Sunday, February 22, 2009

Chestnut Mousse & Ganache Cake

Happy Birthday Curry! Another year gone and another year come, you are stuck with me till old age and I hope you have many good days to come and wishing you success in everything you do and good health to last forever so that someone keeps my nagging worthwhile!

I was always reluctant to make birthday cakes for anyone as I find the expectation is too high and I might screw it up and spoil the birthday person's day by making something terrible and inedible. However, after so many trials and errors, I think I can manage one this year and since Curry has everything he needs and can afford, I figured that I can make him the one and only special birthday cake in this world, made for him with love, gratitude and best of wishes.

I have been thinking on what type of cake that might suit his palate. Curry is very discriminatory when comes to food and buttercream cakes is not his cup of tea. Once in a while I love to eat those mile high cakes made up of layers of sponge, sandwiched with buttercream and slabbed with a coating of the same that sends my body mass index shooting up and I was tempted to make one today but since it is Curry's day, I have to do the right thing. I had a box of vacumn packed steamed chestnut, purchased from Trader Joe's in December which I didn't manage to try making the mont blanc swiss roll for X'mas and I resorted to use it for this cake. My plan was to make a manly cake, without all the frills and piped florals and of course, rich in taste and not skimpy on the calories. I believe that all men love food with substance!

I always get a bit nervous when working with chocolate. Partly due to the fact that I tend to rush into doing things half way and gets a bit clumsy when handling the melted chocolate and getting it all over the place, including my face at times! The cleaning up is another detering factor too! Today's effort was no difference but Ganache is infact one of the easier things to make with chocolate. No tempering and no time calculating, just heat the heavy cream with the butter and pour into the semi sweet chocolate blocks. Whisk away till melted and thick and that is it.

I used the whole pack of cooked chestnut and by simmering them in milk and sugar to soften and then blended and pureed to thick consistency. I didn't bother to pass them through the sieve to get rid of the grainy bits as I like the texture of the mousse to be richer. I added a bit of gelatine into the puree and then folded the whipped cream into the chestnut puree. As this was my first time making chestnut puree, I didn't expect it to be so thick and was wondering then if the mousse will be light. The whipped cream did magic and as soon as it was folded into the puree, it lightened the consistency instantly. The cake was the same recipe as my strawberry swiss roll and it was easy to cut without being crumbly but firm enough to hold the chestnut mousse and ganache. The sandwiched sponge cake was then covered with plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge till the mousse firmed up. The ganache must be at room temperature and I used a baking pan on the bottom and let the cake stand on a cooling rack when pouring over the ganache. Raspberries, shaved white chocolate and confectioner sugar completed the garnish on the ganache.

Instead of a 9 inch size cake, I made 2 smaller ones, measuring a little less than 4 inches each. I always make my cakes this way as I think it will be easier to finish up and they don't take up space in my fridge. And for today, Curry can have one whole cake to himself and eat to his heart's content.


crazymommy said...

Happy Birthday, Curry!!

Wow.. what an interesting cake! Never know chestnut can be used in cake recipe.I'm sure this is one yummy-licious cake!

Plain Jane said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CURRY!! The cake looks scrumptious!!!! well done, J!!

Dionne said...

Oh wow - this looks amazing!

By the way, I made the yogurt cupcakes, and they turned out sooo well! I am going to post about it in a few days and will link to you of course.

terri@adailyobsession said...

looks really really really yummy! happy bday to curry!

Dionne said...

Hey, just letting you know that I linked to your site today. Thanks again for the great recipe!!!