Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spumoni Mousse Cake


Okay. Calling this cake is a bit of a misnomer. Yes, it's cake-shaped with stacked layers made for slicing and it's even frosted, but there's nary a crumb to speak of.  It's 100% mousse, in cherry chip and pistachio flavors, surrounded by vanilla whipped cream - my take on spumoni.

The trio of cherry, pistachio and vanilla flavors were the primary inspiration for this cake dessert, but I also find myself preternaturally drawn to this color palette.  Remember these? Yeah. This cake and those mallow cones need to get together and have a party.

Tart server from Leif; Ice cream spoons from Hey YoYo.
Since this cake was inspired by its ice cream counterpart, I decided to try it as a frozen dessert - and it's delicious as such. I could see this served  at a summertime gathering in place of a typical ice cream cake. After the half-slice I tested as a frozen dessert had sat on the counter and thawed somewhat, I tried it again. It's just as delicious at room temperature, and much softer with a true airy mousse texture.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Chocolate "Wax" Seals on Poured Fondant Honey Cupcakes



I found the inspiration for chocolate "wax" seals in a magazine last year while I was researching wedding cakes. Maybe you remember my plight? I was nervous about making my first wedding cake so I studied a mountain of books and magazines on the subject ad nauseum. It was a great learning experience, but I'll never forget the car ride to the reception hall with a triple-tier cake in the back.  My heart was in my throat exactly nineteen times (the number of bumps in the road) and I may have shed a tear when we arrived with the cake intact. (I digress.)

I've seen chocolate seals plenty of times on Sacher tortes and other fancy pastries, but I couldn't find instructions for making them at home. So, I ordered a couple of inexpensive wax stamps - and some real sealing wax in case things didn't turn out as expected - and experimented with bittersweet chips. I found a neat no-temper method that I think just about anyone could replicate at home.


I used an "H" to indicate the flavor of the cake but plan to get double use since it's my initial, too. The crown imprint turned out well, and even the more intricate bee stamp worked perfectly, which was surprising. Those little bee legs are so delicate!

I made a video to show how easy it is to make your own at home.  It simply involves keeping the wax stamps on ice so the chocolate sets fast when the impression is made.


Friday, March 15, 2013

Irish Coffee Pudding


Here's a little something for St. Patrick's Day that takes very little effort to put together. It's inspired by Irish Coffee, a drink that consists of brown sugar, cream, Irish whiskey and strongly brewed coffee. It seemed like the perfect kind of thing to turn into my favorite comfort food - pudding.


The whipped-cream-to-pudding ratio is about 50/50 here. The pudding is filled with potent coffee flavor, and the whiskey imparts barley and oak flavors. It's not overly sweet, so the sweetened whipped cream gives the entire dessert a nice balance.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Pink Vanilla Key Lime Mallow Cones


It's still bleak and wintry here, but spring is already bubbling over in my kitchen. Heaps of marshmallow and meringue were whipped up this weekend and then tinted in the softest pastels. I'm so ready for the season's lightness and effervescence - I can't wait a moment longer to embrace it all!

Sugar cones make great little vessels in which to carry fluffy homemade marshmallow. To make it a ringer for soft-serve, I piped it with a large French decorator tip. The colors and flavors were inspired by two paint swatches I've been toting around in my purse since late December. Maybe someday I'll get to use those colors on a wall, but for now they look pretty good on dessert.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Double Chocolate Stout Mousse Cake


I've been toying with the idea for a stout mousse cake for a couple of weeks now, and at first, I couldn't get my head around how to make it happen. I didn't know if stout mousse was even a thing, but I was sure if it wasn't, it needed to be. It turns out there are a few stout mousse recipes online but they all seem best suited for a dessert glass. I needed a recipe that was stable enough to turn into a cake layer.

I finally knuckled down and figured out my own recipe based off another mousse cake on this blog.  I'm happy to say it worked, and my vision for this cake - realized!


This cake is delicious, too. The double chocolate stout gives the cake layer a richness that is nuanced with malt and hops. The light texture and flavor of the stout mousse on top is a nice contrast.  

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