Mocha Creme Cafe
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La Belle Cuisine - More
Fine Cuisine with Art Infusion
"To cook is to
create. And to create well...is an act of integrity, and faith."
Medrich's Mocha Marjolaine
"There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good
friend with CHOCOLATE."
Linda Grayson, "The Pickwick Papers"
"You have given chocolates before, just never like this."
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Paris Patisserie 1889
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A Year in Chocolate:
Four Seasons of Unforgettable Desserts
By Alice Medrich, 2001, Warner Books
sophisticated fall birthday or celebration cake: four layers of soft nutty meringue filled with light mocha ganache and frosted with dark bittersweet
Serves 10 to
cup hazelnuts, toasted and completely cooled, skins rubbed off
cup whole almonds, toasted and cooled
1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
egg whites, at room temperature
teaspoon cream of tartar
cups heavy cream
ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
caramel-glazed or gilded toasted hazelnuts and/or chocolate leaves
cookbook contains an entire section devoted to “dressing up desserts”
and tempering chocolate.]
or 17x11-inch jelly-roll pan, lined with parchment paper
a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In a food
processor with a clean, dry bowl, pulse the hazelnuts, almonds, flour, and
1/2 cup of the sugar to a fine meal. Set aside.
make the meringue layers, in a large, clean, dry mixer bowl, combine the
egg whites with the cream of tartar. Beat at medium speed until soft
form when the beaters are lifted. On high speed, gradually beat in the
remaining 1/4 cup sugar until stiff but not dry. Pour the nuts over the
egg whites and fold with a rubber spatula just until incorporated. Spread
batter evenly in the lined pan.
until golden brown and springy to the touch, 25 to30 minutes. Cool
pan set on a rack. The meringue layer may be prepared up to 2 days ahead.
Cover tightly but carefully and store at room temperature.
make the ganache filling and glaze, bring 1 1/3 cups of the cream to
simmer. Off heat, stir in the chocolate until it is completely melted and
smooth. Transfer 1 cup of the ganache to another bowl. Stir in the
espresso powder and the remaining 2/3 cup of cold cream to make a lighter
ganache. Chill the light ganache for at least 2 hours or until needed.
Leave the dark ganache at room temperature to cool and thicken.
assemble the cake, cut around the edges of the pan to detach the meringue.
Invert the pan over a sheet of wax paper and remove the pan.
Peel off the
paper liner and cut the meringue in half crosswise, then in
lengthwise, to make 4 rectangular layers.
a pancake turner to set 1 layer of meringue on a baking sheet. Remove the
chilled ganache from the refrigerator and beat it with a hand-held mixer
until it is light-colored and stiff enough to hold good shape for
spreading. Spread one-third of the ganache evenly over the layer. Place a
second layer on top and press it level. Repeat with half of the remaining
ganache and the third layer. Finally, spread the remaining ganache and top
with the last layer. Refrigerate the cake until firm, at least 1 hour.
the cake from the refrigerator, Using a sharp serrated knife and a gentle
sawing motion, trim the sides of the cake evenly. Spread the top and sides
of the cake with a very thin coat of dark ganache just to create a smooth
surface. If the ganache is stiff or dull, set the bowl in another bowl of
hot water and stir until it is soft, shiny, and spreadable. Frost the top
and sides of the cake with smooth or swirly strokes. Decorate, if desired,
with gilded nuts and/or chocolate leaves. Slide a spatula under the cake
to transfer it to a serving dish. Refrigerate to store. Remove the cake
from the refrigerator 30 to 60 minutes before serving to soften the layers
and open up the flavors.
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