Mont Blanc Layer Cake


I know it’s been ages since I’ve updated this blog with a real recipe.  I’ve just been too busy and I kept pushing it back until I forgot about it.  But tonight, I could not keep my eyes open. As I scrolled through pages and pages of notes, I was getting nothing out of it and decided that perhaps after I write this blog, I would be refreshed and awake again.  


As you may or may not know, a Mont Blanc cake (apparently named after the famous mountain in the Alps) is usually made with chestnut puree.  At the time, I did not have any chestnuts but I did have some roasted Korean sweet potatoes which have yellow flesh, purple skin and (what I believe) a very chestnut-y taste. 


Looking at the first photo, it may seem like a complicated dish.  On the contrary, the cake is pretty simple and has a wow factor like you wouldn’t believe.   It starts off with baking a few layers of meringue.  


Followed by making a chestnut (or in my case, sweet potato) cream.  I also substituted mascarpone for the ricotta cheese.  Because that’s what I had on hand and to tell you the truth, I would choose mascarpone over ricotta any day of the week.  


Layer the meringue disks with the sweet potato cream and chocolate.


Oh and the taste… how do you describe something that’s crispy and light, yet sweet, rich and smooth at the same time?   It’s a juxtaposition of flavors and textures which I can only describe as heavenly. 

Mont Blanc Layer Cake

This is the recipe for my version of the cake.  The original can be found here.

Ingredients:

5 medium egg whites (or 4 large egg whites)
200g caster sugar (make this by grinding granulated sugar in your food processor)
125g powdered sugar
300g pureed korean sweet potato (skin peeled)
350ml heavy cream
150g marscapone
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
75g dark chocolate, melted

1) Cover three baking trays with foil. With a lightly buttered finger, trace the outline of a 7 in. circle on each foil-covered tray. You need room in the oven to bake all three meringues at once, so if your oven has only two shelves, you’ll need to squeeze three smaller circles on to two trays instead.

2) Gently warm the egg whites and the mixing bowl (over a pan of very lightly simmering water, for instance, though take care the bowl doesn’t come into contact with the water, otherwise the egg whites will cook), then, using an electric beater, (or your stand mixer with a wire whisk) beat the whites until foamy.

3)  Sprinkle a quarter of the caster sugar at a time over the whites and whisk through on high speed until the grains disappear and the mixture ends up very thick and glossy. Sift and fold in the confectioner’s sugar until the mixture is smooth,

4)  Spread a third of the meringue mix on to each prepared foil circle and with a spatula.

5)  Bake at 285 F for about 90 minutes, or until crisp, slightly beige coloured and with a firm crust. Remove and set aside to cool.

6)  In a bowl, beat the sweet potato puree, 250ml heavy cream, vanilla and enough sugar gently to sweeten it, until very thick. Mix in the mascarpone as the last step, being careful not to over beat.  (The mascarpone will curdle if you do.)

7) Peel one cold meringue from the foil and place on a serving plate. Spread with a third of the sweet potato cream and swirl melted chocolate all over. Repeat with a second meringue, sweet potato cream and chocolate, and top with the last meringue. Pipe on the last of the chestnut cream in a swirl. Drizzle with more melted chocolate and serve.

Mont Blanc Layer Cake - Tutorial Coming Soon!

Mont Blanc Layer Cake - Tutorial Coming Soon!

Malt Ball Cake


Oh Whoppers, malt balls, whatever name you go by, how much I love thee…. 
I love biting into that shiny chocolate exterior to find that melt-in-your-mouth malty interior.   
This cake, apart from being a beauty, is essentially a malt ball in cake form.
It has the most incredibly soft and tender malt flavored cake. 
A word of caution: the cake is so soft it’s a little difficult to handle!
But what really takes the cake, is the incredibly light as air chocolate frosting. 
I have to warn you.. the amount of butter that goes into this frosting is astounding.  
Astounding as in… did I really put in FOUR sticks of butter into this? 
Why yes, yes I did.
It looks extra cute when you garnish it with malt balls.  Split some in half and it makes a pretty white and brown contrast.


You must make it.  It’s just too good to pass up!

Malt Ball Cake

Ingredients:

For the Malt Cake Layers

2 ¼ cups cake flour

¾ cup all-purpose flour

1 cup malted-milk powder (I found this at my local Shop Rite)

1 tablespoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

½ cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature

2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups ice cold water

4 large egg whites, at room temperature

For the Milk Chocolate Frosting:

10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

10 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped

1 ¾ cups heavy cream

3 tablespoons light corn syrup

2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted bitter, cut into 1-inch pieces

Malted milk balls for decoration

Bake the Cake:

1) Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter and flour three 8-inch (9 in cake pans will work too) cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.

2) In a large bowl, whisk the flours with the malt powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.

3) In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter with the shortening until creamy. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat at medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the dry ingredients in 3 batches at low speed, alternating with the ice water, occasionally scraping down the side of the bowl.

4) In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites at medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter. Divide the batter between the pans, spreading it evenly, and bake the cakes for 40 to 45 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 20 minutes, then invert them onto a rack and let cool completely. Peel off the parchment.

