Monday, September 05, 2016

The Baking Bible: Heavenly Chocolate Mousse Cake

A wonderful, decadent and rich cake that is all about the heavenly mousse filling. Although the project took most of the day, all the components were easy to do.

(I apologise for the dark photos; I thought I'd take then outside but didn't change the settings nor can I get my photo editor to work. I haven't used the program in a long time so I think it was having trouble importing all my photos.)

The outside of the cake, the cake itself, is a simple biscuit sponge baked in a sheet pan. Rose says it takes 10 min to mix and another 10 to bake and that's pretty much true. The fiddly part comes when you have to make a template of the pieces needed to make the cake shell. One long piece to line the long sides and bottom, two end pieces and a top piece. It was fiddly but not too hard and I decided to save the template (made on binder paper) in the bok justi n case I ever decide to do this again. I cut the cake with a pizza roller (thanks to Marie) and used a pair of scissors to make any final trimming.

The middle, the whole reason you're here, is a creamy and mellow and rich chocolate mousse that starts with dark chocolate and cream. A whole boatlaod of egg yolks are tempered into the hot ganache and cooked until custardy. After the mixture cools a bit, you whip it for a little bit until soft floppy peaks form when the beater is raised. The book says it should take about 30 seconds but for me, it took much more time than that. Then a little one-egg white meringue is folded into the custard to lighten the mix, and then it is time to assemble the cake.

After lining the loaf pan with the cake, the mousse is poured and smoothed into the pan. Everything needs to rest up for 3 hours at room temperature for the custard to firm up, but after cutting into the cake the mouuse was still soft and the cake threatened to fall apart. So if I do this cake again I think I will also refrigerate it for a bit before cutting. i think it would be easier to cut when chilled and then allowed to come up to room temperature before serving.

This would be a wonderful finish to a nice dinner with people you love and a good cup of coffee.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

The Baking Bible: Frozen Lime Meringue Pie

This pie popped up in our rotation right as some stupid hot weather descended on Portland so I was thankful it only required the broiler for a few minuets. Plus I loved that is served straight from the freezer, although it is best when it softens a bit, and that the lime is so refreshing. It is amazing that a modified lime curd folded into a bit of whipped cream can produce something that so closely resembles ice cream.

The pie is based on the Lemon Canadian Crown from Roses's Heavenly Cakes, which is a modified lemon curd folded into whipped cream, frozen in a ladyfinger "crust" and topped with meringue. I liked that cake, but I liked this pie even better. The crust is a vanilla wafer crust, instead of the expected graham cracker crust. Honestly I might have preferred the graham cracker crust, but the vanilla crust does a good job of not getting in the way of all that beautiful limey-ness.

On stupid hot days a cold, refreshing, creamy lime pie is just the thing. I savored each bite of this pie and look forward to making it again next summer.

The Baking Bible: Coconut Crisps

This is a yummy and quick little cookie with a mild yet convincing coconut flavor. Mark called these coconut shortbreads and I think that's pretty much on point.

Everything gets whizzed up in the food processor. The coconut is unsweetened, which helps keep these cookies from being too sweet. A quick knead to bring the crumbly dough together and a rest in the refrigerator and this dough is ready for rolling and cutting.

Even with the rolling and cutting, the dough is simple and easy to work with. I hate rolling and cutting, and this time I wasn't complaining. Eliot loved the cutting out of cookies, too. So I made him some homemade play dough so he could continue playing and I could finish up and bake the cookies.

I guess I suck at rolling out evenly because some cookies were thinner than others and therefore browned something awful. However they are pretty good.