Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Mocha crumble cake

After pondering about it a lot, I have come to the decision that I am going to take my planned second book to a new direction. Because let's face it, with the little spare time I have to work on it, I don't think I will ever get to finish it. Really, I don't have that kind of faith in myself! Plus, it is kind of unfair to keep you excited and waiting for nothing, right?  Well, not really nothing.  I mean, I will still come up with that second book but it will be different from what I had initially intended it to be.

So today, I will be starting what hopefully will be a regular sharing of cake recipes again.  I don't want to promise anything but I will surely try and do my best! As I mentioned in my previous post, I have already done several cakes over the last few months.  I will not be sharing all of them here...just some chosen ones. Please don't ask me to email the recipes to you personally.  If it's for sharing, you will definitely see it here so please spare me some patience 😅

Here is the mocha crumble cake I made way back in November.  As you already know, the inspiration for this cake is Red Ribbon Bakeshop's cake of the same name.

Image credit: Red Ribbon Bakeshop website

Most elements of this cake were quite easy to figure out.  What I didn't exactly know was what the chocolate crumble was! I couldn't find helpful information on what was on that chocolate cluster. I don't think it's nuts although I reckon it should be something that will give it some crunch. Rice krispies perhaps? Let me know if you know!

Anyway, here goes my take on this cake.  Enjoy!

MOCHA CRUMBLE CAKE (makes a two-layered 8" round)

1.  For the cake: Bake one batch of mocha chiffon using the recipe here.

2.  For the coffee buttercream:  Make one batch of Swiss meringue buttercream.  To that, add in 1 tablespoon of instant coffee powder dissolved in a little hot water.  You can also replace the vanilla extract with an equal amount of coffee extract or maybe half coffee and half chocolate extract, if you have them.

3. For the dark chocolate ganache:

120 g dark chocolate, chopped or chips
120 g whipping or thickened cream

Place chocolate chips in a medium bowl.

In a small saucepan, bring whipping cream to a boil.  Pour over the chocolate chips and let stand for 1-2 minutes without stirring.

Stir with a whisk until smooth and shiny.  Leave this to cool and thicken enough for spreading and piping.

4. For the chocolate crumble:

NOTE: I chose to use compound chocolate because I don't want to and have never tempered real chocolate before!

225 g dark chocolate melts (compound chocolate)
70 g rice krispies/bubbles

Melt dark chocolate in a bowl over simmering water.  When completely melted, take off from the heat then fold in the rice krispies.  Spread chocolate mixture thinly on a silpat or baking paper-lined baking tray.

Leave until cool and set. If desired, cut out some circles for garnishing using a cookie cutter.  Crush some of it for the filling.

Alternatively, you can simply drop the chocolate mixture by the spoonful in your lined baking tray then flatten slightly.  That would work too!  The only reason I chose to cut mine in circles was because I have seen  photos of really ugly and messy chocolate crumble on the internet!  I wanted mine to be neatly sitting on top of the cake 😀

5. To assemble and decorate the cake:

Cut your mocha chiffon cake in half horizontally.  Place the top layer, cut side up on your cake board. Fill a piping bag fitted with a large star tip with coffee SMBC then pipe a dam around the cake edge. Spread a layer of ganache on the space inside the dam.   Scatter the crushed up chocolate crumble on top of the ganache then spread coffee buttercream over it to make a level filling.  Top with the other cake half, cut side down. Crumb coat cake with a thin layer of buttercream.  Let chill in the fridge for a few minutes. Cover the whole cake smoothly with more buttercream.

Using a small spatula, dab some ganache around the cake side and top.  Run a spatula or a cake scaper so the ganache spreads.  If desired, use a cake comb to create a pattern.

Using the same piping bag with the large star tip, pipe alternate rosettes of coffee buttercream and ganache.  Garnish the top with the chocolate crumble rounds.

Ok that's it!  Hope that satisfies your cake cravings for now.  Till next!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Sneak peek (or not)

Where has all the time gone? In just 5 months, my grandson Lachlan will already be 2 years old!  It hasn't even been that long since I shared about his existence here! He is my world these days and everything I do seems to revolve around him. When he is with me (which is a LOT), I can't do anything much that doesn't involve him and I have had to adjust my own life according to his schedule. It is much like being a first time mother all over again! It has been a great challenge but I am not complaining.  I am happy!

When Lachlan is not with me, that is when I squeeze in my baking. I try to finish cake orders first. If by some miracle, I still have the time (and will) to do some experimenting then that is a huge bonus! Today, for instance, Lachlan is at daycare.  Guess what I am having for lunch? Cake 🙅!!  I made a Rocky Road cake this morning,  the recipe of which I intend to include in my "I don't know if it's ever going to get finished" second book.

It's another copycat of a Red Ribbon bakeshop cake.
Truth is, I have been making new cakes for the past several months with the same intention of putting all of them in the book. Sometimes I have to time it when there's an occasion, like this Chocolate Pistachio cake which I made for my husband's birthday last November...

Or this Biscoff (or Speculoos) cake for my sister in-law's birthday in December.

Other times I make cakes just because it makes me feel guilty not to exert more effort...

Mocha crumble cake
Coconut almond (Rafaello) cake
Chocolate mousse cake
There are still more but I am going ever so slowly with the writing and drafting 😢 And I still have this whole list of ideas for cakes to do!

I know I have been real unfaithful to this blog. But I do hope you are all still out there.  And I hope you are still willing to wait patiently for me. Motivate me, please 🙏 If you have any request for cakes that you want me to "copy", let me know! Make my list even longer 😄!

Ok that's it for now!  I have to go and clean up everything I used to make my Rocky Road cake.  I just dumped them in the sink so I can update this blog while I still can.  Till next!