Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Chocolate Mai Tai Cake



Sorry, no Tuesdays with Dorie today. With the busy Thanksgiving weekend, time got away from me and I never got this week’s recipe made. This week’s recipe was Devilish Shortcakes, picked by Tania of Love Big, Bake Often. You can get the recipe for these chocolate shortcakes on her blog and you can also check out how the other Tuesdays with Dorie bloggers did this week. Back on track next week for me!

Instead I am posting a cake that I made recently for a friend and coworker. I had laser eye surgery at the end of September and the day after surgery I took the day off. I could see fairly well and could read a cookbook just fine, so I decided to make this fairly elaborate birthday cake. This is quite the cake! It’s a pineapple almond cake, filled with chocolate mousse and topped with chocolate ganache and butter cream. I did simplify one step by making simple frosting rather than the fancy one that the original recipe called for, but otherwise I followed the recipe exactly.

This cake took some time, with lots of steps and waiting between steps, but I really enjoyed making this. (This is the longest recipe that I've ever posted!) It was so enjoyable to have an entire day to focus on a recipe. The final product was very impressive and it was a nice treat for her birthday. I’m not usually that successful at frosting cakes so they look nice, but this one came together really well and looked very nice. I didn’t have a piece until a couple of days later, but it was good even then. If you’re looking for something fancy with an interesting mix of flavors, this is certainly a cake that you should try! (Sorry for the bad photo, I took this picture with my phone.)

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ pound dried pineapple, cut into ¼” pieces
¾ cup water
½ pound butter, cut into pieces
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
½ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon almond extract
¾ cup sliced almonds toasted

¾ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons rum
¼ cup sugar
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted

6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar

3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
About 2 tablespoons milk

Additional sliced almonds, toasted

Make the cake: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter 2 9-inch cake pans and line the bottom of the pans with parchment. Lightly coat the pans with additional melted butter.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Heat the diced dried pineapple and ¾ cup of water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and then remove from the heat and set aside.

In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter and sugar on low for 1 minute and then on medium for 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and then beat on medium for an additional 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating for a minute after each addition. Once the eggs have been added, beat on high for 1 minute until the mixture is fluffy. Turn the mixer to low and add the sifted dry ingredients; mix until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add the pineapple and the residual cooking water and mix about 30 seconds. Add the sour cream and the almond extract and mix on low to combine, about 15 seconds. Stir in the toasted almonds with a spatula.

Divide the cake batter between the pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 28-30 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the pans for 15 minutes. Remove from the pans and allow the cake to cook completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate the cake before assembling the cake.

Make the chocolate mousse: Place ¾ cup heavy cream, 2 tablespoons rum and ¼ cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whip on medium-high speed until still. Using a handheld whisk, whisk about half of the beaten cream into the melted chocolate. Add the chocolate mixture to the remaining whipped cream and fold together until completely combined. Refrigerate until you assemble the cake.

Make the ganache: Place the semisweet chocolate and the unsweetened chocolate in a large bowl. Heat the heavy cream and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and then pour the boiling cream over the chocolate. Allow to sit for 5 minutes and then stir with a whisk until smooth. Set aside at room temperature.

Make the frosting: In a large mixer bowl, combine the powdered sugar and butter. Stir in the vanilla and milk until smooth. Add additional milk if the frosting is too thick; additional powdered sugar if the frosting is too thin.

Assemble the cake: Remove the cake from the refrigerator. Place one layer on a cake plate and top with the chocolate mousse. Add the second cake layer, top side up, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Spread the frosting around the edges of the cake (not on top) and smooth with an icing spatula. Pour the ganache on the top of the cake and spread the ganache to the edge of the cake. Be careful that the ganache doesn’t go over the sides of the cake. Refrigerate the cake for 5 minutes and then sprinkle the sides of the cake with toasted almonds.

Recipe from Death by Chocolate Cakes by Marcel Desauliniers
Frosting recipe from the Betty Crocker Cookbook

3 comments:

Clivia said...

This cake sounds beautiful and looks gorgeous!

Beth said...

What a gorgeous cake! And lucky you to have a day to devote to it!

TeaLady said...

YOU are a good friend to make this after eye surgery. And it looks amazing!!!