Jun 24, 2013

Duchess's cold cake

A week went by. One semifreddo dessert didn't set, the other one never intended to. I fed to the birds my strawberry muffins. My migraine came and went shaking up my diet like always. And then Summer came and shook it up even more. Cappuccino for breakfast and pizza on the balcony for dinner. With an ice cream cake in between.

First day of Summer is also my sister's birthday. She just came to town. So she and I, plus two kids who played in another room and one husband who was watching motocross the whole evening, had the time of our lives. The cake was part of if. Pizza* and champagne were too. Family gossip (why our mom put a red, plastic backsplash in the kitchen), fashion talk (knee or below knee), health talk (asanas for a perfect looking round-not-flat belly) and deep talk (counting to 10 before loosing it)...were other highlights of the evening.

The Cake. I wanted to make sure it tasted fantastic. I carefully prepared it in the morning so it would be ready for the afternoon. The recipe said to let it rest in the freezer at least 2-3 hours. I doubted that a bit, so I gave it six. It wasn't frozen, but it was creamy, cold and firm enough to cut and look good. I had a piece of cake the next day from the freezer. It was frozen-solid. Not bad either, only a bit icy. Hania and Julian preferred it harder and colder, I liked it creamy.
Most importantly, my sister liked it when she had it. And even though I made her hold aluminium foil to get the light on the cake for the pictures before I said: "Surprise!", she still felt it was special.
Recipe adapted from Giallo Zafferano
time: 40 min preparation + 6 hrs inactive

  • 300 g (11 oz) ladyfingers
  • 3 cups liquid coffee
  • 3 Tablespoons dark rum
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 80 g (less that a 1/2 cup) sugar
  • 250 g (9 oz) mascarpone cheese
  • 200 ml (5/6 cup) whipping cream
  • 30 g (4 Tablespoons) cocoa powder
  • 30 g (1 oz) dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 30 g (1 oz) white chocolate, finely chopped
cocoa powder for decoration

  1. Prepare coffee. Pour it into a soup plate. Let it cool a bit. Add rum and sugar. Taste it. You can more or less.  
  2. Line a 30/10/7cm (12/4/3 inch) loaf form with parchment paper. You'll need to cut 2 pieces (measure them about 2 inches/5cm larger than the form), one for long sides and bottom, the other for short sides and bottom. Dip each ladyfinger in coffee mix for about 2-3 seconds (depending on the cookie, don't let them get too soggy, but they should be wet almost to the core). Line the bottom of the form with cookies, line the sides. My side cookies were long enough to fold over the top of the cake.
  3. Using raw eggs: I dip all my eggs in water with a couple of tablespoons of baking soda for 5 minutes. I add hot, melted sugar to the yolks for more security: In a small pot, I cook on medium/high 50 g (1/4 cup) with 25 ml (5 teaspoons) water till the temperature reaches 121C/250F (after that caramel starts forming). If you don't have a thermometer, cook till you see big, sticky, clear bubbles forming. Don't allow color to change to blond.  
  4. In a bowl of a standing mixer with a whisk attachment, beat yolks with sugar till pale and creamy. If you use the method above, beat yolks with 30 g (2 Tablespoons) and then pour in melted sugar. Add mascarpone. Beat for another 2-3 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in another bowl, beat whipping cream till firm. Add 1/3 of the whipped cream into the mascarpone mix and beat for 1mintue. Turn the mixer off, using a rubber spatula, fold in the rest of the whipped cream into the mix.
  6. Divide the creamy mix into two bowl. Add cocoa powder and white chocolate to one bowl and dark chocolate to the other.
  7. Pour in dark cream in the form lined with ladyfingers. Apply the light cream. Close it in with ladyfingers (dipped in coffee). Place in the freezer for at least 6 hours. Take it out, flip it, take the form off (pulling on parchment paper helps) decorate with cocoa powder and happy Summer!

1 comment:

  1. i like this duchess, i'll married her if i could and then eat her, very delicious and creamy:D