Tuesday, January 29, 2013
lavender-lemon sponge cake with chocolate cream.
I've always wanted to make a cake like this- with the sides and top unadorned with frosting, and only a layer of filling in the middle as thick as one of the layers. Very minimalist, very afternoon-tea-cake.
This sponge cake is so much moister than your average genoise and springier too. Try to hold yourself back from jabbing it too many times with a finger. Even the parts of the sponge not soaked with syrup were not too dry to eat without complaint. The whole lavender buds embedded in the sponge may prove too strong at times but I would prefer pockets of lavender flavour than a lavender-infused sponge. If you find biting into a lavender bud too jarring for your tastebuds (it's not that bad, trust me), you could grind them down to a powder and proceed according to the recipe's instructions as per normal.
I had some issues with the chocolate cream because it never seemed to reach soft peaks and I stopped just before the whole thing degenerated to curdled cottage cheese consistency. That, was too close for comfort. If you find yourself in the same situation as me, I suggest just taking the mousse-y thing and slather it over the bottom layer of the cake and be happy or, refrigerate the mixture for a while until it's a little colder before you continue whipping.
Lavender-Vanilla Sponge Cake with Chocolate Cream
makes a 7 inch cake
For the sponge cake:
115g cake flour, sifted twice
2 tsp dried lavender buds
30g unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 170C. Butter and flour only the base of a 7 inch round cake pan.
Stir the flour and lavender together.
Whisk the eggs, sugar and glucose together in a bowl over a pot of simmering water until the sugar has dissolved. Off the heat, continue whisking until the mixture is pale and thick (the ribbon stage).
While the egg mixture is being whisked, heat the butter, milk and vanilla together in another bowl placed over the same pot of simmering water until the butter has melted. Set aside to cool slightly.
When the egg mixture has reached the ribbon stage, fold in the flour mixture until no traces of flour remain. Take 1/6 of this mixture and whisk it into the butter mixture until homogenous. Fold this butter mixture into the rest of the egg mixture until combined.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out mostly clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack completely before unmolding. Slice the cake into half horizontally.
For the cake syrup:
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 tsp lemon juice
Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool. Brush the syrup evenly onto the cake layers.
For the chocolate cream:
75g semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream, divided
Melt the chocolate chips and 1/3 cup heavy cream in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. Set aside to cool completely. Whip the remaining cream until the whisk just begins to leave distinct tracks. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and continue whipping until soft peaks form.
To assemble the cake: Place the bottom layer of cake on a cake board, spread all of the chocolate cream on top then place the top layer of cake on top of the cream. Chill the cake for at least 2 hours or until the cream has set.