"All the world is birthday cake, so take a piece, but not too much"
I don't think it's going to be easy going back to regular frosting or whipped cream again. This was my maiden attempt at making homemade mascarpone, & I cannot believe how luxurious cream can get. Bless the Italians. Panna Cotta has been on my faves as dessert for long enough; now along comes mascarpone! WOW!! I bought a local brand of mascarpone a while ago, used it with Balsamic Strawberries here
, though the dessert was delicious, the mascarpone itself was very disappointing. My homemade one just ROCKED!
I made the mascarpone for my dad's birthday cake. Actually I had tiramisu on my mind, but it's just too hot to pipe & make ladies fingers. So I decided to make a simple sponge, saturate it with a strong coffee syrup, & use the mascarpone as topping. Then I googled, & saw Susan's TWD Tiramisu
. Ooooooh, was I in coffee heaven or what?
With that idea in mind, I stopped by at Vera's Baking Obsession
, which is my ready reckoner of sorts now, and went through each cake recipe. Her chocolate genoise
seemed like my answer. Yes, the idea was forming in my mind. The only ingredient deviation from Vera's genoise recipe is that I used clarified butter/ghee instead of heating the 4 tbsps of butter & taking 3 tbsps once it was clarified. A simple shortcut as I have ghee at home.
The crumb of the genoise was light, tender & moist, & the coffee syrup made it perfect! Sandwiched with a cream as luxurious & indulgent as homemade mascarpone, the cake was perfect. Just right - not exceedingly sweet, light, yet luxurious! I made the mascarpone 2 days in advance, the genoise a day in advance, & refrigerated both.
The daughter licked her plate clean. You couldn't tell there had been cake on it. I suppose that's her way of saying it was absolutely delicious as she is one of few words. Teens??? The son, on the other hand, is more generous with his words, & came to tell me that it was like a cake out of the pastry shop, only better! My dad, who's birthday it was for, loved it of course. Hub, again a man of few words (& those few not minced at all), said it was better than a patisserie cake!! YAY!!
I think my mascarpone behaved a little differently from Vera's instructions because of the fat content of cream. I used a 25% fat content & her recipe asks for a 36%. The cream also took almost 25 minutes to heat through, but never touched 190F on the candy thermometer. So I added the lime juice when the cream began bubbling slowly. Once made & cooled etc, the mascarpone looked a little dry, but mixing it in with cream & sugar made it luxuriously beautiful! HOMEMADE MASCARPONE CREAM
as adapted from Baking Obsession
Makes about 12 ozIngredients:
600ml low fat cream (25 %) pasteurized (not ultra-pasteurized), preferably organic cream
1 tbsp fresh lime juiceMethod:
Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a wide skillet. Reduce the heat to medium-low so the water is barely simmering.
Pour the cream into a medium heat-resistant bowl, then place the bowl into the skillet. Heat the cream, stirring often, to 190 F. It will take about 15 minutes of delicate heating.
Add the lime juice and continue heating the mixture, stirring gently, until the cream curdles. Do not expect the same action as you see during ricotta cheese making. All that the whipping cream will do is become thicker, like a well-done crème anglaise. It will cover a back of your wooden spoon thickly. You will see just a few clear whey streaks when you stir.
Remove the bowl from the water and let cool for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, line a sieve with four layers of dampened cheesecloth and set it over a bowl. Transfer the mixture into the lined sieve. Do not squeeze the cheese in the cheesecloth or press on its surface (be patient, it will firm up after refrigeration time). Once cooled completely, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate (in the sieve) overnight or up to 24 hours.
As adapted from this recipe @ Baking ObsessionIngredients:
3 tbsp clarified butter/ghee
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
4 large eggs (I used 5 as the eggs were smallish)
2/3 cup fine granulated vanilla sugarMethod:
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line, grease & flour an 8-inch round cake pan.Sift the flour and cocoa together three times; reserve.
Bring some water to a boil in a large pan/griddle & reduce to simmer. Place eggs & sugar in a large bowl, whisk constantly over the simmering water, heat the eggs to lukewarm (about 105F). Remove the bowl from the pan; leave the skillet on the stove but turn off the heat. With an electric mixer, beat the egg mixture at high speed until it has cooled, tripled in volume, and resembles softly whipped cream, about 5 minutes in a heavy-duty mixer or longer with a less powerful mixer.
Meanwhile, set the bowl of clarified butter/ghee and vanilla in the skillet of hot water, with the burner off, to keep it warm.
Sift about one-third of the flour and cocoa over the whipped eggs. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the mixture-quickly but gently-until combined. Fold in half the remaining flour and cocoa, then fold in the rest. Remove the warm butter mixture from the skillet. Scoop about 1 cup of the batter into the bowl with the butter and fold together until completely combined. Use the large rubber spatula to fold the butter mixture completely into the remaining batter. Turn the batter into the prepared pan and tilt to level.
Bake until the cake beginning to shrink slightly around the edges and the top springs back when pressed with your finger, about 40-45 minutes. Cool the cake completely in the pan on a rack.
MOCHA MASCARPONE FROSTINGIngredients:
To unmold, run a small knife or spatula around the inner edges of the pan. Invert it onto a rack and remove the parchment liner. Turn the cake right side up. The génoise can be wrapped and refrigerated for up to 2 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.
12oz Mascarpone Cream (recipe above)
200ml low fat cream (25% fat)
1 tsp coffee powder (increase or omit as desired)
2-3 tbsps ground vanilla sugar, or regular sugar (according to taste)Method:
CHOCOLATE GENOISE CAKE with MOCHA MASCARPONEIngredients:
Beat mascarpone cheese with a wooden spoon till smooth. Fold in the rest of the ingredients & mix with the spoon till smooth.
1 chocolate genoise sponge (recipe above)
1 portion of Mocha Mascarpone Cream (recipe above)
Dark chocolate shavings, flakes & coffee beans etc to garnishTo assemble:
Make a strong coffee syrup with 1/4 cup of hot water, 2-3 tsps sugar & 2 tsps coffee powder. Cool.
Cut the genoise into 2 horizontal layers.
Place one layer on the cake platter. Brush well with the coffee syrup. Sandwich with a little less than half the mocha mascarpone. Top with the second layer, & brush that well with the coffee syrup.
Frost the top & sides of the cake with the remaining mascarpone. Grate dark chocolate over the top, edge with coffee beans, & sift cocoa over the edges.
Chill for 3-4 hours.
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