Monday, December 8, 2008
Oh hey. So it's almost mid-December, and absolutely holiday baking time. I was asked to make a dessert for my sister's boyfriend's mother's (yeaaahh) dessert party. It didn't take me long to look through my books and find this cake to know it was the one I would make.
White chocolate eggnog mousse cake. Peerrrfect. So festive and the eggnog intrigued me. I can't say I've ever been a fan of eggnog or rum or alcohol in general, but people at holiday parties do, right? I told my sister this was the recipe I had chosen and she said everyone would love it.
So I work 40 hours a week, and this recipe was dissected for convenience as all recipes should be. I made the cake a week ahead of time and froze it. Two days ahead of time I made the mousse and assembled the cake, then froze it. The day of the party I topped it with the whipped cream.
This recipe is from Tish Boyle's "The Cake Book" and what a great book it is. She has a system for rating how difficult a recipe is using little cake slices. 1 equals an easy cake, and 4 equals a rather difficult cake to make. This one has 4 slices, but it's easy if you take apart the pieces and don't try to do everything on the same day, okay?
White Chocolate Eggnog Mousse Cake adapted from The Cake Book by Tish Boyle
Spiced Chiffon Cake
1 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs at room temperature
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg white
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment, and then spray the parchment paper with baking spray.
Sift the flour, 1/2 cup of the sugar, the spices, baking powder and salt together.
In a large bowl whisk the egg yolks, water, oil, and vanilla extract until combined and then add the flour mixture one-third at a time.
Using an electric mixer or whatever you find easier, whisk the four egg whites and cream of tartar at medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and beat until the whites are stiff but not dry. Using a large spatula, fold in the whites to the yolk mixture a little at a time. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top.
Bake 28 to 35 minutes (mine took a little longer), until a toothpick comes out clean. Run a paring knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake and let it cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Take the cake out and if you're making it in advance, wrap it well in plastic wrap and freeze it after it's cooled completely.
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons dark rum
Bring the sugar and water to a boil, dissolving the sugar. Remove from the heat and add the rum. Set aside to cool.
White Chocolate Eggnog Mousse
3.5 ounces white chocolate, chopped (I just used a 4 ounce bar... figured why not? Haha.)
1/4 cup dark rum, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
6 large egg yolks
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
First melt the white chocolate in a medium bowl and set aside.
Pour 3 tablespoons of the rum into a small heatproof bowl and sprinkle the gelatin on top and set aside for about 5 minutes.
In a large bowl whisk together the yolks, sugar and remaining tablespoon of rum. Set the bowl over a pot filled about 1/3 of the way with simmering water and heat, and whisk until it reaches 160 degrees F. Remove from the water and whisk in the vanilla and nutmeg.
Now take the cup with the rum and gelatin in it and put it in the pot of water, heat turned off, and stir it to dissolve the gelatin. Whisk the rum mixture into the yolk mixture, and then the yolk mixture into the white chocolate.
Whisk the heavy cream until firm peaks just begin to form and fold this, about one-third at a time, into the yolk mixture.
To assemble the cake, slice it in half using a serrated knife and place it in the bottom of the same springform pan you used to bake it in. Use half the rum syrup and brush it all over the cake, letting it soak in. Then pour 2 cups of the mousse over the cake, letting it go down the sides of the pan. Then place the other half of the cake on top of this, brush it again with the rum, and finish the rest of the mousse and use it all on top and the sides of the cake. You should refrigerate this now for at least 4 hours or freeze it.
To finish the cake, whip 1 cup of heavy cream, 2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla together until firm peaks form. You could just spoon this on top, I used a large start tip to pipe it around the edges. Then garnish with some ground nutmeg and voila. You have yourself a perfect holiday cake.