Thursday, April 16, 2009
Why the name? Well, it's because it was unplanned indeed. The story behind it was that it was initially meant as a birthday cake for a friend's birthday. I was going to use this "opportunity" to experiment with new flavor combination that I've never tried before. At least there would be enough people willing to be "the victim" for the experiment cake, I thought. That was the plan two weeks before the birthday. But little did I know that so many things will happen for the next two weeks. From family emergency which makes me to be in charge of feeding the whole family now, including the dishes and helping with the nephew and niece, work also has its way of adding my frustration. Going home at 9-10pm from work was a regular and I came home just wanting to throw myself into bed, not doing anything else. I hardly have time to breath (this is hyperbolic but you know what I mean :D).
But I didn't give up on the cake just like that. The cake I wanted to make has about 7 components including the decoration I was planning to put on it. I originally wanted to make a cake similar to what Aran had made before. She has been my inspiration ever since I found her blog. The minute I saw her post that day, I was in love and determined to make a replica of her creation. The many components that always challenge a part of my brain, the clean-ness of her cut, the decorations, you name it. Plus I still had an enormous amount of meyer lemon juice I had kept in the freezer.
I started on the planning, when should I make the cake base, lemon cream, mousse, and stuff. I woke up super early for two days just to try to beat the time. I made the cake base that she has posted on the blog, but it didn't satisfy me. I guess I'm used to Indonesian-type of sponge cake, which uses tons of eggs (particularly the yolks), very little flour and lots of melted butter, resulting in a light cake but yet so soft. So, I made another sponge cake the day after (this is the day before the birthday), and also the chocolate mousse and the milk chocolate cream. I used Pierre Herme's chocolate mousse recipe from his book "Dessert by Pierre Herme", where I saw the combination of lemon and chocolate for the first time. He has similar cake recipe which uses chocolate cake, lemon cream and chocolate mousse. I have bookmarked the page for almost 2 years now, but never get to it :P. So, back to the cake, I literally gave up the night before. I was really tired that I couldn't make another component. At that time, I was only able to make the cake and the milk chocolate cream.
I made PH's chocolate mousse the morning after and at that time I knew that I really need to buy a cake that day from a bakery somewhere. Which is not a bad thing really, as there are quite a few bakeries that I like around here. I don't normally eat my own cake but I would definitely enjoy it if somebody else made it. So, this is the chance for me to actually eat a cake on a birthday celebration!!! how cool is that?! I quickly changed my mind to not make the chocolate-lemon combination for a few reason. So, I grabbed two 8" layers of chocolate sponge cake I had kept in the freezer (don't you just love freezer? it's just a baker's best friend). The sponge cake I made the night before was too big to be used for anything I will decide to make with the mousse :P, so I kept it save and sound in the freezer. It was enough for a layer of filling and a few mini chocolate mousse cakes (which I did not capture). I kept the partially-done cake in the fridge for a few days as I hardly had time to do anything with it. Until about three days later that I finally forced myself to finish the cake.
So, after not-so-careful consideration and observing what I had in the fridge at that time, the cake was finally done! It was composed of two layers of moist chocolate cake, brushed with strong espresso simple syrup, chocolate mousse and cocoa nibs as the bottom layer, and tiramisu cream for the top layer. Then I piped the milk chocolate cream on top of the tiramisu cream. Thank goodness for the leftover chocolate shavings that I was able to quickly decorate it with the clock ticking. The chocolate decoration on the side as also super quick to make. You only need melted chocolate and a spoon, plus parchment paper or acetate sheet. A tiny white ribbon made it extra cute :P.
The macaron however, was specially made just to decorate this cake. I only needed one pair of course. I couldn't help it after seeing Aran's beautiful macaron she put on her cake that I just had to make it too :D. I filled both the pink and the chocolate macaron with raspberry buttercream. The raspberry one has a square of raspberry jelly in the middle of the macaron. Need to practice more on macaron though, can't get that perfect "feet" and smooth top.
Brought this cake to a friend's place where we all gathered to have this cake as an-after-dinner dessert. I was really nervous at first as I had no idea how this cake would turn out, but I was super relieved when one of my friend took the first bite and quickly said "this is REALLY good". He said that a few times just so that I would believe it (cause I didn't :P), plus "from the bottom of my heart, this cake is really good", haha....Okay....., so I tasted it the day after and to my surprise, I ate the whole slice! I can definitely taste the espresso and the tiramisu cream. The mousse was light, not too bitter as well, plus the addition of the cocoa nibs for that extra texture, it was definitely far from "too rich". Yummm.......The macarons too, were gobbled up pretty quickly. My friend was like munching it and said "hmm....this is good, should make this more often". It was definitely more than good enough for an un-planned cake :D.
On the last note, I'm submitting this for "For The Love Of Chocolate" event entry hosted by Poornima of Tasty Treats
Posted by Bertha at 3:03 PM