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layered cake

Dark Chocolate Layered Cake with Almond Meringue Topping “Anything is good if it’s made of chocolate.”
Jo Brand

Moist, dark and absolutely delicious are words enough to describe this Dark Chocolate Layered Cake with Almond Meringue Topping. The base is a simple chocolate genoise sponge, layered with a low fat whipped cream. The top is a brown sugar meringue topped with slivered almonds, quite optional if you are torn for time, but it does add a lovely touch to the final look. The secret to the moist cake and whipping up low fat cream is melted, cooled clarified butter/ghee. This is my new favourite sponge recipe and my new favourite light buttercream.Eggs and chocolateIt’s been a busy last few months and I stare at a hungry blog. We’ve had a great food styling workshop just recently, packed to the gills, on one of the hottest days of the season. It was a LOT of work and planning, but it was all so worth it. The venue {Lodi – The Garden Restaurant, New Delhi}, the folk who attended, the food we ate and shot, was all great fun. A great learning experience too.Food Styling Workshop, The Lodi, New DelhiThen of course there is obsessive everyday shooting, something that keeps me so engrossed, I often lose track of time. Some work for others, some for myself, yet all a learning process. Add to that Sunday Stills where I join Simi as she shoots stills. Pitcher #sundaystillsAmaltasThe Masala Dabba with Dolphia has fallen prey to procrastination but I will get back there soon since spices is what I enjoy shooting a lot! Gundu Chilies from Karaikudi

Masala Dabba, spices

The Masala Dabba #2Getting back to baking and this wonderful cake, here’s something I recently discovered. I often find a lot of folk these days baking out of a box and frosting the cake with ready made cream,  ingredients loaded with preservatives, enhancers, emulsifiers and what not. Read the label and you’ll figure out. Baking  or cooking ‘from scratch’ conjures up images of cooking with fresh ingredients and lovingly preparing meals. Boxed meals emphasize just the convenience. Add a few ingredients and then you’re done. Making a cake from scratch gives you control over the quality of the ingredients, also allowing for a bit more creativity. Wholewheat Dark Chocolate Fudgy Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting 3 1000 1Creativity and experimenting go hand in hand. The revelation that I could use clarified butter / ghee instead of normal butter has made life really simple for me. The recipes need to be adapted a little here and there, but the huge plus is that clarified butter stays good on the shelf for long. You don’t need to melt and cool in summer as it doesn’t set hard at warm temperatures. The convenience of use is indescribable in weather like we have here these days at 45C! That’s how I got the low fat 20%  cream to whip up so I could pipe it.  Wholewheat Dark Chocolate Fudgy Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting 2 1000 1Worked each time but once when it was really really hot and humid. Whip chilled low fat cream to medium soft peaks at a high speed. Then drizzle in about a teaspoon of cool melted clarified butter / ghee for every 100ml of cream and continue to whip at high speed, you will notice the cream gradually firming up and holding shape. This is because you’re putting the fat back into low fat cream. I have also seen this works better with the ‘Go’ brand of fresh cream as compared to ‘Amul’ {in India}. Do let me know if it works for you!Dark Chocolate Layered Cake with Almond Meringue Topping Well everyone can’t ‘do it from scratch’, and even though additives etc are often considered part of the package when it comes to boxed meals, it really doesn’t have to be. Interestingly enough, at least one company thought that way. San Francisco-based food tech company Hampton Creek offers a new take on shelf-ready foods, striving to take out additives and other unnatural ingredients from common, off-the-shelf goods. For eg, their premade cookie dough doesn’t contain common additives, is an eggless dough mix that is also dairy-free. Baking from a box or a premade mix can be as mouth-watering as a meal made from scratch; guess you need to know what to look for.

Until then, here’s my Dark Chocolate Layered Cake with Almond Meringue Topping Cake!

