Kitchen Corner

December 1, 2010

Layers of blessing.....


Without much practice on baking recently, I find my baking skills become very lousy. When I recalled by those baking pictures that I took few years back I wonder where is my passion and skills had gone. Last week was the birthday of my hubby and I took that opportunity to practice a birthday cake.
So, I choose a recipe that I made few years ago, Praline Chocolate Cake, his forever favorite cake. This is the one I made four years ago for my customer (right picture) but this time I didn't manage to make each layer of sponge and cream evenly. 
My hubby is kind enough and appreciate whatever outcome it is and still very enjoy the taste and texture of the cake. I remember he only allowed to eat those cake edges that I cut out but not a nice piece of cake. Although the cake was not well assemble this time, we enjoyed the lightness of the cake. I'm quite satisfy with the soft sponge. So far, this is the best sponge cake recipe I found from 孟老师的美味蛋糕卷. For the praline, I use to make it with hazelnut but last week when I was making this cake in a rush and just notice that I don't have hazelnut so I replace it with almond. I must say hazelnut is still the best to go with. This might not be the perfect cake but the purpose to post this up is to share about the sponge cake recipe. It's really good indeed and why not share with everyone. Hope you like it too!

孟老师的美味蛋糕卷
Recipe for plain sponge (size 36cm x 26cm):

Ingredients:
Unsalted butter 40g
Egg yolk 100g
Caster sugar 20g
Egg white 160g
Caster Sugar 75g
Plain flour 55g
  1. Prepare a baking tray lined with baking paper. Melt the butter than set a side to cool.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks with sugar in a double boiler until thicken and pale in color. 
  3. In another bowl whisk the egg whites with caster sugar until peak foam.
  4. Fold the egg yolks into the egg whites then gently fold in the shifted flour.
  5. Pour some mixture (4) into a clean bowl then mix in the melted butter until well combine.  Pour back into the mixture of (4) and mix gently until everything well combine.
  6. Pour the batter into prepared baking tray and spread evenly. I put the mixture into a piping bag to pipe out the mixture as I need very thin sponge. It couldn't fill up the entire baking pan so I bake them in another cake tin as an assorted cake. 
  7. Bake at 190C for 10 - 12 minutes. Be careful  not to over bake it.
  8. Remove the cake from the baking tray immediate when it out from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Tear out the side of the baking paper and let it completely cool down and ready to use.
Recipe for cocoa sponge (size 36cm x 26cm):

Ingredients:
Unsalted butter 25g
Egg yolks 80g
Caster sugar 25g
Cocoa powder 20g
Cold water 20g
Egg whites 120g
Caster sugar 60g
Plain flour 45g
  1. Prepare a baking tray lined with baking paper. Melt the butter than set a side to cool. 
  2. Whisk the egg yolks with sugar in a double boiler until thicken and pale in color. Mix in cocoa powder and cold water until well combine.
  3. In another bowl whisk the egg whites with caster sugar until peak foam
  4. Fold the egg yolks into the egg whites then gently fold in the shifted flour.
  5. Pour some mixture (4) into a clean bowl then mix in the melted butter until well combine.  Pour back into the mixture of (4) and mix gently until everything well combine.
  6. Pour into prepared baking tray and spread evenly. I put the mixture into a piping bag to pipe out the mixture as I need very thin sponge. It couldn't fill up the entire baking pan so I bake them in another cake tin as an assorted cake.
  7. Pour the batter into prepared baking tray and spread evenly. Bake at 190C for 10 - 12 minutes. Be careful  not to over bake it.
  8. Remove the cake from the baking tray immediate when it out from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Tear out the side of the baking paper and let it completely cool down and ready to use.
For the praline paste:
Lightly toast 80g whole hazelnuts on a baking sheet.
In a stainless steel sauce pan, combine 100g caster sugar and 100g water. Do not stir. The mixture will reduce. Allow to caramelize and you will see the sides start to color first. Once the sugar reduction has caramelized, remove from heat. Add the lightly toasted hazelnut to the caramel then stir briskly, this should be done very quickly as the sugar reduction will start to harden. The heat from the caramel will warm the nuts and allow the hazelnuts essence to permeate. The nut caramel is then poured onto a greased marble slab. Allow the caramel to cool. Once cool use a spatula to spread and press the nut caramel in an even layer. Flip the cooling layer over. Allow to harden. Use a rolling pin or some other weighty tool to break up the hardened nut caramel. The pieces should be small enough to fit in your food processor. Pulse the food processor until the pieces begin to smooth until a paste. Continue to process until desired smoothness. Store in an airtight container. This paste is great to jazz up your pastry cream or adding to your cream puffs.

