Wednesday, 19 November 2014

"Envelope" Pound Cake

This pound cake is another way to treat yourself with respect. The recipe is just irresistible. It looks and sounds delicious. Reading the ingredients is like a first sense. But the taste is surely much more than the expectation - moist and dacquoise-taste like chocolate cake in a relationship with moist and spongy lemon cake, both enhanced with creamy chocolate ganache ... This cake was gone right away - first and only serving...

I found the recipe and the way of presentation in the new book on the shelf - "The Art of French Pastry". As Jacquy Pfeiffer's triangular cut is perfect, I tried my best in doing it professionally. I really hope that the unevenness on the chocolate ganache could be corrected in the next cakes. And I am definitely doing it again, and again and ... 

My daughter is the 'godmother' of the cake - she thinks it resembles envelope - and here comes the name "Envelope" Pound Cake. 

for coating the pan:

soft butter for coating the pan
75 g sliced blanched almonds for coating

for the dry ingredients:

16 g cocoa powder
60 g confectioners' sugar
80 g almond flour/meal

20 g flour
18 g cornstarch

52 g butter

for the lemon cake:

75 g almond flour/meal
30 g confectioners' sugar
50 g egg yolks (about 3 egg yolks from large eggs)
20 g light honey
50 g whole eggs (about 1 large egg)
5 g vanilla extract
1 organic lemon zest

for the meringue:

160 g egg whites (about 4 egg whites from extra large eggs)
80 g granulated sugar

for the chocolate ganache:

120 ml heavy cream
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
120 g dark chocolate 70% cocoa

Only about half of the chocolate ganache will be used in the recipe. The rest could be stored at room temperature for 2-3 days and used for making hot chocolate. In fact, after the cake was done, I served it with a cup of hot chocolate made with the unused ganache. 

prepare the baking dish:

With a brush, coat the bottom and the walls of the baking pan with the soft butter. Pour the sliced almonds over and distribute them evenly all over the surface of the pan. Collect the excessive amount of almonds and set aside. Refrigerate the pan, while scaling the ingredients.

prepare the ingredients:

1. Sift together the cocoa powder, confectioners' sugar and almonds in a bowl. Set aside
2. Sift the flour and the corn starch together in a bowl and set aside. 
3. Place a heavy bottomed pan with the butter in it over low heat. Cook the butter, stirring it slowly for about 5-6 min, until it has the specific hazelnut colour. Strain and leave to cool.

prepare the lemon cake:

1. In a bowl, combine the almonds, confectioners' sugar, egg yolks, honey, agg and vanilla extract.
2. Mix on medium speed with the paddle attachment of a mixer until the mixture is light and pale.
3. Add the lukewarm butter. Mix lightly.
4. Take the bowl off the mixer and using a spatula, fold in the lemon zest .
5. Fold in the flour-cornstarch mixture.

prepare the meringue:

I used a handheld mixer for the meringue. 

1. Briefly, whip the egg whites in a bowl.
2. Add the sugar and whip until soft glossy peaks are formed.

Baking the cake:

1.Weigh out 120 g of the meringue and gently fold it into the lemon batter.
2. Fold in the cocoa mixture to the rest of the meringue.
3. Remove the pan from the fridge. Spread the cocoa mixture over the bottom and the sides of the pan, forming a chocolate meringue shell.
4. Fill the pan with the lemon cake mixture and smooth the top with a spatula.
5. Bake the cake at 180C for about 20 min.
6. Reduce the temperature to 160C and bake for another 10 min or until it is well baked (check with a toothpick in the centre).
7. Reverse the cake immediately onto a wire rack and leave to cool, covered with a cloth or towel.

prepare the chocolate ganache:

1. Bring the cream and sugar to boil, stirring to ensure that the sugar is dissolved.
2. Have the chocolate chopped in a heat proof bowl.
3. Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate.
4. Stir with a flexible spatula until well homogenized. Leave to cool.


1. Place the cake on a cutting board, bottom facing up.
2. Create a V-cut by slicing from the edge of the cake to the centre on an inward 45-degree angle. 
3. Repeat on the other side, removing the triangular slice.
4. Spread the ganache onto the surface of the V-cut.
5. Return the triangular centre, pressing gently, but firmly in place.
6. Place the cake back into the baking pan and refrigerate for about an hour so the ganache is set well.

Serving and storing:

Store in a cool place for 2 days. Serve at room temperature.

for the hot chocolate:

The rest of the ganache is enough for 3 hot chocolate, 200 ml each. 

Bring 600 ml of milk + 3 Tbsp sugar to boil. Pour a little bit of the milk over the ganache. Stir to homogenize. Pour some more and stir again. Add the melted ganache to the rest of the milk and serve.

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