Dark Chocolate Layered Cake with Almond Meringue Topping
Print Recipe
Moist, dark and absolutely delicious are words enough to describe this Dark Chocolate Layered Cake with Almond Meringue Topping. The base is a simple chocolate genoise sponge, layered with a low fat whipped cream. The top is a brown sugar meringue topped with slivered almonds, quite optional if you are torn for time, but it does add a lovely touch to the final look. The secret to the moist cake and whipping up the cream is melted, cooled clarified butter/ghee. This is my new favourite sponge recipe.
Servings Prep Time
8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Dark Chocolate Layered Cake with Almond Meringue Topping
Print Recipe
Moist, dark and absolutely delicious are words enough to describe this Dark Chocolate Layered Cake with Almond Meringue Topping. The base is a simple chocolate genoise sponge, layered with a low fat whipped cream. The top is a brown sugar meringue topped with slivered almonds, quite optional if you are torn for time, but it does add a lovely touch to the final look. The secret to the moist cake and whipping up the cream is melted, cooled clarified butter/ghee. This is my new favourite sponge recipe.
Servings Prep Time
8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Ingredients
Chocolate Genoise Sponge 1
Meringue topping
Servings: people
Instructions
Chocolate Genoise Sponge 1
  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line the sides and bottom of 2 8" spring-form round tin with parchment. {I have just 1 tin and an oven that fits only 1 cake at a time. I kept the parchment ready while the first sponge baked}
  2. Place 4 eggs and 1 egg yolk in the bowl of the stand mixer with 125g brown sugar and vanilla extract. Whisk on high speed until light, very mousse like and tripled in volume, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt 2 times. Reserve.
  4. Place cooled clarified butter in a medium sized bowl. reserve.
  5. Once the eggs are whisked and mousse like, sift over 1/3 of the flour/cocoa mix and gently stir in in figure 8 moves so that the beaten air doesn't escape. Repeat 2 more times.
  6. Take about a cup of this batter and fold into bowl with melted ghee to loosed the mixture. Now turn this batter back into main batter and gently mix through taking care not to release the beaten air.
  7. Turn into prepared tin and bake for approximately 40 minutes, untl a pick inserted comes out clean.
Chocolate Genoise Sponge 2
  1. Repeat as above, turn into prepared tin and top with brown sugar meringue spreading gently and uniformly with an offset spatula. Scatter slivered almonds over and bake for approximately 40 minutes, until a pick inserted comes out clean.
Brown sugar meringue
  1. Whisk the egg whites with brown sugar on high speed to stiff peaks, about 5 minutes.
Frosting and filling
  1. Place chilled cream, icing sugar, clarified butter in bowl of stand mixer. Whisk at highest speed for 7-9 minutes until stiff peaks form. Adjust sweetness if required.
Assemble
  1. Gently cut each cake into two horizontal layers. They will be very moist and delicate.
  2. Place one layer on the cake platter, top with about 1 cup of whipped cream, spread evenly. Repeat with remaining 3 layers. Frost the sides of the cake with remaining frosting, maybe pipe a border around.
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“Coffee and chocolate—the inventor of mocha should be sainted.”
Cherise Sinclair

Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake … a promise of deliciousness in every bite. As the name suggests, the cake had everything we love about desserts – Coffee + Chocolate + Mascarpone! These days I crave coffee more than ever, so the cake was meant to have some! There was none other I would have made that day!

Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake ’twas a cake for my SILs birthday. It came together without a plan.  That’s just how life is these days. With the daughter in her final year in school, board exams round the corner, driving, driving and more driving is all I seem to do. The days are a whir of exam pick ups and drops. Loads of fast track shopping as school farewells, graduation ceremonies  etc are part of the muddled weave.

Food on PAB… and then there is junior. Recently back from a trip to HKG with his dad where all they did was eat, he is always hungry. Makes for an ideal guinea pig. He’s currently immersed into Krav Maga, a form of Israeli self defense. In addition is a new found love for boxing. More adds to the list – the dog, the neighbours little kitten {who Coco incidentally hates}, the soup trials, the dessert trials, olive oil cookies … and definitely not salad! 

Food on PABIn the midst of this mayhem, there are recipes being developed for a client. That might explain the ‘trials‘. Between racing around madly, I try and sneak in the odd recipe testing as the deadline approaches fast. Of course there is normal everyday life too … laundry, groceries, da dog, da blog … birthdays too!

Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake The Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake happened as the day progressed. The sponge is my basic ‘in the head‘ recipe. It’s one that never fails me, and one I keep experimenting with it. This time I added a dash of baking powder, beat it in actually, to save time sifting it with the flour. Worked out fine.

Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake While the two sponges were baking, I figured I could make some mascarpone alongside. As the cream reached a cautious bubble, chocolate pastry creme seemed doable for a filling. It was a cake on the trot. I had the sponges baked and the rest of the components done the night before too! Happiness is … 

Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake For the ‘day’, all I had was the cake to put together or assemble. I did that at the crack of dawn! That’s the fun part, and in many ways a relief. It does amount to a LOT of washing up though, so be prepared.

Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake The cake was special. Beautiful flavours. Light. Moist. Full of flavour! 6 layers of deliciousness. It’s a bit of work I have to admit, but planning ahead is the key. If you get most of the work done a day or two before, you won’t feel the pinch.

Coffee quotes

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Recipe: Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake your picture

Summary:  Beautiful flavours. Light. Moist … absolutely delicious! With 6 layers of deliciousness,  the Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake promises to be special. Make the components a day or two ahead to make the task feel less daunting!

Prep Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours {plus resting/cooling/chilling
Ingredients:

  • Coffee sponge cakes {make 2 X 4 egg sponges, the quantities below are for 1 sponge only. Double them}
  • 4 eggs
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp coffee extract
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee powder
  • 100g plain flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • Coffee syrup
  • 100g sugar
  • 100ml water
  • 20g instant coffee
  • Mocha Pastry Creme
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 100g sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean powder
  • 300ml low fat milk {divided 200+100ml}
  • 15g cornflour
  • Filling
  • 1 portion mocha pastry cream {as above}
  • 100g low fat cream, chilled
  • 15g gelatin
  • Coffee mascarpone frosting
  • 250g Mascarpone {made from 400g low fat cream; recipe here}
  • 100ml low fat cream, chilled
  • 25g icing sugar
  • 20g instant coffee
  • Dark chocolate glaze
  • 100g dark couverture chocolate
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 15g honey
  • To garnish
  • Dark chocolate flakes, cocoa nibs, cocoa 

Method:

  • Coffee Sponge Cake {Make 2 X 4 egg sponges}
  • Preheat oven to 190C. Line 2 X 8″ loose bottomed round baking tins with parchment paper.
  • Make 1 sponge at a time {or an 8 egg one if you have large bowls}
  • Place the eggs and sugar in a large bowl. Hold the bowl over simmering water. Beat the eggs until they have tripled in volume, and become mousse like, 5-7 minutes.
  • Take off water, add vanilla and beat for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Beat in the coffee extract, coffee powder, baking powder and salt.
  • Sift 1/3 of the flour into the bowl and gently fold in with a metal spoon/spatula. Repeat with the remaining flour.
  • Turn batter into tins and bake for 30 minutes, until lightly coloured and a tester comes out clean.
  • Cool cakes in tin for 5 minutes, the then remove from tin and cool completely on rack. Slice each cake into 3 horizontally, total 6 layers.
  • Coffee Syrup
  • Place all ingredients in a small saucepan. Simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Cool completely.
  • Mocha Pastry Creme
  • Bring 200ml milk, vanilla sugar and a pinch of salt to a gentle boil in a pot.
  • In the meantime, whisk the egg yolks and sugar with a wooden spoon in a big bowl until the mixture becomes pale and light. Stir in the flour slowly until it is thoroughly mixed with the egg mixture.
  • Pour the boiling milk into the mixture a little by little while whisking continuously to avoid curdling. And then stir in the rest of the milk until the mixture is well combined.
  • Transfer the whole mixture into a pot, with the chocolate and seeds scraped from the vanilla bean, and heat it under low setting. Stir it constantly with the wooden spoon or spatula scraping the sides and bottom until it has thickened.
  • Once the custard has thickened, take it off the heat, and strain / pour it into a clean bowl. Cool, cover with cling wrap touching the surface, then chill for a few hours.
  • Filling
  • Sprinkle the gelatin over 30ml warm water to dissolve.
  • Whip the cream to stiff peaks. Gently stir the mocha pastry cream through it, mixing uniformly. Stir in the cooled gelatin.
  • Note: If you use heavy whipping cream, you will not need he gelatin
  • Coffee mascarpone frosting
  • Whip the cream wit the sugar and coffee to medium stiff peaks. Fold the mascarpone gently though it, making sure you don’t lose any volume.
  • Assemble
  • Lay the first layer on a serving platter and place a snug dessert ring around  it. Paint the layer with the coffee syrup and top with 1/5th of the filling. Repeat with remaining layers.
  • Frost with the coffee mascarpone cream. Chill or at least an hour in the fridge.
  • Dark chocolate glaze
  • Place all ingredients in a heat proof bowl. Microwave for 1 minute. Mix and repeat if required. Cool a little, and when still pour-able, pour gently and evenly over the cake allowing it to drip over the sides.
  • Garnish as desired.
  • Note: Slice with a serrated knife dipped in hot water and wiped dry.