Make the Frosting:

1) Place the chocolate in a large bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil, then remove from heat. Add the corn syrup; immediately pour the mixture over the chocolate. Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes, until the chocolate has melted, then whisk until smooth. Let cool to room temperature.

2) Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with a wire whisk. Gradually beat in the butter at medium speed, a few chunks at a time, and beat until thoroughly incorporated between additions. The frosting should be smooth and silky. Refrigerate the frosting just until it is thick enough to hold its shape, 10 to 15 minutes.

3) Place one cake layer on a serving platter and spread 1 1/4 cups of the frosting over the top in an even layer. Repeat to form 2 more layers. Spread a thin layer of frosting over the side of the cake and refrigerate briefly until firm. Frost the side with the remaining frosting. Garnish the cake with malted-milk balls and refrigerate briefly to firm up the frosting before serving.

**The cake can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Bring to room temperature to serve.

Enjoy!! :) 

Ghost Cake

Scary?

Scary cute!  

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Ahem… continuing..

First you bake a red velvet cake (from box or from scratch - mine was from scratch).

 

Fill it with cream cheese frosting and stack it!

Cover the cake in almond buttercream and top with ganache for a cool drip effect.

Oh! Don’t forget the meringue ghosts to decorate the cake!

The air bubbles created their own mouths… which I filled in with chocolate.

The mustache one is my favorite!

You can also decorate it with candy corns - I think they look like teeny gravestones.

I also made cupcake versions.  Adorable and perfect for individual servings.

 

Layered Red Velvet + Cream Cheese Frosting + Chocolate Ganache 



"Dude you don’t look so good"
"You have NO idea what I’ve been through"
 

 * I almost didn’t upload anything because I was losing daylight fast and most of my photos were either taken with my iPhone or with poor lighting.  (The cupcakes were shot the day after) BUT this cake was so cute I couldn’t keep it to myself*

Recipes Featured:

All recipes make enough for 1 six-inch two tiered cake and a dozen cupcakes. 

Cream Cheese Frosting 

8 oz. cream cheese (cold, straight out of the refrigerator)
5 tablespoons butter (softened)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 c. powdered sugar (sifted after measuring)

1. Combine cream cheese, butter and vanilla until combined and smooth.
2. Gradually add 2 cups of powdered sugar.

Chocolate Ganache

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup half-and-half

1. In a microwave oven safe bowl, place chocolate, corn syrup, and half and half. 
2. Microwave for one minute and stir.  If not smooth, work in 15 second batches until desired smoothness.
3. Cool slightly before spreading over cake to get drip effect.

Almond Vanilla Buttercream
This is enough for just the cake (I did not use it on the cupcakes).

8 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened)
3-4 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract

1. Mix 3 cups of confectioner’s sugar, butter, milk, vanilla and almond extract until smooth.
2. Gradually add remaining cup of confectioner’s sugar until desired thickness is reached.

Happy Halloween!! :D

I have to admit, I love my chocolate chip cookies. :]

I have to admit, I love my chocolate chip cookies. :]

Chocolate Ice Box Cake


I admit it. The first time I’ve ever had an Oreo dunked in milk was junior year in college. 

I’ve never liked Oreos before. But when I had my first bite of the softened chocolate cookie with the vanilla icing, I was subconsciously kicking myself for missing out on such a thing for the first 20 years of my life.

… And then this cake came along.

It’s delicious. It tastes like someone took a stack of oreo cookies, dunked it in milk, and served it to you on a plate with a fork, convincing you that it’s cake. 

The best part? 

It’s ridiculously easy. There’s no baking involved - meaning no ovens to preheat, no pans to prepare, no fancy ingredients to buy and hardly any dishes to wash.

You whip cream. Lots of it. Then you spread it in between 11 layers of thin chocolate wafer cookies.  You refrigerate it and voilà! In the magical land of your refrigerator, the cookies soften and become light layers of cake.

The cute chocolate flower decoration is of course, optional.

You’re very welcome.

Chocolate Ice Box Cake
Recipe Adapted From The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook 

Ingredients
3 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 (9-ounce) packages chocolate wafer cookies*

1) Combine cream, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl.

2) Whip cream, sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. (Be careful not to overmix!)

3) On a flat plate (at least 9” in diameter), put one cookie in the center and arrange 6 cookies side by side in a circle.

4) Spread about 1/2 cup of whipped cream. Repeat - making 11 layers of cookies and ending with a layer of cream. 

5) If desired, garnish with cocoa, chocolate shavings, nuts, etc. 

6) Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 5 hours or overnight.

*Note: Everyone seems to say that these chocolate wafers are very hard to find. I found them at my local A&P. Maybe I’m just lucky. If you can’t find them, you can either order them online or bake your own. 

Warning: While making this cake, watch out for cream loving cats.

yellow cake with vanilla buttercream frosting topped with homemade white chocolate flowers with a bittersweet chocolate center

Snickerdoodle Cupcake With Chocolate and Graham Cracker Layered Crust Topped With Marshmallow Frosting (Recipe and Blog Coming Soon!)

Snickerdoodle Cupcake With Chocolate and Graham Cracker Layered Crust Topped With Marshmallow Frosting
(Recipe and Blog Coming Soon!)