I get very excited for birthday's and anniversaries as I can come up with a cake to make for celebrating. I make other big plans, but based on my history of sucking at planning events, I make sure I engage in cake making for these celebrations! For my husband's first birthday, after we got married, I had planned to make a huge cake and have friends over. Then came the anti-climax - we were snowed in a week before D-Day. We couldn't even remove the car out of our apartment complex. So a day before his birthday, I sent him to the grocery store and made him buy the ingredients for his own birthday cake! You see, we are very engaged together in all activities :P. It was a yummy chocolate truffle cake reward for a grocery trip well done and for being the b'day baby.
The endless possibilities makes picking a cake I want to make very hard and it becomes a research project before I settle on one and keep it a secret. So, Mohan plays the guess the cake game for me. He tries to observe the products I am looking up online, or at the store. What books I am refering to and which pages have a lot of bookmarks. I go on tangents during my research, so he cannot really get much out of snooping around :P.
For year two I made Madhuri's Pineapple Pastry Cake. I wanted to finish making the cake and keep it in my friend's fridge so hubby wont see it. I managed to keep it a secret till the eve of his birthday. The husband decided to take off from work earlier than usual randomly, and the party started early with good friends of ours coming over! I was still frosting the cake in the side and was in shock!! So much for my secret cake plans and so much for random unplanned surprizes!
For my Hubby's birthday this year, I managed to keep it a secret till the cake cutting! (Almost!). Mohan and his friend dug into the cake and other agents of inebriation. They loved the cake very much. It had white "chocolate" in it. Thanks to being married to me, I don't even show my husband the light of white chocolate. I love dark chocolate and believe that white "chocolate" is not even chocolate! That being said, I was very surprised with the outcome of this cake. I enjoyed it inspite of it having white "chocolate". This cake was very fun to make, but it was a very lengthy process and I made it over a day. It was so worth it. Every bite was a peek into heaven. So let me not keep you in suspense and show you how I made it!
For the Flourless Chocolate Cake Layer:
7 oz Bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 tbsp Butter, Unsalted and cut into pieces
4 Eggs, separated
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/3rd cup Brown Sugar, packed
- Preheat oven to 325 F. Prepare a spring form pan with butter.
- Over a double boiler, melt the butter and chocolate. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
- Whisk in the egg yolks, one by one to the chocolate mixture
- Add the vanilla extract and whisk it.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer or a mixing bowl, add the egg whites and salt. Using the whisk attachment , beat on medium speed until frothy.(takes about 30 seconds)
- Add the half brown sugar to the egg whites and beat until incorporated. Add the rest of the brown sugar and continue to beat at high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Take about 1/3rd of the egg white mixture and whisk it into the chocolate mixture.
- Add the rest of the egg white mixture and gently fold it in, ensuring you do not deflate it too much.
- Pour into the greased pan and bake for 13- 18 minutes. The sides should be firm, but the center should be soft but cooked. It took me 15 minutes.
- Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cook down completely. Do not take the cake out of the pan.
For the Middle layer:
2 tbsp Dutch processed cocoa
5 tbsp Hot water
7 oz Bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups Heavy Cream
1 tbsp sugar
1/8th tsp salt
- Whisk together cocoa powder and hot water and set aside to cool
- Melt the chocolate over a double boiler whisk until smooth. Take off heat and set aside to cool
- In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachement, whip the cream until forthy for 20 seconds.
- Add sugar and salt and beat on medium until it starts to thicken.
- Beat on high speed until the cream holds soft peaks.
- Add the cocoa mixture and 1/3 rd of the whipped cream and whisk it in till incorporated.
- Take the rest of the whipped cream mixture and fold it in gently with a spatula. Until no streaks remain.
- Pour the entire mixture into the springform pan over the cooled cake
- Smooth the top with an offset spatula. Tap the pan on the counter gently to remove any large air bubbles.
- Using a damp tissue wipe the side of the pan to clean the drips.
- Set it in the refrigerator for atleast 15 minutes.
3/4 tsp Gelatin, powdered ( I used vegetarian gelatin)
1 tbsp Water
6 oz White Chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
- In a small bowl sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Set aside for atleast 5 minutes for it to soften.
- Place the chocolate in a medium bowl.
- In a medium saucepan heat 1/2 cup cream until it boils. Add the gelatin misture and whisk it until it dissolves.
- Pour over the chocolate and let it stand for a minute. Whisk the mixture until smooth
- In the bowl of you standing mixer add the cream and using whisk attachment beat on low speed till it thickens a bit.
- Increase to high and whip till it forms soft peaks.
- Whisk in about 1/3rd of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture and fold in the rest of the whipped cream gently with a rubber spatula.
- Pour the mixture on top of the second layer. Level it with an offset spatula.
- Tap the pan very gently to remove any air bubbles.
- Set in the fridge for atleast 3 hours. If you want to cover with a plastic wrap ensure the wrap wont touch the surface of the cake.
- Run a knife in the side of the pan to loosen the mousse. Remove the cake pan from the spring form.
- Decorate with chocolate curls. Well, mine look like grated chocolate rather than curls :P
- Enjoy yourself!!!
I am usually a white chocolate hater, but this recipe was really good. The gelatin ensured that the white chocolate din't set hard and the cream reduced the sweetness of the white chocolate. It was very subtle. Don't tell me I didn't warn you, This is a very rich cake so even a cake crazy person such as myself could not eat a full slice in one sitting. (Shocking isn't it???)