My friends were pretty excited when I announced that I’d be blogging here – not just because they’re supportive and stuff, but because I also announced that I’d be hosting regular dessert parties in order to have something to write about. This past Sunday was our first: I made Lumpy Bumpy Toffee Cake, a chocolate-mascarpone-Baileys-toffee creation that was even better than I expected… and which, aesthetically, lives up to its ridiculous name.
I should note that I did not make the toffee myself. Have you ever tried to make toffee? Perhaps some day when I have nothing else to do, I’ll give that a shot. In this case, I already had two other delicious layers to make up, so I left the toffee to a pro: Audra Martin, a local toffee whiz. I bought a small jar of milk chocolate toffee and a small jar of dark, mixed them together in a ziplock bag, beat them into submission small pieces with a rolling pin, and I had my topping.
As for the rest – this is a combination of about five recipes, inspired by a sort-of similar cake seen at Sugarland in Chapel Hill NC.
Lumpy Bumpy Toffee Cake
A chocolate sponge cake with Bailey’s-mascarpone cream and toffee topping.
For the cake:
6oz good-quality dark melting chocolate (I use Ghirardelli 60%)
3 tablespoons coffee
6 large eggs, separated and brought to room temperature
2/3 cup white sugar, divided into two 1/3 cup amounts
1/2 tablespoon salt (I prefer baking with popcorn salt for the texture)
In a double-boiler, melt the chocolate and the coffee together, then allow to cool almost to room temperature. Don’t force it in the fridge, you’ll mess up the texture. Leave it be, go watch a movie or something, and just let it cool.
In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks, 1/3 cup sugar, and the salt until it all turns pale and thick. Fold in the melted chocolate.
In a separate bowl, with clean beaters, beat the egg whites until soft peak form. Gradually beat in the other 1/3 cup sugar until it just holds soft peaks.
Gradually fold the egg whites into the yolk-chocolate mixture. Pour batter into a 9″ springform pan and bake at 350F for about 25 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in the springform on a wire rack.
A note: this cake is going to deflate while cooling. One minute it’s filling the pan, then you set it to cool, and suddenly it’s 3″ tall. It’s OK.
For the cream:
100ml Baileys Irish Cream
2 tablespoon white sugar
slightly less than 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (the cream and Baileys should add up to about 3/4 cup liquid)
In a large bowl, beat the mascarpone and sugar until combined. Add the Baileys and cream, and beat until it reaches a consistency you like. Try not to eat it all before you get around to assembling the cake.
Remove the cake from the springform and place it on a serving plate. If yours is anything like mine, your cake will have deflated, leaving a crater in the middle with slightly raised edges. Fill the cake crater with a thick, lovely layer of mascarpone, and top with roughly 2 cups toffee crumbles.