Chestnut and Blackcurrant Mille-Feuilles by Melanie Dupuis and Anne Cazor
Stacks of caramelised puff pastry, with a chestnut cream and a blackcurrant jelly.
260 g (91/4 oz) almond meal
115 g (4 oz) icing (confectioners') sugar
120 g (41/4 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
120 g (41/4 oz/about 2) whole eggs
320 g (111/4 oz/about 16) egg yolks
100 ml (31/2 fl oz) vegetable oil
Pinch of salt
80 g (23/4 oz/3/4 cup) Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted
Pinch of baking powder, sifted
140 g (5 oz) unsalted butter
180 g (61/2 oz) good-quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
Chocolate Ganache Topping:
110 g (33/4 oz) good-quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
80 ml (21/2 fl oz/1/3 cup) cream (35% fat)
10 ml (1/4 fl oz/2 teaspoons orange liqueur (optional)
Small block of milk chocolate
Preheat the oven to 160°C (315°F).
Grease and line a 22 cm (81/2 inch) cake ring or tin.
Put the almond meal and both sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment and beat well on low speed to combine. Gradually add the whole eggs and egg yolks, mixing well after each addition.
Slowly add the vegetable oil in a constant drizzle, followed by the salt, regularly scraping down the side of the bowl. Using a spatula, gently fold in the sifted cocoa powder and baking powder until just combined.
Melt the butter and chocolate together in a double boiler or in a bowl in the microwave.
Add the butter and chocolate mixture to the cake batter and mix together by hand until well combined.
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and hollow out the centre slightly (about 1 cm/1/2 inch deep) with a spoon.
Bake for 50–55 minutes.
To test if it is ready, insert a metal skewer or small knife in the centre of the cake – it should come out a little bit sticky just in the centre.
Chocolate Ganache Topping:
Put the chocolate in a bowl.
Put the cream in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil.
Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, whisking by hand until combined and the chocolate has melted.
Add the orange liqueur and continue whisking until combined.
Using a large knife or vegetable peeler, scrape chocolate shavings from the chocolate block and set aside.
Pick the very centre of the lavender flower for decorating.
Unmould the chocolate cake once cool and remove the baking paper.
Spread the chocolate ganache on top with a palette knife.
Place the individual chocolate shavings around the edge of the top of the cake and place the lavender flowers on top of the shavings.
This cake is best stored covered in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Credits: Recipes and Images from Chocolate by Kirsten Tibballs (Murdoch Books).
Photo Credits: Recipes and Images from Chocolate by Kirsten Tibballs (Murdoch Books).