So drunk on meds I attempted this cake, I used the word attempted strongly. Yes, crazy me working with cake, butter and boiling hot sugar. Thankfully I survived, barley. Blessing my hardy hands. Yep I used to sew and now I cook, so I have developed that ability to not feel pain as much as another’s ( let me say not always good when you find you burnt yourself two hours later)
My sister has always loved these puffs, she is the one that would look at the dessert menu first then order her main. Her motto in food is “always order dessert” which I think is great; too many girls are on that “no dessert for me thanks I am too *insert excuse*”
However on this day, her birthday she spent the night in the emergency ward of the hospital after catching a terrible stomach bug.
Ok so let me draw you time line of her down fall.
7:00pm:Pick up special fried flat head (her fave fish dish); she felt uncomfortable
8:00pm: Get to my place and wait for dinner, She had to lie down from feeling so woozy.
8:30pm: Sitting in the fetal position on the Lazy boy and covered in blankets.
9:30pm: Trying to get the courage to eat but Throwing up most of it. Heat pad, wet towels and meds are called in.
10:30pm-11:30pm: The rest of us cutting and eating cake (pictures, presents etc.); feeling a bit better to eat. A little bit of cake and a puff. She leaves with a bit of cake and some food. (now here is where it gets very bad)
3:00am!!!: Now I am about to go to sleep; I get call from her. Crying and intense pain she rings for medical advice from me? REALLY!? If you are crying from the pain; the first thing you should do is go to the hospital; not call your brain dead of sister. Anyway handed over to my mum who talked some sense into her.
Anyway next morning I hear, via my mum and Facebook (yes she even updated her facebook about this event); She was on two dips and given morphine…..
Yes this was the saddest birthday ever.
Hopefully I might be able to make this again so her can have a fresh piece but until then I tell you what I did with most of it.
This is the cake that went into this BIRTHDAY CAKE ice cream; Caramel mud cake with a honey butter cream icing and pumpkin spiced Profiteroles. We all know the concept of the croquembouche; so this is my take on it. It might be smaller and less impressive than the big one but I do not have the fridge space for that 1 meter tall tower.
While people think this a complex thing, you actually just need to be prepared. Get your sugar ready and your cake then dip and place as fast as you can!
The caramel mud cake was a wonderful complement to the icing which had tones of honey to it. This caramel mud is so easy and the incredibly tendered crumbed and moist when at room temperature.
The bonus of honey and salt is that sickly sweet feeling you can sometimes get from mud cake does not happen here. Also I reduced the sugar quite a bit in this cake as the addition drizzled caramel on top will take it OTT. I am in love with spices right now, so the crème filling these puffs are made from pumpkin puree, spices and cream. This cake is a very autumn winter inspired cake but it is my fall well cake to winter in Australia.
Let’s Hope your next Birthday goes better than hers!
Pumpkin spiced Crouqembouche on a caramel mud cake with Honey butter cream.
Makes about 35 Puffs and a 20cm by 1cm 3 layered cake
For the puffs
From this recipe
125g plain flour
Get the recipe for Pumkpin Crème here, I do not come up with this; so I am not sure if I can post the recipe again. This is very easy but and well worth the effort, I added 3tsp Pumpkin spice to the recipe (Equal amounts of Saigon cinnamon and all spice then for every 1tsp add 1/4tsp nutmeg and ginger and a 1/8tsp of cloves.
You need to batches of this. One for assembly and one for finishing
300g caster sugar
1Tbp corn or glucose syrp
Cake Adapted from taste.com
150g butter, cubed
200g white chocolate (any eating/cooking chocolate), chopped
130g (1 cup, firmly packed) light brown sugar
180ml (3/4 cup) warm milk ( I used a unsweetened nut milk for the flavour)
1 tbs honey
1 scrape vanilla bean pod
2 eggs, at room temperature
300g (2 cup) plain flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
0.5 tsp baking soda
5g course pink sea salt
Pre heat oven to 160C
Line 3x20cm greased cake pans with baking paper.
In large sauce pan melt your milk, butter, white chocolate, sugar, honey, vanilla bean over low heat. Stir continuously until melted well and combined. Set aside for 20mintues to cool.
Shift baking powder baking soda, flour and salt together.
Add eggs whisking well after each addition.
Whisk in flour in three batches until combined.
Pour mix into your cake tins and bake for 30 minutes or until the skewer has a few crumbs left ton it when poked in the middle. Cover with foil if it is browning too much.
Leave to cool in pans for 10 minutes then cool on a cake rack until cool.
Once cool, wrap in ccling film and fridge for one day.
Preheat oven to 190c.Prepare two lined baking trays
Place butter, sugar, milk, salt and water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from heat.
With a wooden spoon beat in flour. Return to heat and continue beating until mixture comes away from the sides of bowl. I did for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
In large bowl of a stand mixer, place dough ball. Beat mixture for 1 minute for it to cool. Add eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition, until all the eggs have been added and mixture is thick and glossy. Beat for a few more minutes, or until thickened and shiny.
Spoon half the choux pastry batter into a large piping bag fitted with a 1 cm round nozzle. Cover the remaining pastry with cling film. Pipe mixture onto trays in mounds
Bake at 200c for 10 minutes then turn it down to 180c for 15 minutes. Once they have browned, feel hollow and firm; Transfer to a cooling rack and immediately piece the bottom of the puff with a sharp knife.
Honey swiss butter cream
140g egg whites
140g caster sugar
3g sea salt flakes
1 teaspoon of clear vanilla extract
210g unsalted, cubed, soft butter.
200g runny honey.
In medium bowl whisk together your egg whites and caster sugar.
Place bowl over a saucepan of simmer water. Whisk continuously until the sugar is fully dissolved. Rub a bit of mix between your fingers to test.
Transfer mix to a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Beat until it becomes a big fluffy and white. At this point it should take about 8 minutes for the meringue to come to room temperature.
Change to paddle mix. While beating the mix on medium with the paddle add the butter a cube at a time until it fully combined. GO slowly here and scrape down the bowl frequently. Once butter is all added, beat on medium high till it is fluffy and pale.
Add vanilla and beat again. In order to incorporate honey use the final vanilla. While beating on low, pour in the honey into the vanilla swiss butter cream until combined.
Set aside for later use
Cut the domes off your cakes and set aside.
Ice and fill each cake, you can get wonderful tutorial here on Bakers Royal but just do not do the ruffles.
Fill your puffs with crème by poking a small hole in the bottom of each puff and using a 1cm nozzle, pipe you filling in. You can tell if it is ready when you fell the puff have a bit of resistance when you hold it. Repeat with all puffs, set on a baking tray and fridge for 1 hour.
Now be prepared here. The final product!!
Take out your cake and puffs. Also if you do not have heat resistant hands like me, get yourself some thongs.
Place your pan of caster sugar, glucose and water over medium heat and bring to the boil. Once it turns golden brown in 15 minutes remove from heat. Quickly dip each puff into the syrup then on to the cake. If you cake is cold enough the butter cream will not melt too quickly and you will return it to the fridge later so no panic J
Place each puff in a circle pattern, work your way up repeating the dip and place technique to build a tower. So you will place each puff on top of the space between the below puffs.
Once built, return to the fridge for 1 hour.
Make the other batch of toffee. Using two forks dip then in the caramel then lace over the tower on the cake. I like to draw a figure 8 pattern on to the cake but do whatever you want. You should get thin strands of caramel setting on the cake. Continue to do this until you have enough for your liking. Now it is ready for serving!