Friday, November 25, 2016

Spicy Apple Bundt Cake

On the 15th of November, the  world of sweets celebrates bundt cake day. In this post you can read more about this special day and the bundt pans.
This year, I  wanted to celebrate that day by baking an autumnal cake in a beautiful chiffon bundt pan. What's better is that this cake goes perfectly with the apple cider caramel that I told you about in my previous post

The choice of the ingredients was pretty easy: apples, spices and mulled cider, yet again!  It's true that sometimes I get obsessed with certain combinations, but once you try this cake you will understand why, especially if you like apple cakes!

And now let´s bundt!

The mold (Nordic ware chiffon pan) I used has a 10 cups capacity, and for it you need:
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 150 g soft butter
  • 220 g brown sugar
  • 200 g cooked apple (I chopped the apples into small dices, added the spices, a tablespoon of maple syrup and cooked the apple pieces until slightly tender and not falling apart)
  • 220 g cake flour
  • 10 g baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 50 ml of mulled cider, see note below (you can substitute the mulled cider with cream, but the taste will be slightly different)
  • 100 ml cream
  • 2 tsp of mixed spices (cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, star anise)
  • 1 tsp brandy (optional)
First sift together the flour, baking powder, spices and salt. Set aside.

In your mixing bowl, beat the sugar and butter until creamy and well combined.

Add the eggs one at a time, making sure they combine well before adding the next egg. Add the cooked apples, the brandy and mix for just few seconds.
Turn off your mixer and with a spatula, fold  the flour mixture in 3 batches. Start with the first third then add the mulled cider, another third followed by the cream and finish with the last third.

Pour the mixture in your greased pan and bake  between 45 to 50 min in a preheated oven (175 C) or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave the cake it in the pan for 10 min then unmold and  let it cool completely on a cooling rack.

Once the cake has cooled completely, transfer it to a serving plate.

This cake is delicious as it is. It captures the essence of autumn in every bite-size piece!  You will love how comforting and scrumptious it is.

To please your palate even further, why not pair the cake with a decadent drizzle of apple cider caramel. The combination is heavenly, I kid you not!

Though it looks quite sophisticated, this recipe is actually easy to make and would be the ideal sweet finish to a hearty Thanksgiving, Christmas, or a special family gathering meal. Try it, it will not fail you.

Note: For the mulled cider all you need to do is add whatever spices you like (cinnamon, star anise, cloves, Jamaican pepper, juniper pepper, nutmeg and a strip of orange peel) to a litre of apple cider, and let it simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Spicy Apple Cider Caramel!

The changing colors, the cooler temperatures, the cloudy skies, and the many characteristic products are all the things I love about autumn. As the nights get chilly, it is so comforting to sip on a warm drink while tucked in bed and watching nice show on TV.

The other day I made a mulled apple cider to enjoy on my Friday night, and so I did! Inspired by the drink, I decided to try out a recipe for an apple cider caramel I saw a while back on Pinterest. This seemed all too fitting as I am a big fan of caramel. I have shared many caramel recipes before (links at the end) so it was time to add a new recipe to the bunch!

To make this caramel, you need few ingredients and a bit of patience!
First you need to make a kind of mulled apple cider that needs to be reduced and then you can proceed with the standard caramel making process.

For reduced spicy cider you need:
  • 250 ml apple cider
  • one stick of cinnamon, 
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 star anise
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 4-6 allspice corns
  • 4-6 juniper berries
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

Make sure to use a good quality cider. In Spain, the northern region of Asturias produces some of the country's finest ciders, and I always use a cider from that region for my recipes.

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan, and let them simmer on a gentle heat for about 30 minutes. The liquid has to reduce and become darker in color. Needless to say that at this point your house will smell amazing!

For the caramel, you need:
  • 60 ml of the reduced apple cider
  • 150 g sugar
  • 60 g cold butter cut into cubes
  • pinch of salt
  • 250 ml cream (35%)
Put the sugar in a saucepan and melt over a gentle heat. Once the sugar is golden brown add the mulled apple cider and let it simmer for few seconds. Always be careful when adding liquid to a hot caramel as it will splatter. Add the cold butter and let it melt. Add the salt and finally the cream.
Let the sauce cook for a few minutes until it thickens.

Lift the saucepan off the stove and allow the caramel sauce to cool down.

Pour the sauce in a clean jar and refrigerate if you will not use it within the day of its making.

