> Lemon and Strawberries: Chocolate birthday cake with mascarpone coffee cream

Friday, March 20, 2015

Chocolate birthday cake with mascarpone coffee cream

What would be a birthday without a proper cake?
As the day was getting near I've been thinking of some delicious treat to celebrate my significant other's birthday.
Since we both love chocolate the base was pretty clear, but I wanted to combine it with something slightly bitter, light and delicious so it came to mascarpone based coffee cream with slight addition
of cherry and apricot marmalade. 

INGREDIENTS: (for the sponge cake ⌀24cm)
  • 7 eggs
  • 1 glass sugar (200g)
  • 1 glass flour (150g)
  • 1/2 glass dark cocoa
It's best if you use lukewarm ingredients, so make sure to take out the eggs from a fridge about
an hour before you start. Preheat your oven to 170°C (338°F). Cover the bottom of your pan with baking paper.
Separate whites and put yolks to the side - we use them later. Whip the whites slowly until they become foamy and start adding sugar - spoon by spoon while slowly increasing the whipping speed. Whip the whites with sugar until they create shiny and stiff foam (you may want to make sure by flipping the bowl upside down - if they don't fall, you're good!). If you have problem getting this consistency you may add a pinch of salt or few drops of lemon juice to the mixture - it makes the whole procedure easier.
With your mixer still whipping the eggs start adding yolks one by one, making sure it mixes well before adding the next one.
Sieve flour and cocoa in a separate bowl and add it in 3 parts to the eggs by mixing it with a spoon 
or spatula until they combine - this is an important part, you have to do it by hand, so the whole mixture stays fluffy.
Pour it into a prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. 

Tips: You should avoid opening the oven while the cake is baking, even though it's very tempting to check up on it. Do it 5-10min before the time runs out to make sure it's baked - take a wooden toothpick, stick it into the cake and check - if it's dry, your cake is ready.
After the cake is baked take it out from the oven and drop it on the floor from about 30cm height - 
it sounds crazy, but it helps getting rid of the moisture and prevents it from collapsing.
Then put your cake back into the off oven and let it cool inside with door half-open. 

While our cake is baking, let's prepare the cream.

  • 250g mascarpone cheese 
  • 250ml 35-36% cream
  • 2tsp instant coffee dissolved in 1tbs of water
  • 2-6tbs powder sugar (depending on how sweet you want it to be)
Pour the cream into a bowl and whip it gradually increasing the speed of your mixer untill it's fluffy and stiff - when it keeps it's shape, it's ready. Still mixing, start adding mascarpone with a spoon and make sure all is combined well. Then add coffee and sugar - taste the cream as you're putting sugar spoon by spoon until it reaches enough sweetness for you. Put two tablespoons of cream in a separate bowl and mix in few drops of food coloring that you like. 
Place plastic foil over the bowls and put them into a fridge.

SYRUP: (for soaking)
  • 1tsp instant coffee
  • 2-3tsp sugar
  • 1-2tsp rum & chocolate flavor (or regular rum)
  • 1 glass water
Prepare the syrup: dissolve coffee and sugar in a glass of hot water, add rum or flavor and let it cool down. 

  • 100g of apricot marmalade
  • 100g of cherry marmalade
After your cake is cooled down, cut it in 3 even layers using a big sharp knife. Put two layers to the side and place one that will be the bottom on a serving plate or cake stand. Start soaking this layer with the syrup using a teaspoon, making sure it's evenly moist.  Next  spread cherry marmalade leaving about 1cm space from the edges. Now it's time for the cream - use about 1/4 of it to spread over the layer, leaving 2-3 cm from the edges.
Put the second layer on top and repeat the procedure - soaking, then marmalade (apricot this time), and cream in the end. 
The third layer doesn't require soaking nor marmalade, just put it on top and press gently, until you see cream coming to the edges and whole cake is nicely even.
If any of the filling got out, spread it with spatula over the sides.
Use most of the cream left to spread over the cake, covering top and sides of it with an even layer. Smooth it out using a big knife dipped in a warm water to create a nice surface for decorating.
This time to decorate my cake I've used a ready-made plastic pattern plus some little piping.

Place the pattern in the center of your cake, then spread coloured cream over it with spatula making sure it got through all the cuts and carefully lift it up.
Put the rest of basic colour cream in a piping bag and using one of the star-shaped tips (No.31) make an ornament around the edge of your cake. Then take another bag, fill it with leftover of coloured cream and using a tip with a small round opening (No.2) make dots creating the final touch.

Before cutting and serving it's best to put the cake for 1-2 hours in a fridge to settle.



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