Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Taste of Christmas with Cook'n With Class


STEP 1 - Banana Caramel
200g/7oz heavy cream (35% fat)
55g/2oz sugar
55g/2oz unsalted butter
1 banana, cubed
for the caramel: 55g/2oz sugar
In a small pot boil together cream,
sugar, butter and the banana cubes.
In a second pot caramelize the sugar,
until deep amber color. Stop the cooking
of the caramel by adding the banana mix.
Mix well, transfer into a cool bowl and set aside to cool.

STEP 2 - Chocolate Mousse
180g/6oz heavy cream
140g/5oz 70% chocolate (bittersweet),
grated or cut into small pieces
360g/12oz heavy cream (35% fat), cold

Make a ganache with the first 2 ingredients: bring cream to a boil, pour onto cut chocolate, let sit for about one minute, then stir to incorporate the cream into the chocolate and let cool. Stir occasionally until it reaches room temperature. Whip heavy cream to soft peak and mix gently with
cooled ganache. Put the mousse in the fridge to keep cool.

STEP 3 - Chocolate Sponge Cake (biscuit au chocolat)
3 whole eggs
3 yolks
120g/4oz sugar
3 egg whites
60g/2oz sugar
50g/2oz all purpose flour
50g/2oz unsweetened cocoa powder (better if alkalized)
Sift together flour and cocoa powder, set aside.
Preheat the oven at 225C/375F. Grease a baking sheet with butter (bottom and sides) and line the bottom with parchment paper. In a standup mixer whisk eggs+3 yolks+sugar until light and foamy. Itwill triple in volume. Set aside. Clean mixer whisk and bowl, then whip egg whites and sugar to soft peak stage. Fold together the two egg mixtures gently while sifting on top the chocolate+flour mix .
Do not overmix or the batter will deflate.

With a spatula spread the batter on the parchment lined tray then bake immediately for about 15 minutes.
Lower the oven temp if the top starts browning.
Take out of the oven and run a sharp knife all around
the cake to loosen it from the pan.

Unmold after about one minute on a large parchment sheet lightly sprinkled with sugar. Gently peel off the parchment paper that
will be stuck to the cake. Don't pull it vertically or it will tear apart the delicate sponge cake! Let cool a few minutes before assembling.

Spread a good amount of the chocolate mousse on top of the sponge cake, don't go too close to the
edges of the rectangle. Draw two grooves in the mousse
and fill them with the cooled banana caramel sauce.

Roll the sponge cake into a log shape,
use the parchment paper to keep it closed and
refrigerate until the log is completely set and cold.

At least 1hr.

Prepare a meringue with the following ingredients:

75g/2.5oz water
300g/10oz sugar
110g/4oz egg whites (about 4 eggs)

Put eggs whites in a standup mixer, add a small pinch

of salt. Bring water and sugar to a boil, when the
temperature of this syrup reaches 115C/239F start the
mixer on medium speed.
When syrup reaches 118C/245F pour gradually the syrup
into the mixer bowl, be careful not to pour onto the whisk!
Keep whisking at medium speed until the meringue
is stiff and shiny. Transfer into a piping bag fitted
with a decorative nozzle.

Unwrap the log and decorate.
Sprinkle some sifted cocoa powder on top for
extra decoration.

Leftover meringue mix can be piped on a parchment paper
or silpat to make "mushrooms".
You will pipe rounds and drops that
will be baked at low temperature until completely dry, then assembled to resemble small mushrooms.