Chocolate Genoise for Valentine’s Day


Another  get together during weekend at our friend’s home..  Had a great time – friends pulling each other’s legs, delicious home-made sea food dishes, the trip to the top of Jebel Hafeet mountain, the freezing cold there which reminded us of our excursion to Ooty.. truly a memorable weekend..


I had decided to make 2 cakes  for the get together.. chose the Chocolate genoise with chocolate mousse filling …. I had planned to make the cakes the day before and the filling and frosting the next day. But as I wasn’t feeling well, had to make the cakes and the frosting on the same day..  A mishap that occurred while making the first cake was that the recipe says to add 4 large eggs.. I added 4 eggs but during the baking I felt that the cake was not rising well. Well,  the mistake I did was the eggs were of medium size.. So if the recipe calls for large eggs, it should be LARGE 🙂 .. For the second cake I used the right size eggs and the cake was soft as sponge.. hmm now to rectify the first one, I again made the cake batter with half the measurements and baked it ..decided to  sandwich it later with the first one(that was smaller ) so that it was of reasonable size..  phew…



For the filling I made the chocolate mousse as in the recipe..  After sandwiching the first cake with the mousse , there was some more left..  as time was running out , I didn’t want to make another batch of the mousse for the second cake, so decided to mix the left over quantity with whipped cream and strawberry puree as the filling … The chocolate, cream and strawberry flavours blended really well..  yummy….

Then came the frosting part.. Made another batch of whipping cream and frosted both the cake tops and sides with them..  Once more I attempted  the scrolls for the sides for one of the cakes .. this time the scrolls got attached to the cake , but I think I pulled away the parchment paper too soon.. hopefully next time I will be more successful 🙂 .. For the second cake I attached almond slivers on the sides.. Decorated the top with chocolate scrawls, chocolate shavings and cherries. The cakes were done!!!  I liked the final look of the cakes  and decided this will be my valentine’s day post  🙂



The whole process was hectic as I didn’t prepare the cakes the day before.. When you make the cake its always better to do the cake one day and the frosting the next. And don’t forget the eggs’ size 🙂

Recipe Source

Joy of baking

Chocolate Genoise Recipe

  • Hot melted unsalted butter – 3 tablespoons (42 grams)
  • Pure vanilla extract  – 1 teaspoon
  • Cake flour – 1/2 cup (65 grams) { I used all purpose flour , the quantity was 1 tablespoon removed from ½ cup of  all purpose flour)
  • Unsweetened regular or Dutch-processed cocoa powder – 1/3 cup (30 grams)
  • Large eggs – 4
  • Granulated white sugar – 2/3 cup (135 grams) g

Note:  When warming the eggs and sugar, whisk constantly to ensure the the eggs do not overheat and curdle.

Orange Flavored Soaking Syrup

  • Freshly squeezed orange juice – 1/4 cup (60 ml)
  • Grand Marnier (optional) – 1 tablespoon

Chocolate Mousse

  • Bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, cut into small pieces – 6 ounces (175 grams)
  • Heavy whipping cream – 1 1/2 cups (360 ml)
  • Egg yolks  – 3 large
  • Granulated white sugar – 1/3 cup (66 grams)
  • Water – 1/4 cup (60 ml)

Strawberry Filling

  • Strawberries – 10
  • Sugar – ½ cup
  • Whipping cream – 1 cup

Garnish

Chocolate shavings, cherries and almond slivers


Chocolate Genoise:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Butter, or spray with a vegetable spray, a 9 inch (23 cm) round cake pan and then line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the melted unsalted butter with the vanilla extract.  Keep this mixture warm.  If needed, re-warm for a few seconds just before using.
  3. In a medium bowl sift together the flour and cocoa powder.  Set aside.
  4. In a large heatproof bowl whisk together the eggs and sugar.
  5. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.
  6. Whisking constantly, heat the eggs and sugar until lukewarm to the touch (this will take approximately 5 minutes depending on the temperature of the eggs and the simmering water).
  7. Remove from heat and transfer the egg mixture to the bowl of your electric mixer.
  8. Beat on high speed until the egg mixture has cooled, tripled in volume, and looks like softly whipped cream.  This will take approximately 5 minutes and the batter is beaten sufficiently when the batter falls back into the bowl in a ribbon-like pattern.
  9. Then sift about one-third of the flour mixture over the whipped eggs and fold in using a large rubber spatula or whisk.  Fold in half of the remaining flour, and then fold in the rest.  Do not over mix or you will deflate the batter.
  10. Then take about 1 cup of the batter and fold it into the hot butter mixture with a small spatula.  (This will lighten the butter mixture and make it easier to incorporate into the egg batter without deflating it.)  When completely combined, use a spatula to fold the butter mixture completely into the rest of the egg batter.  Pour the batter into your prepared pan, smoothing the top.
  11. Bake until the cake shrinks slightly from the edges of the pan and the top springs back when lightly pressed (about 20-25 minutes). Cool on a metal rack. When the cake has cooled completely, run a small knife or spatula around the edges to release the cake.

