Sunday, 5 April 2015

Chocolate Meringue Cloud Cake

Spring is here, finally! This winter was a tough one – it seemed like the dreary weather was never going to end and that the short days were going to drown me. Anyone else felt like this?? But as soon as daylight savings hit, so did Spring! And I was compelled to make a cake that was a nod to the feel of the season.

Opportunity arose: it was my dear friend’s birthday. She loves chocolate cake, one of her favorites being a ganache covered cake. There was this Smartie cake, and this Mint Chocolate cake that I made for her in the past. This year, it was a chocolate meringue cloud cake

Check out the verdict at the end of the post!
Meringue disks pre-baking.
4 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
¼  teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
Blue and pink gel food colouring

1.  Preheat oven to 250 F. Trace 3 circles (of the cake pan that you will use; I used 5” rounds) onto parchment paper.  Place circle side down onto baking sheet. Place a sheet of parchment on another baking pan.
2.  In a large metal bowl, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt to soft peaks.
3.  Add vanilla and beat.
4.  Gradually add sugar and beat until stiff.
5.  Take out half the meringue. Add pink gel food colouring to the remaining meringue and whip until incorporated. Add to a piping bag.
6.  Clean out mixing bowl, add back the white meringue and add blue gel food colouring. Whip until incorporated and add to a piping bag.
7.  Pipe two disks of one colour and one disk of a different colour, tracing the circles leaving a small gap between the line and meringue disk. The meringue disks will expand a bit while baking. Keep the disks fairly flat – I only did 2 layers.
8.  With the remaining meringue, pipe designs for decorating the outside of the cake onto the other baking sheet.
9.  Bake for 2.5 hours or until they are thoroughly dry. Leave in oven with heat turned off for another hour.
10.Store in a Tupperware container.
Meringue decorations, post-baking.
Chocolate Cake
Adapted from here.

¾ cup + 2 Tablespoon flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup + 2 Tablespoon cocoa powder
1 beaten egg, room temperature
½ cup strong coffee
½ cup buttermilk, room temperature
¼ cup canola oil
½ teaspoon vanilla

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of two 5-inch round cake pans with parchment. Grease and flour the sides.
2.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, add flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Sift in cocoa powder and mix with the paddle attachment.
3.  Add the remaining ingredients and beat until smooth (approx. 1 minute).
4.  Pour into pans and bake for around 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
5.  Cool completely before assembling.

Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream
75 grams dark/bittersweet chocolate
3 large egg whites
¾ cup sugar
1 cup butter, cubed, room temperature
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla

1.  Place chocolate in a bowl over simmering water until melted. Take off heat and cool near to room temperature.
2.  Place egg whites and sugar in a heat proof bowl over simmering water. Beat continuously by hand until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F.
3.  With a stand mixer, beat mixture with a whisk until stiff and glossy (about 5 minutes). Mixture should be at room temperature before moving onto the next step.
4.  Switch to a beater attachment and beat in cubes of butter one at a time. Beat on high until smooth (may take 15 minutes).
5.  Once buttercream is smooth, add salt and vanilla and beat to mix.
6.  Dump melted chocolate into the buttercream and beat until completely blended, scraping down the sides every once in a while.
*If the buttercream is really soft, place in fridge for 15 minutes to stiffen.

1.  Cut cake layers in half to make 4 layers.
2.  Place first layer on cake plate. Spread a layer of buttercream.
3.  Place a meringue disk on top. Spread a layer of buttercream on top.
4.  Place next cake layer and repeat layering. Finish with final cake layer.
5.  Cover the entire cake in buttercream and decorate with meringues and sprinkles.

Verdict: I was really happy with this cake! “Cloud” cake is the perfect description – so fluffy and light in texture. The cake is fluffy, the meringue is fluffy, and the frosting is fluffy! I’ve made a lot of cakes for my friend in the past, but she said that this might be her favorite!