November's coming to an end and soon, December will come along and cap off a wonderful year of 2010. This has been a crazy, crazy month for me - one that's filled with ups and downs and adventures along the way. Just earlier this week, I was at a children's camp, helping to plan the programmes and games for these kids. I never had a special inclination towards children, neither do I have special favour with them, but this camp changed everything. Not only did I grow to like them, at the end of the three-day camp, there was an interesting attachment to them. Strange, but very real. For a camp that I didn't know what to expect from it, I ended up enjoying the company of the children and learnt and received much more from it - a lifetime experience I wouldn't trade for the world :).
November's also a month of birthdays. A number of my good friends' birthdays fall during this month and hence I decided to make this Coffee Caramel Mousse cake for these lovely November babies. The cake consists of three main layers - chocolate almond jaconde, coffee mouse and caramel mousse. As usual, my decorating skills are virtually non-existent. I tried painting brush strokes with coffee before glazing the cake but made a mistake of not allowing my coffee strokes to dry thoroughly first. As a result, the glaze and the strokes all combined into one brown mass...sigh...
Layers from bottom: Chocolate Almond Jaconde, Coffee Mousse, Caramel Mousse, Instant Jelly Glaze
Despite my cake looking less pretty than desired, the general reviews I received were good! Thank God for sweet and forgiving friends like this who make me feel a little more encouraged haha :).
Besides the square cake I made for my friends, I had enough leftovers to put together three mini rounds with an extra layer of chocolate jaconde in between just like the original recipe. However, after tasting both versions, I preferred the square cake version with just a single layer of jaconde with the two layers of mousse. The extra layer of cake made this dessert too cakey in my opinion.
Looking at this, I really really NEED to brush up on my cake decorating skills. Then again, it's probably something that will come with more practice and experience with making whole, layered cakes. Oh well >.<...
Coffee Caramel Mousse Cake
recipe adapted from Ken Nishio
55g ground almonds
55g powdered sugar
5g cocoa powder
50g egg white
25g granulated sugar
12.5g unsalted butter (melted)
60g egg yolk
5g custard powder
10g instant coffee
250g whipping cream
160g whipping cream
50g salted butter
160g whipping cream
20g granulated sugar
1. Stir together ground almonds and powdered sugar in a mixing mould, add in the eggs and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
2. Whip the egg whites with the granulated sugar at high speed until stiff peaks form.
3. Take half of the meringue and fold into the first mixture. Add sifted cocoa powder and flour and fold until well-combined. Fold in the rest of the meringue
4. Add in melted butter and stir to combine.
5. Pour the mixture into a prepared sheet pan lined with parchment and bake at 220 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes.
6. Let cool on the rack before cutting.
1. Soften the gelatin sheets in ice water.2. Whisk egg yolks and sugar until the mixture turns pale.
3. Add in the custard powder and whisk to combine.
4. Heat up the milk in a saucepan until boiling point, add in the instant coffee granules and stir to combine.
5. Pour the milk and coffee mixture into the egg yolk mixture and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and heat till 80 degrees Celsius. Remove the mixture from heat and let cool in an ice bath.
6.Whip the whipping cream until medium stiff peaks and fold it into the coffee mixture.
1. Soften the gelatin sheets in ice water.
2. To make the dry caramel, heat sugar in a medium saucepan over small fire until the sugar is melted and turns a dark amber. In the meantime, heat up the whipping cream in a separate saucepan.
3. Slowly, pour the warm cream into the caramelised sugar. Remove the mixture from heat and let cool in an ice bath.
4. When the mixture reaches 40 degrees Celsius, add in the salted butter and softened gelatin and stir till smooth. Sieve the mixture.
5. Whip the whipping cream and sugar until soft peak form. Fold it into the caramel mixture.
1. Cut the chocolate jaconde using a square cake ring. Brush the cake with sugar syrup and pour the coffee mousse over it. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
2. Pour the caramel mousse over the coffee mousse. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
3. To glaze, heat 10g instant jelly, 50g sugar and 250g water in a saucepan. Allow the mixture to cool slightly before pouring over the caramel mousse layer. Refrigerate till set.