My little princess turns 13!
The 17th of February 2017 was the date my little Princess turned 13 and she is certainly not little any more. Being a school day, we woke her early and as usual we hid her presents under the bed.
This year she got a Puma Hoodie, two personalised Arsenal Mugs and two T-shirts. The mugs were ordered from Photobook and as there was a special for two mugs, I designed two different mugs. She was delighted with the mugs but remarked that it may have been better if I hadn't personalised it with her name as that would look more authentic - as if it really came from Emirates Stadium! Nonetheless, she was delighted with her two mugs as well as the Puma hoodie and t-shirts.
Although she is in afternoon school for Form One, she had to go in for the morning session today as there was a farewell for one of the teachers. So it was a bit of a rush to get both her and her brother off to school in the morning. Later at night, we bought some of her favourite Chinese Fried Rice from the shop in Bangsar (Vincent) and had dinner at my Mom-in-Laws before coming home to cut her cake.
I had made the cake on Thursday night and had spent a considerable amount of time trying to decide what to make her. She had said she would like a dessert cake and preferably something new that I hadn't made before. She likes anything chocolate. She also likes anything sour. I contemplated making a lemon cake but thought that would be too simple. Then I thought of a lemon meringue cake - something like a lemon meringue pie. However I wasn't sure whether all of us would enjoy it enough to finish a whole cake. Orange Chocolate mousse cake....orange cake with choc ganache....Sacher Torte.....Coffee Cake..... Mocha Mousse Cake......hmmm.
Mocha Mousse Cake. She does like Mocha. She does like Mousse. Lets figure out a way to make it a little more special. Maybe add in an almond meringue in between layers for some nutty crunch. Indeed, a plan was working in my mind.
So this is what I decided to do. For the cake base, I would use my tried and tested Le Cordon Bleu Chocolate Genoise. I'd whip up a chocolate mousse and add in some coffee to make a mocha mousse then I'd make my Almond Meringue base and put that in the centre. The Genoise would be sliced in two as well and one layer placed on top of the cake. Yes. A plan indeed!
Mocha Mousse Meringue Cake
The various components of the cake are as below:
Chocolate Genoise Recipe
100g Caster Sugar
80g Plain flour
2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
20g Butter, melted
preheat the oven to 180C. line a 9 inch springform pan with parchment paper. Half fill a saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Remove from heat. Put the eggs and sugar into a large heatproof bowl and place over the saucepan making sure it is not touching the water. Using electric beaters, whisk for 5-10 minutes until the mixture is thick and light, has doubled in volume and leaves a trail as it falls from the beaters. The temperature of the mixture should never be hot, only warm. Remove the bowl from the pan of water and continue to beat until cold. Sift the flour and cocoa together and carefully fold into the whisked mixture with a large metal spoon until just combined. Stop folding as soon as flour and cocoa are combined or mixture will lose its volume. Gently but quickly fold in the warm butter. Pour the mixture into the tin and gently smooth the top with the back of the spoon. Bake on the middle shelf of oven for about 25-30 minutes or until springy and shrinking from the sides of the tin. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Clean the cake tin so it is ready to use later.
3 Egg whites
125 g sugar
200g ground almonds
line a 9" pan with parchment or nonstick paper. Whisk egg whites and sugar till stiff. Fold in almonds till nicely incorporated. Spread evenly into the pan and bake in a 190C oven for about 20-25 mins until lightly browned. Remove paper and let cool.
500ml whipping cream
2 tbps icing sugar
250g good quality Dark Chocolate
2-3 Teaspoons Instant Coffee Powder (dissolved in a little milk)
3 egg yolks
Melt Chocolate over a double boiler. Dissolve coffee in a little hot milk and set aside. Whisk in egg yolks into melted chocolate. Mixture may seize and clump up but a quick whiz with an electric mixture should smoothen it out. Whip cream and icing sugar till stiff peaks. If chocolate is still not smooth, add in a little of the cream and beat till chocolate is smooth. Add in coffee mixture to chocolate mixture and then add in cream. Mix well till smooth.
Slice the Chocolate genoise into two. Place the bottom half back in the springform pan and cover with half the mousse. Place meringue over mousse layer and cover with remaining mousse. Place top of genoise over the mousse. Cover pan in clingfilm and chill for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight.
For a more decadent cake, cover the top layer of cake with chocolate ganache.
My Princess really liked her cake and so did TWL as well as my son. I personally thought that this was one of the better cakes I had made as it was really quite delicious. The layer of cake on top added a touch of elegance to the overall cake while the meringue layer leant a nice crunch and nutty flavour and texture.
So another birthday over and another new cake to add to my repertoire. It's getting more and more difficult to come up with new creations but at the end of the day it's so worthwhile when the family enjoys my creations.
Happy Birthday Princess!!