Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mowielicous Macaron Cake

Guest Post.

Oh my goodness are we excited about today's guest blogger, Mowielicious. We've long been fans of the beautiful work on the Mowielicious blog, and were thrilled when he offered to create something special for the Hip Hostess readers. Enjoy the amazing inspiration, recipes, and photos from our friend Mowie!!

Welcome everyone! My name is Mowie and I'll be your hostess with mostest this week.

For this guest post, I've made a chocolate sponge cake with chocolate buttercream and simply decorated it with some macarons that I made a few days ago. I first saw one of these cakes on my recent trip to Nantes, France, for my friends Anita & Gerald's wedding. The French really love their macarons, they go so far as to dedicate whole sections of their cafe's to them - it's an amazing obsession that left me in awe, marvelling at these delicate and colourful French beauties. So, when I saw this macaron cake in one of the cafe windows, needless to say I fell completely in love with it and have been meaning to replicate it ever since. It is absolutely perfect for a dinner party because it just has that amazing 'WOW!' factor to it. My best advice would be to make the macarons a few days in advance, keep them refrigerated, allowing all their flavours to infuse. Then, the night before your party, bake the chocolate cake and decorate it with the chocolate buttercream, macarons, and fruits.

For my absolutely divine chocolate sponge cake recipe, see below. For my actual macaron recipe, see my blog post Blackberry & Raspberry Macarons with Ginger & Lime buttercream filling. It's a lengthy post on my blog of all the macaron secrets I learned while making macarons for the first time, so I thought I'd keep this guest post short and sweet. Enjoy!

Chocolate Sponge Cake:

1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
6 eggs, separated
A pinch of salt
1 ¼ cups sugar
½ cup cold water
¼ cup (heaped) cocoa powder

1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F) and butter a circular cake tin with baking paper. Mix the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in one bowl.

2. Beat the 6 egg yolks in a separate large bowl and mix in the sugar.

3. Fold in the flour/cocoa mixture alternately with the water in roughly 2-3 additions each.

4. Whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form, then fold this gently into the batter.

5. Pour batter into the tin and bake for roughly 45-60 minutes. Check to see if the cake is ready by inserting a metal skewer into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is ready. Take the cake out of the oven and allow to cool.

6. Once cool, slice in half, and add a layer of chocolate buttercream. Place the top half back on, and layer another level of buttercream on top. Don't worry too much about adding a layer of buttercream to the side of the cake, or about how the cake looks. Once you top it with the macarons and fruits, it doesn't matter what the bottom half looks like!

Chocolate Buttercream:
3 egg whites
1 cup sugar
300g butter, room temperature
200g good quality dark chocolate, melted over hot water bath (I used 80% Green & Black's)

1. Hand whisk the egg whites until foamy. Mix in the sugar, and place mixture over a water bath. Keep whisking by hand until the mixture turns whitish, is piping hot and the sugar has dissolved.

2. Remove from water bath and mix with an electric mixer on high speed. Keep mixing until the bowl starts to cool down.

3. Add butter, one tablespoon at a time at first, then two tablespoons at a time. Make sure to incorporate the butter properly into the mixture each time you add butter.

4. Add melted chocolate and incorporate completely.

5. Layer chocolate buttercream onto cake as described above, making sure that the top layer is quite thick. Again, it doesn't have to look pretty as that's what the macarons will do.

6. Place the macarons one at a time all around the cake to form a circle, as seen in the pictures. Add fruit to the middle and decorate with daisies or any flowers you happen to have lying around.

Keep refrigerated and serve cold.
-- blog:
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Jamie said...

Stunning! And thanks to my friend Mowie I have just discovered your blog.

bethany (Dirty Kitchen Secrets) said...

Ooops! He did it again! God I'm getting tired of using the word stunning! So here it goes: This is just plain out of this world! Fabulous Job and great blog! I'll be visiting here more often!

Unknown said...

Wicked addition to chocolate cake - and actually looks quite Christmassy too! I will have a peak about Hip Hostess blog now too. xxx

Nicole-Lynn said...

OH my goodness how adorable! :)

Deeba PAB said...

Nothing can beat this delightful man..way to go Mowie!! Love the post!!

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betty said...

this looks gorgeous! may i ask, what size round cake tin you have used?

love your site its beautiful xx

Anonymous said...

How did your macaroons stay on the cake and not fall off? Does it just stick to icing should I place then higher on the cake and not the top side of the cake? Etc. just worried the weight of them will make them fall?