This caramel sauce can be used in so many ways. It will go well with pancakes, crepes, sponge cakes, cheesecakes, as a sweet dipping sauce, and so much more.

This caramel sauce is just divine: sweet, spicy and with just the right amount of acidity from the cider. Do give it a try, you won´t be sorry!

For other caramel recipes click hereherehereherehere and here

Sunday, October 30, 2016

A Halloween Special: Bloody Cake!

When the fall season setts in, I try to make good use of its wonderful products. Pumpkins and squashes become a staple of mine during this time of the year. I also like to share a recipe or two that feature pumpkins purée as main ingredient. This healthy fruit never ceases to amaze me with its complex flavor that goes so well in both sweet and savory dishes. 

In recent years, the use of pumpkins was popularized with the spread of Halloween celebrations to almost all parts of the world. Now, as a foodie, pumpkins are definitely not mere decoration for me, but they are the front and center of my Halloween  gory cake. Now I call it "gory" as I drew inspiration for the cake's decoration from the traditional "goriness" that surrounds Halloween celebrations and to satisfy "The Walking Dead" fan in me. If you are a fan of the series too and you have seen the season's premiere, you would understand my choice better. Irrespective of how you will decorate the cake, if you follow my recipe you will really love the cake's flavor and texture. 

Besides pumpkin, the other main ingredient of the cake was cranberries. I was not sure of how well these two flavors will combine, but they did and they did so beautifully. The cake was moist, largely due to the use of pumpkin purée, with spicy notes and bound together by the touch of tartness cranberries add. Of course, cranberries put the "bloody" in this special Halloween cake!

Now, it's time to do some baking.

For the cake (6 to 8 persons) you need :
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 100 g brown sugar
  • 100 g granulated sugar
  • 150 melted butter 
  • 8 g baking powder
  • 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 210 g cake flour
  • 220 pumpkin purée (bought or homemade)
  • 100 g frozen or fresh cranberries
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp mixed spices (cloves, star anise, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg)
  • dash of salt
  • zest of half an orange
  • 1/2 tsp of cointreau (optional)
Start by combining the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and spices and set aside.

In your mixing bowl, beat the eggs on a high speed and add the sugar gradually. When the mixture triples in volume, becomes pale and thicker, add the butter at low speed and mix until combined.

With a spatula add the pumpkin purée, mix again, add the orange zest and cointreau and mix. Lastly, fold in the flour mixture and the cranberries.

Pour the batter in three 15 cm pre-prepared pans (or in two 23 cm) and bake in a preheated oven (180 C) for 25 minutes. Remember that the baking time might vary so check on the cake after 20 minutes.

For the frosting you need:
  • 250 g soft butter
  • 250 g cream cheese at room temperature
  • 220 g powdered sugar
  • Flavoring: 1/4 tsp mixed spices and few drops of vanilla extract.
Combine all ingredients and beat for about 5 min until creamy and fluffy.

For the cranberry sauce:
  • 100 g cranberries, fresh or frozen 
  • 75 g sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 strip of orange zest
Combine all ingredients and cook over  a gentle heat for few minutes. Pass the mixture through a sieve to get rid of the pits and skin. Let it cool down.

Smear some frosting on your cake tray or stand. Put the first cake layer and pipe a generous amount of frosting, and splatter a teaspoon or two of the cranberry sauce. Add the second layer and repeat. 

Cover the last layer with the frosting. Now all you need is to splatter the rest of the cranberry sauce over the cake and to add some pine nuts that will mimic the appearance of maggots for that extra touch of goriness!

Happy Halloween!

(For extra recipes featuring pumpkins, click here and here.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Coconut and Lemon Madeleines!

I, like so many people out there, thrive on daily cocktails of little rituals. They form part of my life and I wouldn't give up on them for anything. Morning starts with a cup of cup sipped while watching the news and the afternoon is coffee time again but with a sweet nibble like a cake or a cookie!

When I have the time, I like to indulge and treat myself with layered cakes, stuffed with creams with countless flavor combinations. However, time is precious and not always available. Short on time, I look for simple yet delicious cakes that need no extra cream or filling to sing!

Madeleines de Commercy are one of those recipes that I think everyone should have in their repertoire. While they have a reputation of being hard to master, they are in fact easy. Of course, like all French desserts, you need to respect a certain protocol, but once you do that, the result will always be in your favor. Madeleines are also a good dessert to prepare ahead of time as you can prepare the batter up to one day in advance.