The genoise will keep well-wrapped two days in the refrigerator or else three months frozen.

Chocolate Mousse

  1. In a medium-sized stainless steel bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate.  Set aside but keep the bowl over the warm water so the chocolate will stay slightly warm.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form.  Refrigerate, covered, until needed.
  3. Place the egg yolks in a large heatproof bowl and set aside.
  4. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil.  Boil until the sugar dissolves, a minute or two.  This produces a sugar syrup.
  5. Then, whisking constantly, pour the boiling syrup over the egg yolks.  Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk constantly (can use a hand mixer on low speed) until the mixture is thick and light in color.  This mixture should be hot to the touch.  (About 10 minutes)
  6. Remove the bowl from the heat and, working quickly, scrape the egg mixture into a clean large bowl of your electric mixer.  On medium speed (or with a hand mixer) beat until the volume has doubled and the bottom of the bowl is completely cool to the touch.
  7. Turn speed to low, and beat in the warm melted chocolate until well combined.
  8. Fold in half the reserved whipped cream and then fold in the remaining cream.  The mixture should resemble softly whipped cream.  This can be used immediately or refrigerated, covered, until needed.  If the mixture seems a little runny, the chocolate may have been too warm, but after refrigerating for an hour or so, it will firm up.

Strawberry Filling

  1. Slice the strawberries and mix with sugar and keep aside for 20 minutes.
  2. In a pan, heat the strawberries  and sugar on medium flame for 15 minutes till the mixture thickens. Remove from flame and when the mixture cools down, mash it .
  3. Mix the puree with 1 cup of whipping cream and half quantity of the chocolate mousse mixture

Assemble

  1. Split the genoise in half.  Place the top layer of the genoise, cut side up, onto your serving platter.
  2. In a small cup mix the orange juice with the Grand Marnier and, using a pastry brush, soak the cake with the syrup.
  3. Next, evenly spread the chocolate mousse over the cake.
  4. Top with the second layer of genoise.
  5. Cover and refrigerate a few hours (preferably overnight) or until the chocolate mousse is firm.
  6. When ready to serve dust the top of the genoise with powdered sugar (can use a stencil or doily for a decorative effect) and garnish.

Makes one – 9 inch (23 cm) Genoise.  Serves 8 – 10 people.

P.S :Sending this as an entry to Delicious Desserts event hosted by What’s Cooking today!!

and to Priya’s BEST ‘WESTERN’ DESSERT EVENT

 

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Chocolate Banana Cake

 

Life takes strange twists and turns… When I mentioned to my friend that I had started a food blog his first reaction was “WHAT!!! Cooking and YOU???” Well , I think that would be the normal reaction of anyone who knew me 10 years back .. Cooking and me? No way :)..   But life unfolds itself in ways unknown to us..  Somewhere down the lane I got interested in cooking and experimenting with food … Now here I am with my own food blog.. And yes, my friend was impressed after seeing my blog 🙂 .. (Another feedback now I get from my relatives and friends when they see the blog is “Did YOU make all these?” .. Somehow the old stigma is still attached to me.. 🙂 )

 

Well coming back to food, I tried this Chocolate Banana Cake … and it was exceptionally moist and  soft in texture… And it is absolutely easy to cook up this treat, the batter can be prepared in 15 minutes.. As the recipe uses oil instead of butter, all you have to do is mix the oil, eggs, water and milk with the mashed bananas. Mix in the dry  ingredients, and that’s it… The batter will be really thin so the baking time will take around 45 minutes… For all chocolate lovers , this cake is a must try…

 

Recipe Source

Joy of baking

Ingredients

  • Granulated white sugar – 2 cups (400 grams)
  • All-purpose flour – 1 3/4 cups (245 grams)
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder (regular or Dutch-processed) – 3/4 cup (75 grams)
  • Baking powder -1 1/2 tsp
  • Baking soda – 1 1/2 tsp
  • Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
  • large eggs – 2
  • Mashed ripe bananas (about 2 medium sized bananas) – 1 cup
  • Warm water – 1 cup (240 ml)
  • Milk-1/2 cup (120 ml)
  • Corn, safflower or canola oil – 1/2 cup (120 ml)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Ganache Frosting:

  • Semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces – 8 ounces (227 grams)
  • Heavy whipping cream – 3/4 cup (180 ml)
  • Unsalted butter – 1 tablespoon (14 gram)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Butter, or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, a 9 x 13 inch (23 x 33 cm) pan. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs, mashed bananas, water, milk, oil, and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir, or whisk, until combined. You will notice that the batter is quite thin.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. When completely cooled, frost with the Ganache.

Ganache:

  1. Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized stainless steel, or heatproof bowl. Set aside.
  2. Heat the cream and butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil.
  3. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth.
  4. When Ganache has completely cooled, beat until soft and fluffy. Then spread the frosting on top of the cake. Can garnish with dried banana chips.

P.S: Sending this as entry for Taste Buds – Cooking With Fruits event and Food palette series brown event