22 September 2007

Apricot Cocoa Cake

This is a cake I made from extra dessert stuff at home I didn't want to waste by, well, throwing away. I had an extra cocoa loaf cake from making Faubourg Pavés for Genie's mom (hi Tita!) and extra bittersweet chocolate ganache from making truffles. Compound that with the fact that Vany pressured me to bring a dessert to Genie's post-medicine party and here we have an improvised dessert. And you can tell that I'm a real wordsmith by the very imaginative name I gave it. I thought it might have been too pretentious to call it "Manggy Cake" or something, especially since chocolate and apricot is a pairing the Austrians are well-familiarized with. It's my first time to make and use rolled fondant or sugarpaste. That stuff is nastily sweet, but when it comes to the artsy cakes that are in vogue nowadays, it's a must for every decorator. (Instructions follow)
Apricot Cocoa Cake
There's a way to get more filling into your cakes than if you slice it horizontally in half. Just cut a wedge from the top; it does take a little care and skill with a knife. Out of boredom, I calculated how much more filling per slice you get:

Scary, no? The Pythagorean theorem rules. Anyway. Cut your cocoa cake loaf as such, and fill the chasm with apricot preserves. Replace the top and paint the outside with ganache. Place the cake in the refrigerator in the meantime.

I pirated my sugarpaste recipe from "Essential Cake Decorating," I forgot the publisher. I just copied the ingredients to my phone and remembered the gist of the methodology. In a microwaveable bowl, sprinkle 5 teaspoons gelatin onto 3 tablespoons warm water and set aside. Measure out 125mL liquid glucose (find it at the baking supplies of a well-stocked grocery) and 1 tablespoon glycerine (found at the drugstore). Ideally, the recipe should be in weight, not volume, since liquid glucose is just a step less viscous than the glass jar it comes in. Its consistency is the same as the glue from a glue gun, after it's cooled. In other words: it's a bitch to measure out in clunky measuring cups. Anyway. Combine these with the gelatin water, mix a little bit, then microwave at HIGH in 15-second increments, mixing in between, until it's fairly homogenous. Take care not to boil it.

In a bowl, add 1kg of powdered (icing) sugar. Yup. It is VERY sickening. Make a well in the center and pour in the glucose-gelatin mixture. Mix the ingredients with your hands, as it's very hard to mix with a spoon. When it's fairly combined, dump it out to your kitchen counter and start kneading until it's very smooth and looks like white modeling clay.

Divide the paste into 3, then color them any way you want using gel colors (I used Wilton sky blue and lemon yellow, leaving the third one plain). Knead the colored masses until the color is well-distributed. Divide each into 8 and roll into a snake. Place the snakes side by side very closely, then roll over them with a rolling pin to form a thin striped slab. Drape it over the cake and trim the excess.

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