To assemble to the cake:
  1. Divide the plain sponge and cocoa sponge into two sheets. Now you got four sheets of sponge cake.
  2. Whip 300ml cream with one tablespoon vanilla extract. 
  3. Whip 250ml cream with 100g praline paste
  4. Melt 150ml cream with 50g dark chocolate and set aside.
  5. Place a piece of cocoa sponge on a cake board, spread half of the vanilla cream on the cocoa sponge evenly. It's better to use the piping bag to pipe out the cream, that would be much evenly.
  6. Place a plain sponge on the vanilla cream then pipe out the praline cream on top. 
  7. Place another cocoa sponge on the praline cream and pipe out the vanilla cream.You could reserve some cream for decoration.
  8. Place another plain sponge for the last layered. Spread the chocolate cream evenly on top. 
  9. Place in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  10. Cut out the edges to get a nice layer of appearance. Decorate the cake as you like. Enjoy!

41 comments:

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

Happy Belated Birthday to you hubby. This is a lovely Birthday cake from a lovely wife. My hubby's Birthday is coming, he also a chocolate lover, should i make this cake for him? But he doesn't like cream type of cake..but maybe he will like this, never try never know, see how first..anyway, Thanks for sharing.

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Grace! This is such a lovely cake, wonder if I can ever make this. :P I bet your hubby loves it no matter what. :)) Happy belated birthday to him! Btw, should we get together next week? When are u free?

Swee San said...

Hi Grace, I have a suggestion. You can make a simple syrup, maybe flavour it with coffee or even orange peel or rum, and then brush some on the sponge layers before puttin on the next layer. IT will help to enhance the flavour and keeps the sponge out from drying.. :)

Passionate About Baking said...

Grace,
Thanks for sharing this recipe. The cake is really soft. I regretted not bringing some home! Btw, what was the final cake size after you assemble?

DG said...

Gorgeous! The combination colour layer cakes is just so good, made it looks professionally done.

Kitchen Corner said...

Hi Jane,
Don't regret my friend! I'm sure you could make this by yourself and even nicer. The final cake size I had approximately 24cm x 16cm provided I've trim off the edges.

Hi Swee San,
Thanks for the good tips!

busygran said...

Lovely assembly of the layers and well done too! Your hubby is one lucky guy!

ReeseKitchen said...

Grace,
Happy belated birthday to ur hubby and if you ask me...the cake is super beautiful! I like the layers of cakes and cream, oh and the chocolate.

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more said...

The layers look so good to me, though.
Happy belated birthday to ur hubby!!

I wish someone would make this for me :)

experimentalcook said...

It's amazing how professional looking your cake turn out in a home setting. Sigh- I know I can't do this, so I just got my hubby to drive out to the shop and buy me a piece :-)
Wish I am your neighbor.

martina said...

Hi! I think the final result is awesome... I couldn't find anything wrong in it. Just to know: why do you use a double boiler? Does the beating need to be done in "hot" condition?
Thanks
Martina

Anncoo said...

Happy belated Birthday to your hubby.
Love the layer of this cake, looks perfect and yummy!

Cuisine Paradise said...

