04 June 2010

White Chocolate Mousse Passion Fruit Cake

With the arrival of the spring/summer birthday season I am attempting to make season appropriate cakes by incorporating summery things like colors and flavors. For the May birthday we just had a work I decided to rework a past successful cake which was a dense strawberry cake layered with bittersweet ganache and covered in white chocolate mousse. Instead of strawberries, I used passion fruit.

This is actually a super easy cake to make because you start with a box mix. And while I usually eschew box mixes and I suppose I could have reworked a recipe, I needed the time for decoration on this cake. So super super easy:

1 box of yellow cake mix. Make as instructed with the following changes:
         Add 1 egg
         Add 1 8oz block of cream cheese
         Substitute water for fruit puree (I used passion fruit this time but any berry especially would be great)

Heavy whipping cream
Bitter sweet chocolate
Vanilla extract

This I don't really measure. What you need to do is start with the heavy cream and vanilla in a heavy saucepan. Heat it on medium until it starts to form little bubbles around the edges of the pan. You really don't need a lot of cream...my trouble is that I always make too much ganache because it looks like I'm not using enough cream so I add more then I end up with enough ganache for like three bakeries...Once the cream has the little bubbles, remove it from the heat and stir in chocolate. Doing this a little at a time helps it melt better. Set aside and let cool.

White Chocolate Mousse*:
White chocolate chips
4 oz cream cheese
Dash of heavy whipping cream
Big tub of cool whip

Combine about 8-10 oz of the white chocolate chips, the cream cheese, and a dash of cream in a bowl and microwave until smooth. Fold into cool whip and refrigerate.

For construction I only put the ganache between the layers and used the mousse on top but you could put mousse between the layers. Also if you're using a berry fruit it's nice to put those between the layers as well.

While I was, of course, hoping for a tasty cake, my mail goal with this was decoration. Naturally I went very trepidatiously assuming it would be another of my decorating fiascos...but it didn't turn out too badly. I started out with pre made fondant. I dislike the taste of fnodant and have yet to find a recipe that doesn't taste like industrial strength marshmellow...but this was just for decoration. So we had the pre made fondant:

Gel food dyes

A silpat mat (thanks Sarah!) and decoration gloves.

Decoration gloves are a must when coloring fondant. If you don't use them then your hands will by dyed for days. Also, if you're using a lot of color or many colors, it's a good idea to use a pair for each color otherwise you run the risk of blending colros you don't want blended. I used fondant cutters (sorry forgot to take a picture) to cut out two sizes of flowers and two sizes of leaves. When the flowers were all done I used water to "glue" pealized sugar balls in the centers. I was quite happy with how they turned out.

The cake itself didn't turn out so well. I blame the mousse. It was too runny. But it didn't look all that bad.

*I think that my mousse went wrong because I used low fat cream cheese. It's just what I happened to have on hand already and didn't feel like buying more. I think that was a mistake. Go full fat cream cheese!

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