Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Happy birthday blog!
So, ten years. Huh. Time sure flies. I'm not going to write a lot about this, except to say that I'm so happy that I have this blog. Sure, I don't write every day, but it's still a lot of fun and I'm so super thankful for all my friends and readers that I've met - irl and digitally - over the years. The blog is an important part of my life and I can't really grasp that it's been this long.
Now, have some cake.
This is an amazing cake. I found the original recipe in Swedish food magazine Allt Om Mat, and it was created by Anicka Larsson who's a talented Swedish pastry chef. It has three components: hazelnut meringue layers, a coffee-infused chocolate mousse, and a cherry compote. All favorites of mine so I was pretty certain it would turn out great. There was, originally, a fourth element as well - a fairly heavy chocolate frosting. I was pretty sure that would overpower the balance of this cake so I skipped it.
The original was a lot prettier than mine - but frankly, I love the rustic look of this as well and totally dont' care.
Mocha Cherry Hazelnut Cake
200 g hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
180 g confectioner's sugar
3 tbsp cocoa powder
250 g egg whites (about 7)
70 g caster sugar
Chop the nuts - fairy fine, but they should still be identifiable as nuts, not ground to a powder. Mix with the powdered (confectioner's) sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl.
Beat the egg whites until frothy, and add the sugar. Beat into a glossy meringue. Fold in the nut mixture.
Transfer to a piping bag and pipe four layers, about 20 cm in diameter. (Think spirals - start in the middle and slowly move outwards.) Bake at 200°C for about 12 minutes. Mine sank quite a bit so I either didn't beat my meringue well enough or that was how they were supposed to turn out. (I'm going with the latter.)
Let the layers cool completely.
225 g dark chocolate, finely chopped
125 ml cream
2 tbsp honey
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp instant coffee granules
350 ml cream
Place the chocolate in a bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the 125 ml of cream, honey, egg yolks and coffee until it's just about to boil. Pour over the chocolate. Let it sit for a minute, then stir until smooth. Leave at room temperature to cool a little before the next step.
Then, beat the remaining 350 ml cream until fluffy (but not too stiff!). Fold into the chocolate - first a little and then the rest. Place in the fridge if not finishing the cake at once.
350 g frozen sour cherries (or fresh and pitted, I suppose)
190 g sugar
2 star anise
Place in a saucepan. Heat, while stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Cook on medium heat for about five minutes. Leave to cool completely (I did this the night before I made the cake.) Drain off the syrup and reserve for something else (like stirring into carbonated water - yum!) and there you have your cherries.
Start with one cake layer. Add about a quarter of the mousse. Top with another layer. Add a little mousse and then your cherries. Add some mousse around the edges to act like a dam so the cherries aren't visible from the side. Add another cake layer. Add half of the remaining mousse and then the final layer. Add the remaining mousse. Chill until you're ready to serve (or freeze for that matter). Decorate as you see fit, I just added a little bit of powdered sugar.