Wow Grace! This is a very lovely cake. How i hope i can have half of that skill. Your hb is fortunate to have such a great baker like you :)

Blessed Homemaker said...

I've always wanted to make a praline cake but the tedious process deters me. Your cake looks great!

PiggyMummy said...

What a lovely cake! 你老公吃在口里,甜在心里 。。And here's wishing the lucky man a Happy Birthday =)

Small Small Baker said...

This looks great! So evenly layered and nicely decorated!

neyeeloh said...

Your cake look so inviting, thks for sharing ^_^

Bakertan said...

hey Grace,

I have been waiting for you to post this. Looks really good with the 3 different flavoured cream layes. This is the perfect birthday cake. This is very well done and the layers are distinct and even. Your baking skills are still good so don't worry.

Jo said...

Grace, a very lovely cake and you say your skill is rusty! I hate to think if you were baking every weekend, what the outcome would have been.

Elin said...

Grace, what a wonderful birthday cake and it looks so delish...who cares about the uneven layers of the cake ..this cake is made with so much love :) Wishing your hubby a belated Happy Birthday ! I am sure your hubby is happy with it :)

joyceyvonna said...

hey i think i have that 孟老师的美味蛋糕卷 book! is it the one with swiss rolls?
anyways, i think that is one beautiful cake! and a very happy birthday to your man:)

ICook4Fun said...

Happy Belated Birthday to your hubby. I always admires your skills in making and decorating cakes and bread making too. The cake looks perfect to me. Your hubby must be really happy with it.

Angie's Recipes said...

That's a masterpiece!

Adeline said...

What a lovely cake! I would really like to try this cake some day when I can master enough courage to :) By the way, can I ask what is the amount of whole hazelnut you've used for the Praline Paste please since you did not indicate? :P

Kitchen Corner said...

Hi Adeline,
Sorry that I forgot to mention the amount of hazelnut used. It's approximately 70g - 80g. Cheers!

Pei-Lin@Dodol and Mochi said...

Happy Belated to your hubby! I guess I'm uber late in this! Sorry!

Meng's books are very good. =)

Hey, don't worry about your baking skills lar! Still looks pro to me. =)

Bake for a Queen said...

Now that's what I call skill.

Zoe said...

What a fantastic creation! You are always good in your cake creations. No doubt about that...that why here I am following your blog :D

Adeline said...

Thanks for the in on the hazelnut quantity :)

Jess @ Bakericious said...

Grace, your skill still as good so dun worry, the cake looks very impressive and I bet your husband sure very happy and feel lucky!

Food For Tots said...

I can't spot any uneven layers from your photos. It looks absolutely perfect from my personal view. Your hubby is so lucky! ;)

Betty said...

What is the excat baking pan size for the sponge in inch and is it square cake tin or round? and the cake looks really lovely.

hanushi said...

This looks lovely!!! Your skills are v pro level. :)

Cooking Gallery said...

Those cakes look stunning and incredibly yummy...! I don't notice any uneven layers to be true, you did a fantastic job...!

thecoffeesnob said...

You think you have lousy baking skills? You've got to be kidding me, that cake looks like it walked right out of a bakery! :D Happy belated birthday to your husband- he's one lucky man! :)

Quay Po Cooks said...

Good job on the cake. Looks beautiful and delicious! I am sure your hubby feel your love you put into the cake with every bite.

Elin said...

Grace...I am going to share my award with you..pls do pick it up when you are free :) You deserve it :)

crustabakes said...

I dont see how this cake is not well assembled! it looks perfect and very very neat!!

ma'chiks said...

well layered..yummy..ooh no my saliva start dripping- like- baby

Fong's Kitchen Journal said...

Gorgeous looking cake! ok, must try this cake, let me go through the details of your recipe first

olivia said...

I just couldn't stop enjoying this cake... looks yummy and taste... definitely heavenly... thanks for sharing... this will be my next challenge