These little buttery cakes were first made in 1755 by a young girl named Madeleine.
King Stanilas of Lorraine was holding a lunch with guests when he knew that his pastry chef left after an argument. As a royal lunch would not be complete without a dessert, something was needed to be done.  The King's butler went on to it and found the right dessert. Cakes of a new and unusual shape, nice golden color, and a rich and deep flavor. The cakes were an instant hit and the king asked to know who was the genius behind the cake. The king was presented with a shy young girl. He then asked her about the name of the dessert. The girl said they didn't have a name and that this is what we usually bake at la "Commercy". The king asked the girl about her name and she replied" Madeline". The king then said "well then, we will call them after you" Madeline.

And after a bit of history let´s make these wonders with a little twist!

For 12 Madeleines you need:
  • 1 egg at room temperature
  • 50 g sugar
  • 50 g pastry flour
  • 25 g shredded coconut
  • zest of half lemon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract or paste
  • dash of salt
  • 4 g baking powder
  • 70 g butter
First, put the butter in a saucepan and let it melt on a gentle flame, leave until it browns a bit and a wonderful nutty flavor fills your kitchen. Add the lemon zest and set aside.

In a bowl, mix the egg, vanilla and the sugar until it dissolves. Add the flour, salt, coconut, and baking powder. Mix until well combined and add the butter and the lemon.

Cover the batter and place it in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight for better combination of flavors!

When ready to bake, grease the Madeleine mold, cover with flour and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes. You can also do that step the night before!

Preheat the oven to 210 C, fill 2/3 of the mold to leave space for the cake to rise, place in the oven, and reduce the temperature to 170 C. The Madeleines should be done in 10 minutes.  The typical Madeleine bump will form and the edges will turn golden. Your cakes are done!

These cakes are better consumed the same day and they are so good dipped in a cup of coffee or to be enjoyed with tea or hot chocolate.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Apple Pie Funnel Cake!

Autumn is officially here but Madrid is still enjoying a summer like weather. Many people are enjoying the warmer temperatures but I can't wait for the seasons to really change.

And while I wait, I could not resist to bake with the fruits of autumn with apples being one of my obvious and favorite choices. Apples go so well with several spices, which makes them such a useful ingredient in many baked goodies. I certainly love how my house smells whenever I am baking something with apples!

I have made many recipes with this fruit before and shared quite a few like this apple butter that you can use in many recipes like this cake, and how about this simple tart?

The recipe of today is from Austria and called Strauben, but widely known in the USA as funnel cakes. It is quite a popular dessert in carnivals.

The funnel cake might remind you of other cakes made in similar fashion around the world. In the Middle East, a very popular dessert, called Mouchabak, is made from a fermented dough that is fried in deep oil and then dipped in sugar syrup,. In India they have a similar cake too.  And while the funnel cake is made with baking powder, strauben uses whipped egg whites!

My version of strauben or funnel cakes incorporated the traditional apple pie spices and served with spicy caramelized apples instead of jam. The result was just perfect!

With the amount of ingredients I used you will get around 15 small cakes (about 10 cm), so if you are not too greedy, make sure to invite some friends over for a brunch or an afternoon coffee!

What you need:
  • 1 egg at room temperature, separated
  • 70 g flour
  • 85ml  milk 
  • 5 g sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp of each of the following spices: cardamom, dried ginger, cloves, and nutmeg
  • one tsp of brandy or gin, I used juniper brandy (optional)
  • 7 g melted butter
  • oil for frying
In a bowl combine the egg yolk and the milk, whisk well, once combined add sugar, alcohol, flour and spices and mix. In a separate bowl add the salt to the egg white and beat till soft peaks. Fold in the egg white to the mixture. Once well combined fill the batter in a piping bag or a squeeze bottle.

In a pan, heat the oil until it reaches about 170C, slowly squeeze the batter in the hot oil and swirl to make a lace pattern. The batter will expand, so controlling the shape of the cakes will be a bit tricky but that's perfectly fine as the cakes are supposed to look rustic.  Once golden brown fish them out of the oil and place them over a paper towel to absorb the excess oil. 

Serve these crunchy and delicious treats with some powdered sugar or with spicy apples that I made using this recipe!


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Peach Tarte Tatin!

