Wow, how did it even became November so quick ? It’s almost the end of the year and I’m finding excuses for myself to plan for my holiday next year. Hong Kong again in January, and maybe, some where with sun, sand and sea next year too. (or some snow please?)
I made this cake before the trip, and it’s another of those therapeutic baking moments. And in the midst of watching Masterchef US, Top Chef Just Desserts and Masterchef All Stars, it made me wonder if I made the wrong choice of not stepping in the real professional world of pastry. I may have gotten my pastry knowledge in a highly acclaimed school but not putting into real practice just kinda stops you there. It’s a neither here nor there situation. But when I think of it again, baking distresses me, and if I have to be in a stressed situation to bake, it’s not going to be a pretty scene. Actually the more challenging the dessert is, the better it works for me. I may seem to always bake all the crazy stuffs with too many components for a 6 inch cake, or a weird flavour pairing. But then to me, it’s more like, WHY NOT?
Oh but this wasn’t any of those crazy cakes. It’s one from William Curley’s Couture Chocolate which I’ve made 2 cakes from. One was this, and another was the Pear, casis and milk chocolate entremet for a potluck, pretty darn long ago. (cause the recipe is super long to retype, i’m putting that on hold first.) Oh I haven’t even blogged about the pot luck yet! gosh !! ><
It’s a simple chocolate & pistachio cake with apricot confit. It’s much prettier in the book as the pistachio layer is suppose to be right in the center, not at the bottom. But we may have used a different pistachio paste. WC has a recipe for pistchio paste, but I had some ready pistachio paste in the fridge, I thought to use that instead. That could be the different, a little, as the batter for the pistachio cake, was really soft and watery. Guess that it couldn’t stay in shape and went all to the bottom, instead of staying in the middle.
But it;s a lovely cake, pretty dense and very chocolatey cause I used a mix combo of Valrhona Guanaja and Felchin’s Rondo Milk Choc, apricot confit was fragrantly soaked in Grand Marnier (WC used Kirsch, but I don’t have any) The Pistachio layer was really soft actually and no colouring was added on my side. I also served it with the yogurt ice cream I made. If you want more richness, you can make a very easy chocolate ice cream, (without eggs), or apricot ice cream (if they’re in season)
- 50g soft dried apricot, chopped into 5mm pics
- 50g orange juice
- 1 tbsp Grand Marnier
- 125g dark chocolate
- 125g unsalted butter
- 80g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 40g plain flour
- pinch of salt
- 15g cocoa nibs
- 30g unsalted butter
- 15g plain flour
- 15g corn flour
- 50g pistachio paste
- 50g icing sugar
- 2 eggs
- 5ml Grand Marnier
- Put apricots and orange juice into a saucepan and bring to a light boil. Remove from heat and leave to cool completely. Add Grand Marnier, cover and leave to soak overnight in the fridge.
- Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease loaf pan (18cm x 8cm) with pan spray or soft butter. Coat the sides with cocoa nibs (pic 1)
- Melt chocolate over bain marie. Cream butter and sugar till creamy. Add melted chocolate and mix until smooth. Add eggs, cream. Finally add in flour.
- Melt butter in saucepan and cool to 39C. Sift flour, corn flour and salt into bowl. Put pistachio paste, icing sugar and eggs in a bowl and beat together for 5 minutes until light and aerated. Fold in flour mixture, then add in melted butter. Add in Grand Marnier
- Spoon ⅔ of chocolate mixture into the pan and use a spatula to spread to the sides of the pan. I used a piping bag for this (pic 2)
- Place the apricot confit in the center (pic 3)
- Spoon pistachio cake mixture on top (pic 4)
- Level with the remaining chocolate cake mixture. I used piping bag for this again, then level with spatula. Sprinkle top with cocoa nibs (pic 5)
- Bake for 30-35 mins until the cake is lightly springy. Leave to cool and remove from the tins and allow to cool completely.
- Cut, serve.
I also made them into little mini loaf. Cute.