Safi Chocolate Mousse Cake
Safi Chocolate Mousse Cake
Although the recipe is for a large quantity, the large cake which results is sliced into 8 smaller cakes for service. The assembled cakes may be wrapped and frozen, then thawed and iced with ganache later. Chef Hevin places his cakes on sheets of golden cardboard. Many party supply stores carry such disposable sheets and discs, but of course you could present them on lovely plates as well. The candied mandarins take several days to make; plan ahead if you choose this option. To help you find the most unusual ingredients, we did a web search for you:
- Candied Mandarin Oranges
- small mandarin oranges - 8
- water - 6 cups
- sugar - 3 cups
- Grand Marnier Syrup
- sugar - 2 cups
- water - 1/2 cup
- Grand Marnier - 1/2 cup
- Chocolate Cake
- whole eggs - 4
- egg yolks - 24
- almond paste - 1 1/2 lbs
- confectioner's sugar - 2 1/4 cups
- egg whites - 14
- sugar - 1/2 cup
- cocoa powder - 2 cups
- unsalted butter (melted) - 2 1/4 sticks
- Chocolate Mousse
- orange-flavored chocolate, chopped - 8 oz
- 67% dark chocolate (chopped) - 4 1/2 oz
- unsalted butter (melted) - 1 1/4 sticks
- cacao paste - 8 oz
- sugar - 1 cup
- candied orange rind, chopped very fine - 1/2 cup
- egg whites - 21
- grand marnier - splash
- bittersweet chocolate chopped - 1 lb
- heavy cream - 1 cup
- dark cocoa powder - 2 cups
- candied mandarin oranges - 8
To make the candied mandarins: Put the mandarins in a medium pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook 20 minutes to soften the fruit. Remove and drain. Combine the 6 cups of water and 3 cups of sugar and bring to a boil. Cook over high heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture reaches a full boil, about 3 minutes. Add the mandarins, cover, and place over very low heat. Cook con tinually over very low heat for 2 to 3 days, adding 2 tablespoons of sugar each day, until the mandarins have a translucent quality. Drain and rinse; set aside on a rack to dry.
To make the syrup: In a medium, heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and Grand Marnier and cook over high heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture reaches a full boil, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. The syrup may be stored in a covered non-aluminum container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
To make the cake: Line 3 edged baking pans (about 15 inches by 10 inches) with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to high, 475 F. Beat the eggs, egg yolks, almond paste, and confectioner's sugar until all the sugar has dissolved and the mixture thickens enough to form a ribbon when drizzled back upon itself.
Beat the egg whites until foamy; sprinkle in the sugar, and con tinue beating to soft peaks. Whisk the cocoa powder and butter together until smooth. Fold the butter mixture into the egg mix ture. Fold a large spoonful of egg whites into the developing batter to lighten it, then fold in the remaining egg whites. Use a hand-held broad scraper or spatula to do the final mixing to mix thoroughly while preserving the volume of the egg whites. Divide among the prepared cake pans and spread smoothly in a thin layer over the pans. Bake 5 minutes, until the center of the cake springs back when touched. Remove and let cool com pletely. The finished layers should be about 1/2- to 5/8-inch thick.
To make the mousse: Melt the chocolates and butter together in
the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water; stir gently w ith a whisk to combine. Stir in the cacao paste. Let cool.
Beat the egg whites until foamy, sprinkle in the sugar, and con
tinue beating to firm (not dry) peaks. If necessary, work in batch
es, dividing the egg whites and sugar evenly and then combin
ing the beaten egg whites in one large bowl when finished. Working rapidly, pour the chocolate mixture into the egg whites
and mix, being careful to preserve the volume of the egg whites.
Use a hand-held broad scraper or spatula to do the final mixing
to mix thoroughly while preserving volume. Cover the bowl w ith plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.
To assemble: Create a framework within which to build the cake. Place a 15 inch by 10 inch piece of cardboard on a work surface. Cover the cardboard with parchment paper. Using cardboard strips, build 6-inch tall box around the base, holding the strips together with masking tape on the outside of the box. Line the insides of this box with flexi ble plastic (the sort used when making chocolate designs) or strips of parchment paper. The box does not need to hold liquid, so you do no have to worry about waterproofing the seams.
Brush the top of one of the sheet cakes with Grand Marnier simple syrup. Lift the cake from its pan by the parchment paper and invert it into the box to form the bottom layer. Brush with more Grand Marnier syrup. Spread one third of the chocolate mousse evenly over the cake. Use gentle pressure to preserve the volume of the mousse. Brush the top of the next cake with syrup, invert over the mousse, and gently press into place. Brush with more syrup and spread another third of the mousse over this layer. Repeat again to finish the stack of cake and mousse, ending with mousse. Smooth the mousse. Place in the refrig erator and chill for at least half a day to firm.
Make the ganache: In a heavy pan over medium-high heat, bring the cream to a boil. Remove from heat. Add the chocolate and stir until melted. Let cool to just slightly warmer than room temperature.
Slip a thin knife between the box sides and plastic or parchment liner to loosen them, then remove the cardboard box sides. Gently peel the plastic or parchment from the edges of the cake. Trim the top edges w ith a serrated knife to form a sharp square edge, dipping the knife in hot water and wiping it dry between cuts. Pour the ganache over the top of the cake and spread into a smooth layer with a warmed off set spatula. Dip the spatula in hot water and wipe clean, then smooth the ganache and square the edges.
Measure and mark the wide sides, pressing a small mark at the center of each wide side, then at the half-way point between the ends and the center mark, making four equal sections. Score a line between the marks. Mark the halfway point on each short side and score across. Cut the cake lengthwise along the marks into four large pieces, then cut each piece horizontally in half to form eight layered cakes. Brush off all crumbs.
With a broad long spatula and your hands, lift each individual cake and place on its own serving plate or piece of decorative cardboard. Put half the cocoa powder in a sieve and shake over four of the cakes, coating them with cocoa powder. Repeat to finish the remaining cakes. Wipe cocoa powder from the plates of decorative cardboard bases. Put a toothpick in the bottom of a candied mandarin and fasten at one end o f a cake; repeat to garnish all cakes.
To serve: Slice each cake into individual servings, removing the candied mandarin. Slice the mandarin and divide among the plates.