Chapter 3: Another sponge?
Yes yes of course… but need something funky. In the middle of the cake always has to be something absolutely unexpected… and i just remember that Gigi does not like really sweet that much… so lets get some cool fresh flavor out of my mind!!!
I think its just time to use some wonderful nutty element in the cake… personally i love every kind of nut but obviously we are talking about a funky-posh wedding cake, so i can not use peanut, hazelnut or walnut – would be too simple. One of the most elegant nut is the almond – lets try it then (not because i am secretly a big big fan of its bitter cyanide content).
I have a small story about how did i want to `push up` this cake with some kind of nutty luxury… First of all, everyone knows the brand Valrhona – the best chocolate in the world nowadays, so i had a thought to buy something really nice from Valrhona… and because i really love the praline, was thinking to order an almond-hazelnut praline paste to make the cake really rich- the catalogue said they have this stuff in 1.5 kg and 5 kg. Its alright – i was going for the 1.5 kg obviously (its still hell a lot, but what can i do, if they don`t do 200gr? :) So i have asked my colleague who was doing the ordering – to order my stuff as well, not just this paste but some other special baking ingredients. Ok – job has done.
After 10 minutes, the guy came back and asked me, if i wanted to get the 5kg paste? I said NO NO NO – what the f*ck can i do with that much stuff? Enough for a lifetime… i easily can kill anyone with it. So i said no, the stupid catalogue said they are dealing with smaller amount… anyway. I said ok. And he asked: for 96 pound? WHAAAAAAAT???? So lets cut the story… i canceled this item. Sorry…. Sajnalom Gigikem, hogy nem lesz egy vekony reteg a 36.000 forintos mandula-krembol a tortadban… :)
Well… continue the story… the almond. I love almonds, so nice, oily, sweet and salty in the same time… i have a crazy idea in the back of my brain about using almond milk – but lets just forget about this for now – i ordered almond-flour to make the next layer of sponge. I wanted to have a rich buttery layer… Thanks for the `Momofuku Milkbar` book – i have one of the recipe and modify a bit for my cake… but the chocolate-chips still need to stay for the fun. So this is a basic sponge just with butter (need to be patient while mixing together – we need to force too much liquid into an already fatty mixture) and i used the almond`powder` instead of flour – it reminds a bit to our old friend, Mr. Macaroons :) and sprinkle the whole batter with choc-chips – bake, let it cool down. And its ready. Before the next creamy layer will come just let some flaked almonds sweat in a pan on medium heat and sprinkle the sponge to get some crunchy texture before the next bummmm…
Chapter 4: The `real cream`
I know one thing – Gigi is just that big fan of good coffees like me – especially that she is working as a barista at the moment (and i am sooooooooooooooooo proud of her!!!! , however unfortunately has nothing to do with the volcanoes or the plate tectonics :))). So coffee… i need to involve this flavor as much as possible – and the best partner with this is the pure white chocolate… how cool is it, if we gonna make it? White chocolate-coffee pave from home made white chocolate? LETS DO IT! :)
To make your own chocolate probably more expensive than buy a choc-bar from the off-licence, but its yours. No emulsifiers, preservatives or stabilisers… and u can modify your little mixture however u want – add any flavor or texture… But u need the best ingredients ever – proper cocoa butter (for cooking, not for the young skin PLZ if its possible), real vanilla pod, proper white confectioners sugar – u are not allowed to count the calories in this case – real milk powder and a pinch of salt… if all of this are good quality – the rest is just like playing in the bed… u can never loose. :) So get a microwave and melt the cocoa butter. It should behave like a normal butter. After u just need to mix in all the ingredients to get a nice smooth texture. U just need to make sure that u have the right balance ( minimum 20% cocoa butter, 14% milk solids and no more than 55% sugar ). Nothing left but pour in a mold and leave it to cool down and set (try not to touch with your fingers in the meanwhile :))))).
So we have our beautiful chocolate. We can easily make a strong espresso and season with a bit of love called Tia Maria just for the perfection… :) Now u just whip some double cream and add the coffee love slowly slowly till u reach soft peaks form – don`t go too far. Now u can leave this in the fridge while u are dealing with your `kind of custard`. First bloom your gelatine in cold water. Mix your yolks with some cream on the stove and stirring continuously while its getting thicker, add the gelatine. U can add your home-made white chocolate and if u want some more love – coffee and+or liquor – melt the stuff in. Its time now to taste – it should be sweety and white chocy… if not, go ahead and season it with sugar, more chocolate, u can add vanilla or more coffee… up to u. Should be like a dream. Now u have a really smooth and yellow creamy mass (all the choc melted in) and get your whipped cream from the fridge and fold it in. No need to be that careful with it, just mix the two together. In this stage your stuff is like a liquid so u can pour it in molds, or containers or anywhere if u just want to quenelle out – in our case we just pour it in the top of the almond sponge and flakes and leave in the fridge to set. Yumm yumm yummm… was not hard at all… was it? :) `fingerlickingly` good.