The delicate scent of peaches and their vibrant flavor are a quintessential summer experience. When in season I can't have enough fresh peaches, but I love the freshness and depth of flavor they impart to desserts. As the peach season is coming to an end, I wanted to use one of my favorite fruits in an easy yet delicious recipe!
This recipe started building up in my head a while ago, but at first I had a different idea than what I eventually did. I am pleased that I changed my mind!

As my recipe is a tarte, I had to think first of the crust. I thought about using my usual go-to galette recipe but then I read somewhere that cream cheese added to the galette dough makes it more delicious and flaky. I did just that and was quite pleased with the result.
I was planning on using a different stone fruit, but I ended up using peaches.
I had also bought beautiful thyme and lavender plants, so I wanted to experiment with these 2 flavors.

The technique I used for assembling the tarte is different from the method I usually use. I adopted the technique of a famous French chef called Christophe Michalak. I watched him make a classic apple tarte tatin but instead of placing the uncooked apples in the pan directly, he cooked them before with some butter, which made it much easier to assemble the fruits and pack them tightly so they won't shrink after cooking. His technique is really worth the extra effort as you get a much nicer tarte once flipped.

And now let's start with the crust!

For the crust you need:
  • 400 g pastry flour
  • 200 g cold butter and cut into small cubes
  • 40 g cold cream cheese
  • 20 g sugar
  • 4 to 6 tbsp of ice water (or as needed)
The amount used here is for 2x 18 cm tart, I used half and froze the rest!
To get a flaky and delicious crust you need to work with  ingredients that are really cold. I start by mixing the dry ingredients in the food processor and place the container in the freezer for about 20 to 30 minutes. You can omit this step, I have done so in the past and have gotten very good results, but it is worth the time investment as the dough will be even more crumbly and flaky when all ingredients are cold. 

Take out the ingredients from the freezer, add the butter and the cream cheese to the flour mix and pulse for about 30 sec to one min maximum. Then add the icy cold water, one tbsp at a time. This is where you need to be careful not to add too much water and not to overwork your dough. Once the dough just barely comes together stop mixing. It is acceptable if the dough does not come together in a single ball, that's not the aim.

Now, line a clean working surface with cling film (or aluminum foil if you prefer), remove the dough from the food processor onto the cling film. Work the dough slightly with your hands so it comes together and shape it into a disk. Cover it with the cling film and place it in the fridge for at least an hour. It is better if you prepare the dough one day ahead, which is what I usually do.

The amount of water that you will add depends on the quality of the flour and the water contained in the butter. Don't be tempted to put more water as the dough might seem dry at first, but when it rests in the fridge, it comes together nicely as the butter is absorbed  by the flour.

For the filling:
  • 500 g peach, cut into wedges
  • 50 g of butter
  • 2 to 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 1/2 tsp of dried lavender flowers
Combine all the ingredients into a pot and cover it with cold water. Bring it to a gentle simmer, for about 10 min or till the fruits are slightly tender. Make sure not to over cook the peaches. 
Drain and let it them cool.

For the caramel
  • 120 g of sugar
  • 30 g butter
In a small pot, put the sugar and on a gentle heat turn the sugar into a amber caramel, turn off the heat, add the butter, swirl well then cover the bottom of an 18 cm pan with the caramel. 
Once the caramel cools down it hardens so don't worry about that. Now arrange the peaches in the pan.

Roll the dough into an 20 cm disk, cover the pan, and slightly tuck the edges inside to seal the crust with the pan.

Bake in a preheated oven (180C) for about 25-30 min or until the top has turned into a slightly golden brown color.

Take the pan out of the oven, and leave to cool for about 5 min.
Make sure to flip the Tarte Tatin over a big dish, leaving space for the caramel.

Place the dish over the pan, put a kitchen towel on top, and with a quick and secure movement flip it.
The caramel is very liquid at this stage so the tarte will come off easily.
The dough will soak the luscious and fruity caramel; add to that a scoop of vanilla ice cream and enjoy a dreamy and decadent dessert!

Bon appetit!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Tigernut Strawberry Milkshake!

Super foods are little wonders of nature that we should consume as often as we can. Some are quite common and known to everyone while others still wait their moment of glory. By now everyone is familiar with the benefits of quinoa, kale, and hemp among many others. However, I don't know how many have already heard about the benefits of tigernuts or had the chance to try them. Recently, however, tigernuts are receiving more the exposure they deserve.

