It’s been a while since my last post but we’ve had some issues with our internet connection. It’s mid September and I am feeling better already, more energetic, and as temperatures lower and we are coming closer to winter and Christmas (which is absolutely my favorite time of year) I believe things will be much better. The lack of internet connection made it impossible to celebrate with you the blog’s birthday last Sunday. So, this is a late celebratory post for tkd with a Concorde Gateau recipe but before talking more about that I would like to share with you some of the things I’ve been doing lately.
First of all, I started crocheting which proved to be a very addictive hobby and I also plan on learning how to knit. These are photos of my first two crocheted items: A small monster and a laptop case.
Secondly, I finally managed to buy some plants for our balcony so now when I look out I see cute green plants, which cheers me up.
Finally, I decided to start French lessons again. Hurray! I am starting in a few days. Now I am buying books and notepads and pens and I am feeling excited.
Something else I would like to talk about is the how-to videos I make for some recipes. I watch many artistic food blog videos and I am really intrigued to create one my self. You know, artistic shots, wonderful light, beautiful background and all that jazz but the truth is I am not even close to that. At some point I had to decide on whether I would keep doing videos that do not actually fit in my really high expectations or I would just stop.
And then I tried to remember why I first started making those videos. The main reason was because I wanted to show people how to make some of the recipes, so that they will be able to bake with absolute success. After thinking that, making a decision was easy: I will keep shooting how-to videos trying to focus on the execution of the recipe rather than trying to find perfect natural lighting in a dark house and searching a way to shoot myself from various angles when I should actually be you know…baking. I am doing everything alone, the shooting the baking the editing and my resources are limited so I will cut myself some slack accepting yellowish light shades on my videos without any complaints.
Now, let’s get back to the whole tkd birthday thing. It’s been a year since I wrote the first post and hit publish. Lot’s have changed for this blog in only 12 months. It moved from blogger to wordpress and changed layout more than once but it finally ended up being a space that expresses me and feels like it’s my online home. Looking back at my first posts I see the progress I’ve made and this makes me feel proud. I have a long way to go and a lot more things to learn. I feel intrigued and ready to enjoy my blogging journey.
A special occasion calls for a special cake. I chose it to be a Concorde Gateau which is actually a French Chocolate Mousse Meringue Cake (as I am starting French again remember, hurray!). Crispy meringue and a silky, airy, utterly delicious chocolate mousse. Just perfect.
- 100g / 3.50oz egg whites (egg whites from two large eggs)
- 100g / 3.50oz white, granulated sugar
- 100g / 3.50oz powdered, icing sugar
- 15g / 1tbsp cocoa powder
- 125g / 4.40oz chocolate, couverture, 75% cocoa solids
- 75g / 2.70oz heavy cream with 35-36% fat
- 75g / 2.70oz butter, cubed, in room temperature
- 100g egg whites (egg whites from two large eggs)
- 30g / 2tbsp white, granulated sugar
- Icing sugar for dusting (optional).
- Place egg whites and granulated sugar in mixer bowl and whisk on medium speed* (see note section) for 5-6 minutes or until stiff peaks. The meringue should be glossy and smooth.
- Sift together icing sugar and cocoa powder on a piece of parchment paper.
- Use a spatula to gently fold shifted ingredients into the meringue, little at a time.
- Using a 16-17 cm / 6-7 in cake ring/springform pan as a guide, draw a circle on a piece of parchment paper. Flip the parchment paper over and place on a baking tray.
- Fit a piping bag with a medium sized plain nozzle and fill with meringue.
- Pipe meringue into a round, working your way in a spiral from the centre of the drawn circle out, allowing some space for the meringue to spread** (see note section). Use remaining meringue to pipe long strips on lined baking tray leaving some space between them.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 120oC / 250oF, using the fan heating element, for 1½ hours (90 minutes) or until meringue is crisp, completely dry and can be easily removed from parchment paper.
- If you use a cake ring wrap the bottom with plastic wrap, put it on a tray and place in the freezer.
- When meringue is fully baked remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
- Then cut strips into smaller pieces and keep in an airtight food container in room temperature until needed.
- Melt chocolate in a double boiler (bain marie) and transfer into a bowl.
- Place butter and heavy cream in a saucepan and stir over low heat until butter melts and mixture reaches boiling point.
- Remove from heat and pour cream mixture into the bowl with the melted chocolate. Stir using a spatula until fully combined. The mixture should be lukewarm to the touch. Set aside.
- Place egg whites and sugar in mixer bowl and whisk in medium speed for 3-4 minutes or until fluffy and creamy (no stiff peaks this time). This meringue is more “sensitive” than the first one because it contains less sugar so it is important not to over-whisk.
- Gently mix lukewarm chocolate mixture*** (see note section) into meringue until fully incorporated.
- Place meringue disk at the bottom of the springform pan (or frozen cake ring) and cover with the mousse.
- Place in the freezer for 3 hours or until completely firm.
- Remove cake from freezer.
- If you have used a cake ring then remove plastic wrap from the bottom. Use a torch or a hairdryer to heat the cake ring so it can be removed easily. If you use a springform pan all you have to do is to carefully remove the ring.
- Transfer cake onto a serving platter. Decorate with meringue pieces and place in the fridge until it’s time to serve.
- Dust with icing sugar and enjoy!
- * For Kitchenaid mixers use speed 6. I have a mixer that goes from 1 to 6 so I use speed 3,5 – 4. By whisking egg whites in medium speed small bubbles of air are formed, resulting into a silky, shiny and smooth meringue.
- ** If a piping bag is not available the meringue can be spread using a spatula. First create the disk and then spread the rest of the meringue. After baking meringue can be cut with a knife or it can be randomly broken by hand into smaller pieces.
- Meringue tends to spread while baking. To make sure that the meringue disk does not spread to be wider than your pan; allow some space. The piped disk should be 1cm / half an inch smaller than the drawn circle. Note that is not an issue if you use an adjustable cake ring.
- *** The chocolate mixture should feel lukewarm to the touch. If it is too hot the meringue will deflate, if it is cold the chocolate mixture will fall like sand into the meringue.
- You can leave the cake in the freezer for more than 3 hours. You make the cake at night, leave it in the freezer overnight and decorate in the morning. Why place in the freezer? Because it is easier to unmold and transfer it onto a platter.
- If you do not actually care about that or if you do not have a springform pan just place meringue disk in a deep dish, cover with mousse, place in the fridge for several hours to set and sprinkle small meringue pieces on top. Dust with icing sugar and serve from the dish.
- If you decide to use chocolate with 55% cocoa solids increase quantity to 150g / 5.30oz. I prefer bitter chocolate because the meringue is quite sweet and I find that it balances the taste.
- Final note about eggs: As you may notice French meringue is used in the mousse. I usually do not like using raw eggs to make mousses etc but I made an exception this time. I recently found pasteurized egg whites in the super market and of course I bought a carton and of course I used it to make this cake. The perfect timing! So, I totally suggest using pasteurized egg whites for this recipe. If you can’t find any then use biological eggs or if you can’t do that either then substitute French meringue with whipped cream in the chocolate mousse (but then the Concorde cake will no longer be an authentic Concorde gateau, right? 😉 ).
This post is also available in: Greek