25 January 2015

Oscar cake by Rudolph van Veen

At the end of last weeks class we were told that we would recreate this cake made up by Rudolph van Veen (a well known Dutch chef and patissier) for the Oscars in 2005 hence the name Oscar cake. We would only get the recipe and had to figure the rest out ourselves. Luckily we could watch Rudolph make the cake online so the smart ones (like me hahah) did that. I even went beyond that by testing the recipe at home first.
His recipe was for 2 cakes, but since I'm just testing the recipe I only used half the recipe. As this cake is build up in layers the recipe will be as well.

For the almond cake layer I used:
- 58 gr almonds
- 58 gr sugar
- 75 gr eggs
- 50 gr egg white
- 7 gr sugar
- 10 gr melted butter
- 12 gr flour
oven temperature 220C

First I grounded 58 grams of almonds with 58 grams of sugar. Then I beat the egg white with 7 grams of sugar till it had soft peeks. To the almond mixture I added the eggs, the melted butter and the flour and fold this into the egg whites.

I spread the mixture on some baking paper and baked it in the oven for 10-12 minutes. After that I took it off the baking tray, pulled the baking paper off and let it cool.

For the coffee syrup I used equal part of coffee and sugar and added a dash or two coffee liqueur. 

The original recipe called for 1 cup of coffee and 1 cup of sugar, but this is way to much for this recipe so I made just enough to dip the almond cake in.

For the caramelized hazelnuts I used:
- 25 gr sugar
- 15 gr butter
- 50 gr hazelnuts

If you heat the sugar and the butter on low temperature you can put both in a pot at the same time. When the mixture has a caramel color you can add the hazelnuts. If you melt the butter first and then add the sugar you will not be able to mix it all together for a nice caramel so the proper way to do it is to melt the sugar first. When that browns add the butter and mix it before you add the hazelnuts. 
I poured this mixture on some baking paper to let it cool. When it cooled I chopped them in rough pieces.

For the cake I used 4 cake molds of 9 cm and there was enough left for 2 smaller cakes, which I don't know the size of. 

With the cake molds I pressed out the bottom of the almond cake and a smaller piece for in the middle. Both pieces of cake were then brushed with the coffee syrup. On the bottom I sprinkled some chopped caramelized hazelnuts.

Now for the chocolate mousse layer I used:
- 63 gr water
- 63 gr sugar
- 125 gr pure chocolate
- 75 gr egg yolk
- 3 sheets of gelatin soaked in water
- 450 gr whipping cream whipped to soft peeks

In the movie Rudolph just boiled the water and sugar and added that to the egg yolk whisking it till it was fluffy. So that's what I did at home and it worked somewhat ok. 

In class we were told to heat the water and sugar till 121C and then added it to the yolk. The first time we did it,we tried to whisk it by hand but the sugar clumped together so it didn't work. The second time we used the stand mixer and slowly added the syrup which resulted in a very fluffy mixture. However we didn't heat the syrup to 121C. I think it was only a bit higher then 100C.

Then I melted the chocolate and melted the gelatin sheets. To the egg mixture I mixed in the chocolate, the gelatin and fold this into the whipped cream.
I filled half the cake molds with the mouse, put a layer of almond cake in the middle and filled it up till the rim. After I did this with all the molds I put them in the freezer. The cakes will have to be frozen when I pour the chocolate glaze on. With bigger cakes it can take a whole day, but since I made small ones, it only took a couple of hours.

For the chocolate glaze I used:
- 140 gr water
- 180 gr sugar
- 130 gr whipping cream
- 60 gr cocoa powder
- 3 sheets of gelatin soaked in water

In a pan I put all the ingredients (except for the gelatin) and let the mixture cook for about 10 minutes. It is ready when the back of your spoon is well coated. Then I added the gelatin and mixed it well so the gelatin dissolves. This mixture has to be brought back to around 35-40C before I could pour it over the cakes.

To get an evenly cover it is important to pour the glaze on the edges of the cake and not in the middle. Since the cakes are frozen the glaze will immediately set. 
Then it is possible to decorate the cake with whatever you want, but since I want the decoration to match the inside of the cake I used some grounded caramelized hazelnuts. It's also a good way of masking the rough edges on the bottom of the cake. 

It was a great experience making this cake. I have all kinds of idea's on how to make a spin off using these techniques. But first I have to come up with 4 different kinds of friandises for next class.

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