Tigernuts are not a modern-day invention; in fact they have been around for thousands of years. Their name is a bit misleading as they are not nuts but small plant roots or tubers. They are nutrient rich, packed with resistant starch and vitamins like C and E.

Luckily for me, Spain is one of the main producers of tigernuts, locally known as Chufa.
Horchata, which is the name of the milk or fruit juice extracted from tigernuts, is seen everywhere when Spain's hot summer settles in. 

I don´t know why but this drink is linked with summer. Though you can find it all year long, it's really popular in this season, perhaps because it's so refreshing, delicious and nutritious.  

Horchata can be simply made at home if you have tigernuts. You just need to use 250 g of tigernuts that have been soaked overnight to which you add 1 liter of water. Process in a blender and pass the mixture through a sieve. Refrigerate and serve cold. You can add sugar if you want but I find tigernuts to be naturally sweet and do not need any extra sweetness. 

Horchata is delicious as it is, but you can always spice things up with delectable and refreshing flavors. This time I decided to flavor the horchata with strawberries and cinnamon. The drink was not only delicious, but also extremely refreshing. What's more, the drink is nutritious and helps you recover during those hot summer days!

I hope by now you are tempted enough to try this refreshing drink. If so, here are the ingredients you need to prepare enough for two:  
  • 250 ml tigernut milk
  • 100 g strawberry purée
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 10 ice cubes
In a shaker, combine all ingredients, and shake for about a minute, pour into a glass, sprinkle some cinnamon and serve immediately! If you don't have a shaker use a jar, then strain the mixture!


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Tropical Panna cotta!

Spanish summer is not for the faint of heart, especially in the Spanish heartland away from the coast. Temperatures sometimes exceed 40 C in Madrid. With such hot weather, I avoid traditional baking and I satisfy my sweet cravings with fresher desserts that are quick and easy to make.

An Italian classic, panna cota, which means cooked cream, is one of these easy desserts that are made ahead of time and served chilled: just what you need on a hot day!

The basic recipes calls for three main ingredients. To this base you can add whatever flavor you want. I went for tropical flavors in the form of mango and passion fruit. Mangoes add a mellow and sweet flavor to the panna cota, whereas the passion fruit gives the dessert fresh and tangy notes.

These 2 amazing fruits work perfectly with the creaminess of the panna cotta and this will give you a refreshing and delicious dessert that you can even make several days ahead!

For 4 servings you need:
  • 400 ml 35% cream
  • 40 g sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or paste
  • 4 sheets of geltaine (about 7g)
  • 50 g mango purée
  • 2 passion fruits pulp

First, break the gelatin sheets and soak them with cold water for about 5 minutes.

In a sauce pan combine sugar, vanilla and cream and let them simmer on a gentle heat for few minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside. Drain the water from the gelatin sheets, add them to the cream, and whisk to make sure that the gelatin melted completely. Divide the mixture in 2, add the mango purée to one half and the passion fruit pulp to the other. Pour the mixtures to the serving pots and let them chill for at least 4 hours.

When you´re ready to serve decorate the pots as you wish. I decorated the passion fruit pots with mango flowers and the mango ones with passion fruit pulp!

And now you are ready to serve a cold, refreshing, fruity and gluten free dessert! Enjoy!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Tarta de Santiago, a Delicious Northern Spanish Cake!

On my second visit to Spain, before I finally settled in Madrid, I had the chance to visit the enchanting city of Santiago de Compostela.  This city is a top Christian pilgrimage site and at times it rivaled with Rome and Jerusalem. To this day, the city still attracts thousands of pilgrims and regular visitors drawn by the beauty of its architecture and especially its impressive cathedral.

Santiago de Compostela impressed me not only with its spirituality and architecture but also with its signature dessert: Tarta de Santiago. This gluten and lactose free pie, named after Saint James or Santiago and made with only three basic ingredients, is a joy to bake and eat.

This cake melts in your mouth, it has a slightly chewy texture that will remind you of  macaroons.To the basic ingredients, the cake is usually flavored with citrus peel but some add cinnamon and vanilla.

I remember falling in love immediately with the cake just after the first bite. I took two with me when I went back home and my family loved it too. Before settling in Spain for good it was the only sweet I was asked to bring back with me each time I visited the country.

The feast of Saint Santiago is on the 25th of July and that´s why I decided that it´s time to make this cake. It takes less than an hour to be ready, it's very delicious and it can be suitable for people with certain allergies. I really encourage you to give it a try, I'm sure you won't regret it!

