Well there is one way were you never try new things thus there is no possibility for failure or success; however how sad is that? Without failure there is no growth, no improvement or even sucesss.
For some this sting of failure is enough to paralyze the hopes or dreams of that person; others it serves as the catalyst to something great. Whether you see failure as a positive or a negative; you got to admit fails in the kitchen are possibly the best ones to have. In fact, you SHOULD fail in the kitchen; some of the greatest cooking techniques are the result of forgetfulness, random experimentation and slip ups of the hand.
It reminds of me the dish of “son in law eggs”. While the story may be made up; it is exactly all the rights that can happen when you are panicked.
Even though I have only been on this earth for 21 years, I have accumulated a LONG list of fails in life and in the kitchen. Yes I have failed at making cookies and cake to this day even though some may consider me an experienced baker. Experience protects you from failing? HA! Who ever said that has not made macrons.
It is important to me that this message does get out there. During festive season the pressure on bakers for the big Christmas day is enormous. We all want to create a master spread of food in order to show off our culinary skill to the family critic, loving grand parent or light up the faces of the young family members. While kitchen ambition is needed, this season do not let it steer you away from what is really important when you bake. You bake because you love to do it, even your bakimg fails are considered o.k.
Your love of baking means you are able to learn the quirks of your oven and stove. You will go lengths to figure out the particular way you lighten flours in your old shifter to get maximum air. You will figure out how to turn your cake fail in to a trifle masterpiece with a few extra recipes. Bakers and cooks will learn these things because we love it, it is not out obligation. We love success but we also treasure the fails. Also who is going to complain of extra few broken cakes to eat if they still taste good right?
This Christmas season give yourself a break. If you fail, you fail; at least you go to do something you love.
This cake was made for a very special reader who ordered a cake with me through this blog!
I was so honoured that she though my skills as a baker were good enough to create this for her friend’s birthday this week. So a special shout out to you two; and I hope the Birthday girl love this cake.
The cake feature is the ultimate chocolate and coffee lovers dream cake. This cake consist of five coffee liquor soaked layers of tender espresso hazelnut sponge, sandwiched with a filling of creamy nutella mousse. The cake layers are not just coffee scented but they are a flavour packed hit of caffeine delight. The mousse acts as a nice contrast to bitterness of the espresso and the toasted ground hazelnuts.
While I could of have gone down many paths to decorate this cake; I took inspiration from two of the most influential dessert bloggers to date. Steph from Raspiberri cupcakes for her macaron cakes and Heather from Sprinkle bakes for her candy cheesecake have inspired this design.
To decorate she loved the idea of ombre, so I created an simple ombre pattern using dark chocolate, milk and white chocolate butter cream. Decorated with a garden of chocolate delights and finished a border of the chocolate sprinkle covered macarons, ferrero chocolates and coffee candies; this cake is not just a one toned dessert. It is a candy desert bar and cake wrapped up in one!
One word of warning do not serve this to your children under 6; they will be bouncing off the walls from sugar and caffeine overdose. However this cake makes a lovely treat for an adult party; perfect suited for an after dinner dessert cake.
Now the recipe; you will need to complete ALL the recipes listed to construct this cake. So prepare the parts of the cake first before even trying to put it together.
Hazelnut espresso cake
200g unsalted butter
400g caster sugar
100g brown light sugar
250g self raising flour
100g ground hazelnut meal
100g cocoa powder
12g baking powder
2 tsp coffee essence mixed with 60ml double shot espresso
Pre heat oven to 180C. Grease and line three 18cm cake pans. Shit your flour, hazelnut meal, cocoa powder and baking powder over a medium bowl, set aisde. Combine your coffee mix with milk, Set aside.
Cream butter and sugars in a stand mixer for 5 minutes or until pale brown and fluffy. Add eggs one at time beating well between each addition.
Alternating between flour mix and milk mix add these to the creamed butter, egg and sugar mix.
Pour in to your tins and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cake begins to pull away from the tins and the skewer poked into the cake comes clean.
Once baked, leave in tin for 10 minutes then turn out to wire rack to cool completely.
Simple coffee syrup
240g caster sugar
240 ml water
60ml hazelnut liqueur
50ml coffee liqueur
In small sauce pan over medium heat melt tother sugar and water till dissolved
Adapted from the Gunny sack
350g cream cheese soften
160 pure icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g marshmallow creme
Beat cream chees and icing sugar together. About 3 minutes
Add your nutella and vanilla extract for 2 minutes.
Add the marshmallow cream in two batches until just combined.
The chocolate butter creams
You will need to make one in white, chocolate and dark chocolate
Milk chocolate butter cream
200g butter, soft
360g pure icing sugar, shifted
230g milk chocolate, finely chopped
In a bain marie(bowl over simmering water), Melt your chocolate in heat proof bowl until melted and glossy. Set aside for 10 minutes.
In a large bowl cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add icing sugar and bet again until fluffy and white
Add chocolate and cream in a steady stream while the mixer is still on. Turn the mixer on to high and beat for 5 minutes.
Follow above instruction but use 300 g melted white chocolate instead
Follow above instructions but use 230g dark melted chocolate.
One recipe of Hazelnut espresso cake
One recipe of nutella mousse
One recipe of soaking syrup
One recipe of white, milk and dark chocolate butter cream
One recipe of plain macarons (go here for recipe) with dark chocolate filling or milk.
Lots of different candies and sprinkles in chocolate and coffee (I used mini and normal M&Ms, sprinkle ice cream mix , cookie bits, mini chocolate chips, Ferrero chocolates, and coffee hard candies.
Trim any uneven tops off the cakes. Cut each cake into half.
For nutella mousse layers, using the white chocolate butter cream, pipe a ring on one layer. Paint on a layer of simple syrup in the middle of this ring.
Spoon on 1/3 cup of mousse and spread to even layer with small of set spatula. Place another layer on top. Repeat for all layers but the top layer.
Crumb coat outside of cake with white chocolate butter cream. Chill in fridge for at least 15 minutes. Starting at the bottom, spread the dark chocolate butter cream over the bottom third of the cake using an offset spatula. Repeat with milk and white chocolate, allowing each colour to have one third of the cake. Using a small spatula blend the colours were they meet.
Transfer to fridge for 10 minutes
Gently sprinkle with assorted candies on the top of the cake leaving a 2 cm boarder to place the macarons and Ferros. You may need to do a bit of artist placement to achieve a nice look.
After place your Ferro chocolates hard coffee candies and macarons around the boarder, alternating between each one.
Place in fridge for 2 hours before serving.