Wednesday, 15 November 2017

16 Years - A boy grows up fast






16 years old today. How time flies. It seems like only yesterday that this young man was but a small little fellow running around in and out of the house to play. Now, he is still running in and out of the house but to attend school activities, sporting activities and also to have fun.

As tradition has it, Mike was woken up on the morning of his birthday after his presents were hidden under his bed. As he gets older, it gets more difficult to but him presents as toys dont quite cut it anymore. Also, for his 16th I wanted to get him a keepsake. Something useful that he could keep and remember as his is 16th birthday present.



With that in mind, I got him a Victorinox Swiss Army Knife. He also got a football as both he and his sister seem to go through footballs really quickly! Another present is due and that is a pair of shoes but he needs to come along to buy it.....

It was off to school then for Mike.

As for the cake. Well, this will be the 16th cake that I have made for him. A quick check on the history of his cakes revealed that I started making dessert cakes for him on his 10th birthday back in 2011. Prior to that it was always a butter cake decorated in various shapes and patterns. SO this would be the 7th Dessert cake and the fact that I have never repeated a cake recipe is pretty good!!

There's this cake that I had tried, called a Trianon cake, also known as a Chocolate Royal Cake and obviously very French. When eating it, I realised it had a Joconde or Dacquoise base, a layer of Praline Feulletine and finally a topping of Mousse. Didnt seem too diffcult as I had made all three different components before. So I decided I would do it.


I decided on a Dacquoise or almond meringue base rather than the Joconde as I wanted a slightly chewy texture for the base. Just a side note, while Dacquoise often refers to the finished cake, it is also the name for the almond or hazelnut meringue based component. For the Feulletine, I opted to use Nutella instead of making my own praline as I was just simply too lazy. There! I admitted it!! I searched for a few recipes on the Internet and finally pulled one together with some adaptation




Ingredients

DAcquoise/ Almond Meringue Layer
3 Egg whites
125 g sugar
200g ground almonds
2 tbsp flour



Praline Feulletine Layer
75g chopped chocolate
1 tablespoon butter
200g Nutella
200g) Corn Flakes / Feuilletine


Chocolate Mousse Layer
Mousse 300g chocolate
400 ml Whipping cream
2 Tbsp Icing sugar
3 egg yolks
1 tsp gelatine



Method


Dacquoise
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.

Praline Feulletine Layer

Crush cornflakes in a plastic bag but take care not to make it into a powder. Melt chocolate and Butter together with Nutella over a double boiler. Mix well to incorporate. Add in crushed cornflakes and mix well. Spread into a 9" lined springform and allow to set in freezer


Chocolate Mousse
Melt Chocolate over a double boiler. 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. Slowly fold into the cream. Mix well till smooth. Set gelatine in a tsp of water and allow to bloom. Place over a double boiler and mix well till all gelatine is dissolved. Add into mouuse and mix well to incorporate.

Assembly
Place a 9" steel ring on a cake board (or use a springform pan) Trim the dacquoise with a cake leveler so the top is level. Place the dacquoise into ring or springform pan. Cover with the praline layer and press down on to the dacqouise layer. Cover with Chocolate mousse. Cover pan in clingfilm and chill for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight





We cut the cake at night and the cake was pretty much a hit although it was really rich and you couldnt eat too much off it at one sitting. I cut the slices into small squares/rectangles and both kids had two servings as did I!! In hindsight, my praline feulletine base was a bit hard and I think I used too much chocolate. I have adjusted the recipe above accordingly.




The cake needs to thaw a little before serving so the the praline layer is easier to cut and also to eat. I found that using a sharp edged cake cutter was good to cut the cake into rectangles or squares.

Another successful birthday cake and another year older for my dear boy.

Happy, Happy Birthday Michael!!

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