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“The great thing about cake is it doesn’t feel like work. You forget about work. Kids, adults, they all get the same look in their eye when they’re decorating cakes… that’s the magic right there.”
Duff Goldman

Mango Pastel de Tres LechesPastel de Tres Leches or Three Milk Cake … a cake that impressed and how! Love the Daring Baker challenge this time. having missed the earlier two challenges, I went straight into it very early this month. I did think it could turn out soggy, but no! Turned out to be one of the best cakes ever!

Inma of la Galletika was our Sept. 2013 Daring Bakers’ hostess and WOW did she bring us something decadent and delicious! Pastel de Tres Leches or Three Milk Cake, creamy yet airy, super moist but not soggy.. just plain delish!

Mango Pastel de Tres Leches 4My earliest memories of Tres leches goes back to a visit to Dallas in 2007. The Pastel de Tres Leches or Three Milk Cake was very popular among the Indian community there. Maybe in many ways it reminded folk of a popular Indian sweet, the milk cake. While visiting some Indian friends there, they were very excited to serve it up.

Mango Pastel de Tres Leches I was disappointed. It was sadly soggy and not worth all the fuss. Thereafter have seen references on and off to the cake, but it’s never been interesting enough to make one at home. Until now of course! Just the introductory lines were good enough for me to take on the challenge. ‘Decadent & Delicious?’ Yes please! Searched my mind for ideas, searched the net for variations. Not much out there.

Mango Pastel de Tres Leches Tres leches are simple cakes, delicious nonetheless. Me being me, had to go a step further. Fruit had to feature in here somewhere, somehow. I decided to get brave and make a layered Mango Pastel de Tres Leches or Mango Three Milk Cake. Of course I did some important pre planning, some in the head and some on the simmer!

Mango Pastel de Tres Leches The Pastel de Tres Leches is a cake that is very popular in Central and South America. It is a super moist, light, airy and super delicious sponge cake soaked in the three kinds of milk {evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream}. Tres Leches is a very light cake {especially if made without butter}, with many air bubbles in its crumb. This distinct texture is why it does not have a soggy consistency, despite being soaked in a mixture of three types of milk.

Mango Pastel de Tres Leches This recipe slightly adapted from an interview given by one of Mexico’s best Pastry Chefs, Paulina Abascal, to the magazine Revista Secretos de la Pastelería Caserais, produces a super moist yet light Tres Leches. True to the word, this was declared as one of the best cakes we’ve eaten. Light, moist and delightfully flavourful, the mango just added the oomph!

Mango Pastel de Tres Leches Mango Pastel de Tres Leches The three milk mixture is a combination of condensed milk {I always have some on hand}, evaporated milk and cream. While the west consumes tonnes of evaporated milk every year, it’s not a popular concept in India. It was time to make some. Evaporated milk is merely normal milk boiled down to reduce its water content. Simple!

