birthday cake

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

birthday cakeSous chef Poncho helped come up with this birthday cake recipe, but woodworker Brett Van Natta brought it to life with his birthday box, a box with sides that fall away when the top is removed, revealing the cake inside. Below the cake sits a card wishing the guest a happy birthday. The cake has just enough savory elements to appease the chefs in the kitchen and just enough sweetness to delight the guests in the dining room.

  • Yield: 10 Servings


  • 42 grams | ¼ cup trimoline
  • 100 grams | 2 eggs
  • 100 grams | ½ cup sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 120 grams | 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 43 grams | 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 13 grams | ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 130 grams | ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 300 grams | 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
  • 47 grams | ¼ cup egg yolks
  • 80 grams | ⅓ cup sugar
  • 37 grams | 2 ½ tablespoons water
  • 6.6 grams | about 2 sheets bronze gelatin, bloomed in ice
  • water and wrung gently of excess water
  • kosher salt
  • 200 grams | 7 ounces milk chocolate (40 percent cacao),
  • chopped
  • Maldon sea salt
How to Make It
  1. FOR THE OLIVE OIL CAKE: Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Put the trimoline, eggs, and sugar in a food processor and mix for 2 minutes, until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the processor bowl as needed. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. With the processor running, slowly incorporate the flour mixture into the egg mixture in three batches. Then slowly add the oil, mixing until it is fully absorbed into the batter. Divide the batter evenly between 2 full-size silicone baking mats and spread in an even layer 1/16 inch (2 millimeters) thick. Transfer the baking mats to full sheet pans and bake the cakes for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. The moment the cakes are evenly colored, remove them from the oven and immediately dust them with a thin layer of sugar. Lay a sheet of parchment paper over the sugar, flip the cake upside down, and peel away the baking mat as quickly as possible. At this point, the cakes will have cooled too much and must be returned to the oven for 1 to 2 minutes to rewarm. Using a bicyclette, cut the cake into strips about ½ inch by 5 ½ inches (12 millimeters by 14 centimeters). Coil each cake strip along the inside of a metal ring mold about 1 ¼ inches (3 centimeters) wide by 2 inches (5 centimeters) deep, leaving the middle of the ring mold open. If the cake becomes too stiff to handle, return it to the oven to rewarm. Store the filled rings on a half sheet pan in the refrigerator.
  2. FOR THE CARAMEL MOUSSE: Pour 250 grams (1 cup) of the cream into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment and whip on medium speed until medium peaks form. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate until needed. Rinse the bowl, return it to the mixer, add the egg yolks, and begin whipping on low speed. Meanwhile, combine the sugar and water in a small, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until a syrup forms that is amber and has the fragrance of caramel. Slowly whisk in the remaining 50 grams (¼ cup) cream, then cook for about 30 seconds, until the water has evaporated from the cream. At this point, the yolks in the mixer should have formed medium-stiff peaks. With the mixer still on low speed, slowly add the caramel to the yolks. Once the caramel is incorporated, increase the speed to high to begin cooling the mixture. When the mousse is at about 120°F (50°C), add the bloomed gelatin and continue whipping until the mousse cools to room temperature. Gently fold the whipped cream into the mousse until just combined. Season with salt and then spoon the mousse into a piping bag fitted with a medium round tip. Pipe 30 grams (about 2 tablespoons) of the mousse into the center of each mold with the cake and freeze for at least 2 hours.
  3. FOR THE SALTED MILK CHOCOLATE: Melt 125 grams (1 cup) of the chocolate in a double boiler over gently simmering water. Heat until the chocolate registers 107°F (42°C), then add the remaining 75 grams (⅔ cup) of chocolate to the melted chocolate to reduce the temperature to 89°F to 92°F (32°C to 33°C). Turn the chocolate out onto a sheet of acetate and spread in a thin, even layer about 1/32 inch (1 millimeter) thick. Allow the chocolate to crystallize for about 10 minutes, until hard enough to touch but not so brittle that it cracks. Press a ring mold of equal size to the mousse cake (1 ¼ inches wide by 2 inches deep/3 by 5 centimeters) into the chocolate to create perfect disks of tempered chocolate. Season each disk with Maldon salt and hold in an area with an ambient temperature of no more than 75°F (24°C) until needed.

Comments are closed.