Little Switzerland Cake – Pecan, Mascarpone and White Chocolate
For pecan and chocolate meringue:
50 grams pecans
10 grams sugar powder
10 grams cocoa powder
2 large egg whites
Pinch of salt
50 grams sugar
For mascarpone mousse:
2 grams gelatin powder
10 ml. water
2 large egg yolks
50 grams sugar
30 ml. milk
125 grams mascarpone cheese at room temperature
125 ml. heavy cream
For chocolate and pecans crunchy layer:
50 grams chocolate spread (I used Nutella)
15 grams dark chocolate
15 grams butter
25 grams finely chopped pecans
For white chocolate mousse:
3 grams gelatin powder
15 ml. water
120 ml. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 large egg yolk
200 grams white chocolate
250 ml. heavy cream
A little whipped cream
Crushed cocoa beans
White chocolate discs
- Pecan and chocolate meringue: preheat oven to 170c degrees and lightly grease the pan.
- In a food processor with a steel blade put pecans, powdered sugar and cocoa powder and blend until thin powder is made.
- In a bowl of a mixer whip egg whites and salt at high speed. When white foam begins to form, gradually add the sugar and continue to whip for 3-4 minutes until you get a very stable meringue.
- Add the pecan powder into the meringue and fold gently but firmly until smooth.
- Pour the meringue onto the pan and flatten evenly.
- Bake for 15-25 minutes or until set and golden. During cooling the meringue will shrink a bit and that’s fine.
- Chocolate and pecans crunchy layer: in a small bowl, melt chocolate spread, dark chocolate and butter until melted and smooth.
- Add chopped nuts and mix until incorporated.
- Pour the mixture on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and form a 15 cm circle.
- Cool in the freezer for at least an hour, or until it is completely frozen and set.
- Mascarpone mousse: in a small bowl mix gelatin and water and set aside for 10 minutes at room temperature.
- In a heat-proof bowl, whisk egg yolks, sugar and milk until smooth.
- Cook the egg mixture over double-boiler, while whisking constantly, until mixture is airy and somewhat brighter.
- Dissolve the gelatin in the microwave and add into the mixture. Strain and add in the cheese. Beat until blended.
- In a mixer bowl, whip cream to soft peaks.
- Fold the cream into cheese mixture gently until you get a smooth mousse.
- Pour the mousse over the meringue layer and flatten the top.
- Remove the crunch from the freezer, extract from the baking paper and place in the center of the mousse, pressing it slightly downwards.
- Freeze the cake until white chocolate mousse is ready.
- White chocolate mousse: in a small bowl mix gelatin and water and set aside for 10 minutes at room temperature.
- In a small pot heat milk, vanilla and salt to a simmer.
- In a separate bowl beat the egg yolks.
- Pour about 1/3 of hot milk onto the egg yolk, while whisking until blended.
- Return the mixture into the pan with the remaining milk and stir well.
- Cook the cream over medium-low heat, stirring with a spatula until the mixture reaches 82-84c degrees. Remove from heat.
- Dissolve the gelatin, add into the cream mix until incorporated and strain.
- Melt the white chocolate in the microwave and add into the cream. Whisk until smooth.
- Cool the mixture at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.
- Whip the cream to soft peaks and fold into the white chocolate cream.
- Pour the mousse over the crunchy layer and level the top using a palate knife.
- Freeze the cake for at least 5-6 hours, preferably overnight.
- Extract the cake from the pan.
- Decoration: transfer the whipped cream into a pastry bag fitted with Saint Honoré piping tip and drizzle over the cake.
- Arrange pecans and sprinkle crushed cocoa beans on top.
- Arrange chocolate discs on the sides of the cake in a fan.
- Thaw the cake for 3-4 hours in the refrigerator and serve.
- The cake can be made 5-6 days in advance and kept in the freezer, well wrapped, until serving. Add the decorations when serving.
- Instead of pecans you can use any other type of nut you like.
- After serving, keep the cake in a closed container in the refrigerator up to 4-5 days.
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