The January 1st recipe is perfect for this time of year (in Matt’s words – “this is a slightly showy purely holidayesque affair…”), but might be a bit more time consuming that the recipes we’ve made recently.
Matt suggests making and chilling the buttercreams before baking the cake, and pulling them out of the fridge before you start assembling the cake so they reach room temperature. Also, the meringue mushrooms, sugared cranberries and sugared rosemary can be made while the cake is setting up in the refrigerator.
Here’s a quick shopping list of ingredients you’ll need, on top of the basics: 20 eggs, 5 sticks butter, 16 ounces dark chocolate, malt powder, malted milk balls, dark cocoa powder, instant espresso powder, 1 ounce white chocolate, superfine sugar, fresh cranberries, fresh rosemary sprigs and a cinnamon stick.
Feel free to share comments on this post! Good luck on your stumps!
Stump de Noël
Baked Explorations by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, pages 144-145
FOR THE DARK CHOCOLATE AND MALTED BUTTERCREAMS
5 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces good-quality dark chocolate (60-72%), melted and cooled
1/4 cup malt powder
12 malted milk balls candies, crushed
MAKE THE DARK CHOCOLATE AND MALTED BUTTERCREAMS
In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, combine the egg whites and sugar. Set the bowl over a pot of simmering water and whisk until the sugar is dissolved and the egg whites are just warm to the touch. Return the bowl to the mixer and fit it with the whisk attachment. Add the vanilla and beat the egg whites at high speed until firm and glossy, about 5 minutes. With the machine running, whisk in the butter a few tablespoons at a time. If the mixture begins to look curdled, continue to beat until smooth before adding more butter.
Transfer 1 1/2 cups of the buttercream to a bowl and whisk in the melted chocolate. Cover the chocolate buttercream and refrigerate.
Dissolve the malt powder in 2 tablespoons hot water, then beat it into the buttercream remaining in the mixer. Beat in the crushed milk balls. Cover the malt buttercream and refrigerate.
FOR THE CHOCOLATE CAKE ROLL
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder (like Valrhona), sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
12 ounces good-quality dark chocolate (60-72%), melted and cooled
12 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
1 1/3 cups sugar
4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
MAKE THE CHOCOLATE CAKE ROLL
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter two 17-by-12-inch rimmed baking sheets and line them with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang on all of the short sides. Butter the paper and dust with flour.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder and salt. In another small bowl, dissolve the espresso powder in ¼ cup hot water, then stir in the chocolate.
In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, whisk together the egg yolks and 2/3 cup of the sugar. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Transfer the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat at high speed until the yolks are pale and thick, about 5 minutes. Beat in the melted chocolate mixture along with the vanilla. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
Thoroughly wash and dry the mixer bowl and the whisk attachment. In the clean bowl, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 2/3 cup of sugar and continue beating at high speed until the whites are glossy, about 2 minutes longer. Whisk a quarter of the egg whites into the cake batter, then fold in the remaining whites until no streaks remain.
In a small bowl, whisk the melted butter with 1/2 cup of the batter; fold this mixture into the batter. In two batches, sift the cocoa powder mixture over the batter and gently fold it in. Divide the batter between the prepared pans, and use an offset spatula to spread it evenly.
Bake the cakes for about 18 minutes, until they feel springy and slightly dry; shift the pans from top to bottom and front to back halfway through the baking time. Transfer the pans to wire racks to cool completely. Run the tip of a knife around the edges, cover with parchment paper and a baking sheet and turn it out of the pan; peel off the parchment liner.
TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE
Spread the malt buttercream over the cakes. Using a ruler, cut each cake precisely in half lengthwise, cutting through the parchment lining them; you should have four 6-by-17-inch strips of cake. Roll one strip into a tight coil, removing the paper as you roll. Roll the three remaining cake strips around the coil in the same way to form a very wide, short jelly roll. Set the cake on a large plate, spiraled end up. Frost the outside of the cake with the chocolate buttercream. Refrigerate the cake until set, at least 8 hours. If desired, decorate the cake with meringue mushrooms, cranberries and rosemary sprigs and serve, cutting the cake into wedges or horizontal slices.
Meringue Mushrooms, or Shandi’s Candies
Baked Explorations by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, pages 194-195
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
¾ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 ounce good-quality white chocolate, melted and cooled
2 ounces dark unsweetened cocoa powder, (like Valrhona) for sifting over assembled mushrooms
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
Whisk the egg whites and sugar together in the heat proof bowl of a standing mixer. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (double boiler method). Cook, whisking constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture registers 140 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, 6 to 8 minutes.
Transfer the bowl to a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat it on high speed until stiff peaks form. Add the cream of tartar when the mixture begins to thicken, or after 3 minutes. Keep beating for another minute or so until stiff peaks hold.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip with the meringue. To make the caps, hold the pastry bag close to the parchment paper-lined pan and pipe out a small dome (about a tablespoon) of meringue, pulling up at the very end of piping to give your cap some height.
To form mushrooms stems, hold the bag close to the parchment paper and pipe the meringue, pulling up as you go, into small cone shapes. Make the same number of stems as caps.
Place the pans in the oven and bake the meringue pieces for 90 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway thought the baking time. Turn off the oven, prop the door slightly open and leave the meringues in place for at least 2 hours longer, or overnight.
ASSEMBLE THE MERINGUE MUSHROOMS
Turn the caps over and use a toothpick to make a tiny hole large enough to fit the tip of the stem into. Fill the hole with a tiny bit of white chocolate. Gently press the stem into place and allow the chocolate to set. Sift cocoa powder over the assembled mushrooms.
Sugared cranberries and sugared rosemary
¼ cup superfine sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cinnamon stick
¾ cup fresh cranberries
10 rosemary sprigs
Line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper. Place the superfine sugar in a small bowl.
In a medium saucepan, stir together 1 cup of water with the sugar, then add the cinnamon stick. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and pour into a heatproof, wide-mouthed bowl. Let the liquid cool for a few minutes, then remove the cinnamon stick.
Drop the cranberries in the syrup and stir to coat the cranberries completely. Remove the cranberries, a few at a time, with a slotted spoon (tap the spoon to release excess syrup) and drop them in the superfine sugar. Toss the cranberries in the sugar to coat completely, and place on the parchment paper to dry. Repeat the above procedure with the rosemary. Decorate the stump at will.
Excerpted from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Copyright © 2010 by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Excerpted by permission of Stewart, Tabori & Chang, an imprint of Abrams. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.