Puyol returns to the pitch
It went down as one for the more painful moments in football history, since I have been watching the beautiful game, anyway. That crunch-and-twist as Puyol lay sprawled on the field, in the game against Benfica, his arm contorted to the side and we would discover after- broken. Gruesome.
But, a few weeks later, gummiberry juice, dedication and the affection of this Spanish actress, it is rumoured, and our captain is back! Not his greatest game against Real Zaragoza this weekend, but the important thing is the curls are back in town!
Now, please, don’t break anything anytime soon Capi – my baking skills are limited.
This cake, is for you. We celebrate!
About the Cake – a real devil
I think, if I’m honest, I baked this cake as a challenge to myself. I don’t have a large folder of baking recipes in my repertoire and after the resounding success of the Chiffon Cake with Oranges marinaded in Bay Leaf Liqueur and Orange Blossom Water, I felt a little encouraged. This Devil’s Food Cake, which is a multi layer, rich chocolate cake with a fine crumb was a two day process. I made the cakes the night before and made the ganache and topping the next day when I assembled the layers to produce this really tall and very decadent treat.
I had a really busy day the next day, and so found myself battling machine and camera to get the topping done before the last of the sun’s rays sunk below the horizon. In the end my plans for the 7-minute or Italian meringue frosting flopped by the wayside, and I undertook the more cumbersome but, requiring less precision task of melting marshmallows, thinning them a tad with glucose water and flavouring with peppermint extract. It worked. I didn’t have enough white marshmallows, so used the pink ones too. Nice colour in the end, I thought.
I topped the cake with candy coated dark chocolate mint eggs, which if I’m honest is how I came about the idea for the cake in the first place. I had to have the eggs with their lovely gold speckle, and I already knew I would want them to top a chocolate peppermint cake or dessert.
The Devil’s Food Cake is a recipe adapted slightly from the Food Network and you can click on the link to find it.
The ganache is made by melting 290 grams of 70% cacao chocolate and 1/2 cup water (in a bowl over simmering water). Remove from heat and add 3/4 cup unsalted butter and mix until a lovely glossy frosting is achieved and the butter has melted in. This is David Lebovitz’s recipe.
Slice each cake (if you are making two cakes) in half- this is easier to do if you freeze the cakes for a few hours, like I did. Sandwich each layer together with the ganache. A four layer (‘mile-high’) chocolate cake.
Peppermint Marshmallow Topping
The marshmallow topping is made by melting, in a bowl suspended over a pot of simmering water, roughly 300 grams of marshmallows. This is a tiresome task, with lots of stirring and encouraging needed. I added about 1/4 cup of water with 1 tablespoon glucose mixed in it to the marshmallows to facilitate the melting. Add 1/2 t peppermint extract or to taste. Whisk by hand with a small whisk. It will thicken. Allow to cool a little, but you must act quickly. It solidifies upon cooling and you’ll have to heat and start the process again if it does.
Slather marshmallow topping over cake. Top with mint leaves or chocolate shavings, if you like.