Thanksgiving | (Part 2) Ultimate Chocolate Viking Cake

| Holidays


For Thanksgiving this year, I got a request for a chocolate dessert. So I took the opportunity to make one of my favorite very very chocolatey desserts, the Viking cake from Extraordinary Desserts. This is a 3-layer chocolate sour cream cake, with a dark chocolate creme brulee filling, as well as a milk chocolate chantilly cream filling. The cake is also brushed with cocoa simple syrup and lined with ganache.


Finally, the cake is covered with the ganache and crushed cocoa almond praline. For decoration, I dusted the top of the cake with powdered sugar and made some marzipan autumn leaves and acorns.



This is best consumed in thin slices to avoid chocolate overdose 🙂



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Baby Shower | Congrats Amy & Tim!

| Baby Showers

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Amy since elementary school, and her husband Tim since they began dating in college. I think I speak for all of their friends when I say, I can’t wait for mini-Amy to arrive in November!!

To celebrate their upcoming baby girl, I made cake pops (a first for me) and cupcakes as party favors for guests to take home.

The cake pops are a browned butter pistachio financier, made with ground pistachios, flour, egg whites, and browned butter.

I brushed the cake with raspberry simple syrup and coated with white chocolate coating chocolate. It turns out you can make the spherical shapes of cake pops either by baking in a spherical mode, or pressing cake pieces into that shape. The latter results in a fudgier texture, and I might have gone that route if I had such a pressing mold. For these, I figured the financier would have sufficient density and texture.

It’s a bit tricky to put the right amount of batter in the mold to make sure it fills the full sphere when baking but not push the molds apart. Fortunately I had enough successful pieces to meet the guest count 🙂

The cupcakes are a play off of the Beau Soleil cake I made recently.

For the cake, I made a cinnamon swirl sour cream cake, brushed with orange simple syrup, filled with peach curd, and topped with mascarpone mousse.

Then I drizzled with honey and sprinkled with some praline. Although it used many of the same ingredients as the cake, it was delicious in its own way.

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Birthday | Turning 30 Is Just Peachy!

| Birthdays

For my friend’s 30th birthday, her husband requested a peach cake, since peach is one of her favorite fruits and something that the couple consumes by the Costco-flat per week. Unfortunately, the birthday fell on the week of the nationwide peach Listeria contamination scare when all Costco peaches got recalled. Fortunately, Safeway had (presumably) non-contaminated fruit in stock.

I made this cake based on the Beau Soleil cake in the Extraordinary Desserts cookbook. Readers of my blog already know how much I love Karen Krasne and her cakes, but in case you’re new here, I love Extraordinary Desserts in San Diego!

This is a 10″ cake with hazelnut joconde (sponge cake) layers, soaked with orange simple syrup and filled with mascarpone mousse, peach curd, whipped cream, and some hazelnut praline (for crunch) and drizzled honey.

The mousse is a French style one with an egg yolk base, mascarpone cheese, whipped cream and vanilla beans (which make everything better).

The peach curd contains some peaches sauteed with brown sugar, and folded into the remainder of the pureed and gelatinized fresh peaches.

The outside is coated with the mousse and a thin layer of whipped cream. The sides are covered with the hazelnut praline, and the top is decorated with thinly sliced fresh peaches. The vibrant color and floral pattern make this cake aptly named Beau Soleil (beautiful sun).

I didn’t have a big enough box handy for this cake, so the sides got a little smashed when the wait staff took the cake out of the box for slicing. But, it was still delicious! I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to both make this cake and eat it too 🙂

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