Hope you all have fun plans for ringing in the new year! Wishing you all the very best in 2011!
What was one of your favorite recipes or meals from this past year?
|Jeff drew three 10-by-3-inch rectangles on parchment for me to fill in with meringue. |
For the second cake, he drew three 14-by-2.5-inch rectangles.
|I mixed the ground hazelnuts and almonds, confectioners' sugar, and salt |
into the whipped egg whites and granulated sugar.
|Then I piped the meringue and filled in the rectangles Jeff drew.|
|Meringue rectangle ready to be baked|
|All three layers of meringue ready to be baked|
When I make chocolate ganache that I want to be thick and ready to be piped, I only heat half of the cream, pour that over the chocolate, whisk it until the chocolate is all melted, and then whisk in the remaining cold cream. This cools the chocolate more quickly.
|Meringue layers that have been baked and then left in the oven overnight to dry|
|For each cake, I cut a piece of cardboard to the size of the meringue, wrapped it in parchment, |
smeared a tiny bit of ganache on it, and secured the bottom layer of meringue to it. Then I piped
lines of chocolate ganache the length of the meringue.
|Then I placed the next layer of meringue on top of the chocolate ganache layer.|
|Next I piped rows of espresso buttercream the length of the meringue.|
|And then I topped each cake with the final layer of meringue.|
|Using a baby offset spatula, I completely covered both of the cakes with the remaining |
espresso buttercream, making sure to fill in all gaps.
|And then I placed both cakes in the fridge for about an hour. This gives the buttercream a chance to harden, so it won't just melt when the chocolate ganache is poured on top.|
|To finish the cakes, I reheated the chocolate ganache to get it to a pourable consistency and then |
poured it around the edges and down the middle of each cake.
|I swiped any excess ganache off the top using a large offset. And then I covered any exposed buttercream, as in the picture of above, with more ganache.|
You don't have to go too crazy with this because the sides of the cake get covered with toasted, sliced almonds too.
|The final touch is to top the cake with evenly spaced hazelnuts. |
Ideally, you cut slices of the cake by cutting between the hazelnuts.
(And the hazelnuts and almonds should be toasted a bit longer, but I was running out of time and the oven was being really slow.)
|Because this was a birthday cake, after the ganache cooled and firmed up, |
I melted some white chocolate and piped a message on the cake.
|And then the best part: cut, serve, and eat.|