best in the world? Well, that's difficult to say because a) I have not tasted all the chocolate cakes in the world and b) This is not technically a cake, it's a stack of meringue disks filled with chocolate mousse and covered in chocolate ganache. Of course the name was a smart marketing strategy, but still, the cake is very good! I brought a piece for my mom who requested a clone for her birthday.

Her birthday was last week and this was my version:

THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER MADE (ACCORDING TO MY AUNT WHO IS ON A DIET)

Cocoa Meringue:
  • 280 gr/ 10 oz (6-7) egg whites
  • 500 gr/ 1lbs + 2 oz sugar
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
Whip the egg whites until soft peaks and add the sugar little by little, keep whipping the meringue until it's stiff and glossy. Sift the cocoa and add delicatelly to the meringue. Divide into 3 baking sheets with parchment paper and make disks with the help of a spatula. Bake for about 2 hours in a very low oven (110ºC/ 225º F). You can put all 3 baking sheets at the same time in the oven, making sure you rotate them twice so all 3 sheets are at the bottom, center and on the top shelf of the oven, so they bake evenly. Remove from the parchment paper and let cool completely on racks.

Chocolate Mousse:
  • 200 gr/ 7.1 oz good dark chocolate
  • 200 ml cream
  • 200 ml whipped cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
This mousse has to be prepared the day before you are going to use it. Break the chocolate into small pieces and take to the microwave for 1m. Boil the 200ml of cream and pour over chocolate. Let stand for 1-2 minutes and then mix them together, making a ganache. Mix in the vanilla and salt. Let it cool before adding the whipped cream. When adding the whipped cream, fold it gently into the ganache and take to the fridge to use the next day.

Toblerone Ganache:
  • 1 small Toblerone (100 gr/3.5 oz)
  • 100 gr/ 3.5 oz cream
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/8 tsp salt
Chopp the Toblerone into small pieces and take to the microwave for 1m. Boil the cream and pour over the Toblerone. Let stand for 1-2m and then mix until you have a shiny ganache cream. Cut the butter in tiny pieces and add together with the salt and mix until incorporated. If it's to thin to pour over the cake take to fridge for 20m or so. Or you can spread it instead pouring if you prefer, just leave it in the fridge until it's thick enough.

Topping/Decoration:
  • Melted white chocolate
  • Melted dar chocolate
  • Finelly chopped Toblerone

Melt the chocolates and put them in zip lock bags, pastry bags or use a spoon to drizzle over the cake.

Assembly:

  • On a serving plate put a meringue disk (it's a good idea to use a small dollop of ganache to glue it to the plate)
  • Spread half of the mousse
  • Top with the second disk of meringue
  • Spread the other half of mousse
  • Top with the last meringue disk
  • Pour or spread the Toblerone ganache
  • Decorate with the melted chocolates and chopped Toblerone

This meringue/mousse thing is not a new concept, there's a known cake named Concord Cake that is like that, also Pierre Hermé has an Autumn Meringue Cake that looks very much like the one from the pastry shop. In fact people say that the owner of "The best chocolate cake in the World" started making the cake after eating a similar one in Paris.

For my version I used my go-to recipes for meringue (just added cocoa) and rich egg-less chocolate mousse. I made my meringues much thicker for more crunch, and I've used Toblerone to make my ganache instead of regular chocolate because that's my mom's favourite. And also drizzled some more chocolate and sprinkled chopped Toblerone to make it more festive, it was for a birthday after all!

My mom said that mine was even better than the one from the pastry shop, but she's my mom, so of course she was going to say that. My aunt said that this was the best thing I have ever made (from the ones she tasted), but she's on a diet so I think anything she eats outside her diet must taste like it's the best in the world!

But really, it was quite good: crunchy and creamy and rich and chocolatey!... How could it not be good?

I'm sending this cake to Not Quite Nigella, for her fun event: The Ultimate Chocolate Cake Challenge!