Homemade evaporated milkSimple enough, and with a little pre planning, a cakewalk! Did the sponges on day 1; made the evaporated milk too. Assembled everything on day two, and we cut the cake on day 3! The cake needs a little while to soak in all the good milk, to get matured in flavours. I layered the sponge with fresh diced mango and whipped low cream {stabilized with gelatin}. You can always used canned fruit, peaches, tropical fruit bits etc.

Mango Pastel de Tres Leches Since it needed an overnight rest, I was kind of confident that the cream would set. Of course I was thrilled to see that it all came together beautifully when I demolded it the next day! It will behave even better in the winter. I’ve got to make this cake again. I did have left over milk mixture as expected, even after giving the layers a generous soaking.

Tres Leches Wholewheat Lemon Pound CakeI was tempted to make an iced milk shake out of it, but then a pound cake came to mind. Since it had been flavoured with lemon extract, I made a Tres Leches Wholewheat Lemon Pound Cake, basically soaked the warm cake in the remaining tres leches concoction. FAB!! Even that was appreciated and how! Will share the recipe soon!

Thank you Imma for offering this delicious challenge. We loved it to bits. I enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed the recent Momofuku’s Crack Pie challenge, maybe more! Thank you as always Lisa of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice for hosting this fab kitchen!! Do stop by here to see what the rest of the Daring Bakers have been soaking up!

[print_this]Recipe: Mango Pastel de Tres Leches or Mango Three Milk Cake 
your picture

Summary:  Three-Milk Cake it is a super moist, light, airy and super delicious sponge cake soaked in the three kinds of milk (evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream). Tres Leches is a very light cake (especially if made without butter), with many air bubbles in its crumb. This distinct texture is why it does not have a soggy consistency, despite being soaked in a mixture of three types of milk.

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30mins plus chilling
Ingredients:

  • Vanilla sponge cake
  • 5 large eggs (separated)
  • 125g vanilla sugar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 140g all-purpose (plain) flour (sifted)
  • For three milks syrup
  • 1 can (400 gm) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can (340 gm) evaporated milk
  • 240g low fat cream {20% fat}
  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • Topping and filling
  • 400g low fat cream {20% fat)
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp gelatin {dissolved in 2 tbsp milk}
  • 1kg mango, peeled diced {to fill and decorate the cake)

Method

  1. Vanilla Sponge Cake
  2. Preheat oven to 180°C. Prepare 9” (23 cm) round cake pan
  3. Separate the egg whites from the yolks.
  4. Beat the egg whites on medium speed, 3 – 5 minutes.
  5. When soft peaks form slowly add the sugar in small batches.
  6. Whip until stiff peaks form about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  7. In a medium bowl beat egg yolks at medium-high speed for about 5 to 6 minutes, or until the egg yolks become pale colored, creamy and puffy. Stir in vanilla.
  8. Pour the egg yolks over the egg whites, gently fold until just combined trying not to lose any volume from the mixture.
  9. Fold in the flour little by little in the form of rain. Mix until just combined (over-beating will result in a denser, flatter cake).
  10. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  11. Bake in the preheated moderate oven for 25 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean
  12. Let it cool
  13. Once cool, split the cake in half, flip the top of the cake and place it on a base. Poke using a fork holes all over the cake to better absorb the three milk soaking liquid.
  14. Three milks syrup
  15. In a saucepan add the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, heavy cream and cinnamon stick, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and continue boiling for 5 minutes. Remove it and let it cool.
  16. Once it is cool, add the rum or any other flavoring you are using
  17. Gradually brush all the milk soaking liquid into all sides of the cake (including the cut surfaces) until all absorbed. Best to rest the cake in the fridge overnight to complete the soaking process.
  18. Topping
  19. Whip the cream, when soft peaks form, add the sugar little by little, continue whipping until stiff peaks form about 2 mins.
  20.  Decoration
  21. Layer some whipped cream on the bottom layer and cover with canned or fresh fruit and decorate the top layer with whipped cream and the fresh or canned fruit.

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