White Chocolate Sort-of Tiramisu
So, the youngest minion had her birthday last Thursday (on valentines), a cake was of course required!
I decided on this White Chocolate Espresso Torte thing that is reminiscent of a Tiramisu
We had a bit of a mini-fight about her not getting to know what cake she was getting before her birthday, but I won and got to make the cake! Go me!
Thank goodness I had a day off before her birthday or I would never have managed since this cake takes it’s sweet time to get ready (and I think it tastes better if it is made the day before it’s supposed to be eaten).
This is just slightly modified from a recipe I found on the internet (that can be found here: White Chocolate Espresso Torte With Hazelnut Praline).
I just kinda skipped the hazelnut praline and the coffee liquor, because I don’t like the liquor (I don’t drink alcohol in general) and I thought the hazelnut pralines didn’t sound good enough to bother with as well as a bit over the top.
- 12 ounces (240 g) high-quality white chocolate, finely chopped
- 5 tablespoons water
- 2 cups (5 dl) chilled heavy whipping cream
- 2 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
- 7 ounces (200 g) bittersweet chocolate (try to not exceed 61% cacao), chopped
- 0,8 cup(2 dl) heavy whipping cream
- Vegetable oil
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 2/3 cup (1,5 dl) sugar
- 1,5 teaspoons instant espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup plain flour
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted and cooled
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1,7 ounces (50 g) dark chocolate
- 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
- One 6- 8 ounces (170 – 220 g) block of white chocolate
- Some raspberries
- One lime
So, here’s what we do, we start with the mousse.
Chop up the white chocolate, quite finely and add that and the water to a double boiler. Let it melt (with you occasionally stirring) until smooth.
While that melts, whip up the cream. It should be able to form soft peaks, but shouldn’t be mixed too hard (tricky balance at times, but if you ever whip it too hard, you can add a little more non-whipped cream to it and just mix it gently with a spoon or something).
When the chocolate has melted, get it off the heat and let it cool until it’s lukewarm. Try to stir it occasionally (and that means perhaps every five to ten minutes, not like a possessed person every other second, although that works as well).
Gently, gently mix the melted chocolate with the whipped cream, taking it slow and mixing with a spoon. More folding than mixing I suppose. Make sure it blends well.
When you’ve done that, get another bowl out, and scoop 2 ½ cups (6 dl) into that.
Fold in the espresso powder into that bowl (don’t worry if it doesn’t immediately mix, just wait for it to… “melt” into the mixture for a few minutes and then fold it around again).
So in the end you’ll have two bowls of mousse, one plain with white chocolate and one with white chocolate and espresso powder.
Seal the bowls with cling wrap and put them in the fridge to firm up. Original recipe says at least six hours, but one hour did the trick for me. This can be made a day ahead as long as you keep them chilled if you’re planning on assembling it the next day.
So, that was the mousse done!
Onwards to the ganache.
Ganache is ridiculously simple to make, no magic to it whatsoever.
Chop up your dark chocolate finely and place it in a bowl.
Bring the cream to a boil in a saucepan of appropriate size and pour over the chocolate and, once again, stir until smooth.
Place the ganache wherever you want in room temperature and you have that finished as well! Go you!
So, to the actual cake.
Preheat your oven to 350 °F / 176 °C and pour a small amount of oil onto an approximately 15 x 10 inch (38 x 25 cm) baking sheet, spreading it out, to make sure the parchment paper sticks to it properly.
Melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler and, when properly melted, let it cool off for a few minutes until lukewarm.
In a bowl, combine the four eggs, espresso powder, vanilla sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Mix with an electric mixer on high speed for about six minutes until the mixture is kinda fluffy. If you don’t have an electric mixer, I’m sorry, but your arm is going to be aching for a while as you do this with a whisk. Then when you’ve done that, fold in the lukewarm chocolate.
Try to sift in the flour in about three turns, folding them in.
When that is done, transfer one cup (2,5 dl) of the batter into another little bowl and fold in the melted and cooled butter into that one before transferring it all back to the large bowl and folding the mixture back together
Spread it evenly on the baking sheet and pop it into the oven for about 18 minutes.
When a test stick comes out clean from the middle and it starts pulling away from the pan, it should be done. But be a bit careful here, you don’t want it too hard! Don’t leave the kitchen if you can help it! (Not that you would anyway, what is more important that baking a cake?)
When it’s done, let the whole baking sheet cool on a rack for about 30 minutes (or more) during which you can do something else. Nothing more needs your attention until later.
But before you go, cut the edges on the cake so you get clean lines. It’s not necessary, bit it’s a bit more aesthetically pleasing ;)
You’re back? You’re back, awesome.
Sift two tablespoons of powdered sugar over the cake until it’s kind of covered.
Now we have to turn this thing around.
Flip it over and now you have to cut it into four same size rectangles, approximately 10 x 3 1/2 inches (25 x 9 cm) each.
Now, place one of the rectangles on your platter of choice (it’ll have to be a pretty big one for the cake to fit).
Bring forth the ganache! Spread a third of the ganache over the first rectangle (a spatula works best here, I think) and then add a third of the espresso mousse over that. Personally, I thought the easiest way to do that was with a homemade pastry/piping bag.
It’s really easy to make one. Take a plastic bag and fill it up with as much mousse you need and just cut a small corner of the bag.
There you go, improvised pastry/piping bag!
Just keep repeating that. One third ganache, one third mousse for three layers. Just keep refilling your old bag for the mousse, it might get a little messy, but that’s half the charm of baking.
When you get to the last piece of cake, congratulations, you’re almost done! Just press down gently (not too hard! Think fluffy kitten, be gentle) on the whole thing to make sure it adheres properly. Anything spilling over the edges can be easily removed by sweeping the spatula around the edges.
Now, the white mousse. Make a new pastry/piping bag and add about 2/3 of it to the bag and start applying a thin layer around the whole cake. Use the spatula to smooth it down. After you’ve gotten the whole cake covered, use the last of the white mousse to thicken the layer as much as you want to.
Anyway, if you’re making this for the next day, cover in loosely tented tin foil (it might help you to put three toothpicks on top of the cake to help the tin foil not fall down on the cake) and put it in the fridge to decorate later. If you’re eating it the same day, let’s get down to decorating!
I decorated mine with white chocolate curls, raspberries, marzipan flowers and a few slices of lime, but of course, you can decorate it with just about whatever you want to.
Anyway, for the chocolate curls you need your bar of chocolate intact (or, well, mostly intact anyway), so don’t break it! Put the bar on a plate or something and put it in the microwave for about 10 seconds at a time. Don’t trust the surface, by the way, it’s getting all fluid in the middle before the surface will tell you anything. So 20 seconds at maximum perhaps?
I’ve heard that only Scandinavia has cheese planers/slicers, but maybe you can buy those everywhere nowadays. What do I know? Anyway, if you don’t have one, use a potato peeler or something like it, I’m sure that works just as well.
So, take your kind-of-but-not-too-soft bar of chocolate and start slicing away of it, getting curls out of it if you’ve done it right and it’s not too soft. If it is, just let it firm up a little before trying again.
Decorate to your heart’s content!
And you’re done! Yay!