For an 18 cm pan you need:
  • 2 large eggs
  • 150 g almond flour
  • 120 sugar (you can reduce the sugar quantity if you want)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • the zest of half an orange and half of a lemon
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
First, preheat the oven at 170 C.

There are 2 methods to make this cake, the first one is to combine all the ingredients, pour them in the greased pan and bake for about 20 to 25 min or until top is golden brown.

But if you want a cake that is a bit fluffier, separate the egg whites, beat them with the salt until stiff peaks are formed. Meanwhile combine sugar, almonds, citrus zest, cinnamon and vanilla.
Slightly beat the egg yolks, fold them with the egg whites then slowly add the almond mixture. Pour the mixture into the greased pan and bake for 20-25 min or until top and edges are golden brown.

Once the cake is cooled, dust it with some powdered sugar. This cake is traditionally decorated with the Cross of Santiago. You just need to print one, make a stencil out of it, lay it over the cake and dust the sugar over it, remove it carefully and you´re done. If this seems like a hassle to you, just decorate with some icing sugar.

Serve on its own or with some cream and enjoy a truly delicious Spanish delight. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Coffee Sponge Cake with White Chocolate and Cardamom Ganache!

It's become a habit of mine to celebrate my blog's anniversary in order to remind why I embarked on this journey in the first place. My blog turns four years old and my passion for cooking and baking keeps on growing motivated by all the wonderful interactions I had and I'm still having with bloggers and foodies from all corners of the globe.

For this occasion, I had to think of an easy to make cake that is really delicious and can be readily decorated for that extra effect.

Stacked cakes are best made with a base of sponge cake. Sponge cakes are easy to make and can be flavored in infinite ways leaving the door wide open for your imagination. As I really love the flavor coffee gives in cakes, I decided to go for coffee and marry flavors that work well with it. The first spice that I thought of as being coffee's ideal pair is cardamom. Between dark chocolate and white chocolate, I find that cardamom works better with the latter, therefore I used it. This flavor combination is not entirely new to me as I used it before and shared it  before in this post.

The end result was a light, spongy and delicious cake with a spicy and creamy ganache. For extra flavor and a beautiful presentation I made chocolate mirror glaze. It was the perfect topping for this blog-versary cake!

Now for the sponge you need: (4 x 15cm pan)
  • 5 eggs
  • 150 g sugar
  • 150 g cake flour
  • dash of salt
  • 60 g melted butter
  • 2 tsps of coffee melted in 1 tsp of water
  • 1 tsp coffee liqueur (optional)
First you need to put some water in a pan and heat the water to a simmer, Combine sugar, eggs, coffee and liqueur if using  in a big bowl and place over the pan with the simmering water. Whisk vigorously for about 5 minutes or until it doubles in size.The mix should reach 60 C. 

Turn off the heat and remove the pan with the mix off heat. from the pan, and keep whisking with an electrical whisk until you obtain a pale and really think mixture that is triple in volume! Now fold in the flour and salt, and at the end drizzle over the melted butter and gently fold it in!

Separate the batter into the greased pans and bake for about 15 min in a preheated oven (170C). Let them cool for about 10 min then remove the cakes from the pans and let them cool completely. You can make the cake the day before.

For the ganache you need:
  • 450 g white chocolate
  • 300 ml of cream (you can reduce or add more to change the consistency of the ganache)
  • 60 g of butter
  • 1 tsp of ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp of coffee liqueur or coffee melted in water
Chop the chocolate and place it in a bowl. Heat the cream and before it boils pour it over the chocolate, stir to melt  then add the butter and stir again. Add the cardamom and coffee and let it cool a bit. Now you can add it as it is over the cake or beat it with a whisk until creamy and fluffy. This is what I did, the ganache becomes really creamy and easier to pipe!

For the assembly:
Place one of the cakes on a cake board, generously frost it then top it with another cake layer and so on.
Decorate as you wish. In my case after frosting the cake I poured some dark chocolate  mirror glaze then piped some rosettes from the frosting, sprinkled some dulcey chocoloate and white chocolate shaves,  and splashed some gold dust over the rosettes and the glaze!

For the chocolate mirror glaze I used this recipe, but I  made half the batch, and even using half of the amount in this recipe I did not need all the glaze I made.

Now all you need is to cut a piece and dig in! Enjoy!