What do you get someone who doesn’t want anything for his birthday?
For those who have been following my posts (YES! I do have some regular readers – that is, Mom, Dad, husband, and occasionally one sister when I force her to), you will recall the nightmare I had with my two labradors of which I chronicled here. Well, they aren’t always that bad. Sometimes, they provide inspiration for the best ideas.
Let me tell you about it.
A few weeks ago I was down with the flu and I asked my husband to walk the dogs for me, which he did. Coming home around 30 minutes later, I asked him (as I always do) “how was the walk?” and he replied “there was an accident”. Take note, this was a few days after the infamous and expensive chocolate mousse incident! My heart dropped. I thought they must have gotten hurt or ate more chocolate. I asked him what happened.
He said, “go downstairs”. Oh no. I thought to myself. I rushed down to find the lounge area covered in flour. My dogs had decided to get a bag of flour on the kitchen counter (I know I should stop leaving food there and it has since been rectified) and have some fun. They took the bag from the kitchen and brought it to the lounge and decided it would look great on the rug.
Now that I look back, it was a pretty funny sight but it wasn’t so funny that morning when I had to clean up the mess!
Anyway, that evening I told my husband, that I needed a new bag of flour because I was going to practice on a chocolate cake I had never made for his birthday (yes, a bit OC but I thought I should have one go at the cake before serving it on his birthday). He said “why don’t you just make a flourless chocolate cake”. Brilliant!
What a great idea. And then, I added my own twist and decided I was going to make it a macaron cake – they are flourless too!
So here it is: The FLOURLESS Chocolate Mousse Macaron Birthday Cake inspired by those two crazy labradors. It is also the first of my Daring Bakers’ Challenge for October. My second post – lemon lime macarons can be found here.
The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe. Please do check out her website: Baking Without Fear.
- 125 grams almond meal
- 125 grams icing sugar (not icing mixture)
- 30 grams dutch processed cocoa powder
- 100 grams caster sugar
- 100 grams egg whites (from around 3 eggs)
- Before you begin with the macs, find a 20 cm plate and draw the pattern on some baking paper.
- In a food processor grind the almond meal and icing sugar for around 5 minutes until very finely ground.
- Place the egg whites in an electric mixer and whip the whites until soft peaks
- Add the sugar, 50 grams at a time while the egg whites are being beaten.
- Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks.
- Fold the ground almond meal mixture into the egg white mixture in three additions until fully amalgamated.
- Pipe on to baking trays which have been lined with baking paper. Start from the center of the circle and go around until you end on the edge of the circle.
- Let the macarons dry for around 30 minutes until the “shells” are dry. Bake in a pre heated fan forced oven (150c) for 20 minutes.
- 80 grams caster sugar
- 5 egg yolks
- 200 grams dark coveture chocolate
- 300 ml cream
- Cocoa Powder for dusting
- Beat the egg yolks in a stand or electric mixer.
- In a sauce pan, heat 30 ml water and the caster sugar. Bring to a boil.
- Add the sugar syrup to the egg yolks in a steady stream. Whisk until the mixture is at room temperature and is light.
- Melt the chocolate in a microwave until melted and cool slightly until lukewarm
- Fold the chocolate into the egg mixture.
- In another bowl, whisk the cream until semi stiff peaks.
- Fold the cream into the chocolate/egg mixture.
- With a pastry bag, fill half a shell and cover with the other half
- Store in the refrigerator
- Dust with cocoa powder before serving.
To Dan: Wishing you a very happy birthday! Sorry I don’t have a gift for you except this macaron cake (even if I did buy you something I would probably use your credit card anyway!) … Love lots! Kiss kiss… Baci, Bizou and Trissa