Chocolate Obsession

Cashew Wafers Layered with 4 Types of Chocolate

Ingredients

Cashew Meringue Wafers:
12 large egg whites (room temperature) [360 g]
1 tsp cream of tartar [3.4 g]
3/4 cup granulated sugar [150 g]
1/2 cup powdered sugar [60 g]
1.5 cups toasted cashews [225 g]
1/4 cup cornstarch [30 g]
1 tsp vanilla extract [5 mL]

White Chocolate Cream Layers:
1 cup heavy cream, divided [240 mL]
3/4 cup (4.5 oz) white chocolate chips [127.4 g]

Milk Chocolate Cream Layer:
1/2 cup heavy cream, divided [120 mL]
1/3 cup (2 oz) milk chocolate chips [56.6 g]
1/8 tsp kosher salt [0.8 g]
2 tsp brandy (optional) [10 mL]

Dark Chocolate Shell:
1 cup (6 oz) bittersweet chocolate baking wafers (or chips) [169.8 g]
1 1/3 cups coconut oil (sub: butter) [320 mL]

Dark Chocolate Ganache:
1/2 cup heavy cream [120 mL]
4 tbsp granulated sugar [50 g]
1 1/3 cups (8 oz) bittersweet chocolate baking wafers (or chips) [226.4 g]
2 tsp brandy (optional) [10 mL]
1/4 cup warm milk (as needed) [60 mL]

Dark Chocolate Cage Wrap:
1/2 cup (3 oz) of bittersweet chocolate baking wafers (or chips) [84.9 g]

Topping:
2 tbsp Dutch process cocoa powder [11.6 g]

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Ube Crinkle Cookies.JPG
Ube Crinkle Cookies.JPG
Ube Crinkle Cookies.JPG
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Instructions





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Day 1:

Meringue Wafers:

Separate 12 eggs into egg whites and egg yolks. Let the 12 egg whites come to room temperature. Save the 12 egg yolks to use for another dish.

Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Put 1.5 cups of cashews on a sheet pan, and toast cashews in the oven for 10 minutes, until they are golden brown. Set aside and let it cool completely to room temperature.

Turn down the oven to 225 degrees F. Line two large sheet pans (13" x18") with parchment paper.

In a food processor, add in the 1.5 cup of toasted cashews, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and 1/4 cup of cornstarch. Pulse till they are mixed and the cashews are very fine - looks like a powder.

In a stainless steel or glass mixing bowl, add in the 12 room temperature egg whites. Beat on low speed till the egg whites become frothy. Then increase to medium speed, add in the 1 tsp of cream of tartar, and mix it in. Then very slowly add in 3/4 cup of granulated sugar. When all the sugar has been added, increase the speed to high. Continue beating till you see stiff peaks.

Carefully fold in the cashew powder mixture into the meringue, one third at a time, as well as 1 tsp of vanilla extract, just until it is evenly mixed.

Place two 8-inch cake rings on each of the large prepared sheet pans. Do not grease the sides. Divide the cashew meringue evenly into the 4 prepared pans. Smoothen and flatten the top with a small spoon. Bake it in the preheated oven at 225 F for 6 hours.

The low temperature (225 F) and long baking time (6 hours) is needed to remove all the moisture from the egg whites and create a hollow and dry wafer, without burning the outer layer of the meringue.

Leave them in the turned-off oven with the door closed overnight. This will allow them to cool slowly to room temperature and continue drying out.

White Chocolate Cream:

In a microwave-safe bowl, add 1/2 cup heavy cream and microwave for 1 minute, till the heavy cream is steaming. Add in 3/4 cup white chocolate chips into the hot heavy cream, let it stand for 1 minute, then mix until the white chocolate is completely melted and there are no lumps.

Let this cool to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap, then refrigerate overnight.

Milk Chocolate Cream:

In a microwave-safe bowl, add 1/4 cup heavy cream and microwave for 45 seconds, till the heavy cream is steaming. Add in 1/3 cup milk chocolate chips into the hot heavy cream, let it stand for 1 minute, and mix until the white chocolate is completely melted and there are no lumps.

Let this cool to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap, then refrigerate overnight.

DAY 2:

Cashew Meringue Wafers:

The next day, the cashew meringue wafers should sound hollow if you knock on them with a spoon. Lift them off the parchment paper, and carefully remove the wafers from the ring. If needed, insert a small knife between the wafer and ring at points where it is stuck. If the wafer is completely dry, it should come off the ring and parchment paper quite easily. Set these meringue wafers aside.

White Chocolate Cream:

When the white chocolate ganache is chilled, transfer this mixture to the bowl of your stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat it on medium-high speed for 1 minute, till it becomes light and fluffy.

While continuing to beat on medium-high speed, add 1/2 cup of very cold heavy cream, and continue whipping till you see stiff peaks. Transfer into a separate bowl, and set this aside in the fridge till you're ready to use it.

Milk Chocolate Cream:

When the milk chocolate ganache is chilled, transfer this mixture to the bowl of your stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat it on medium-high speed for 1 minute, till it becomes light and fluffy.

While continuing to beat on medium-high speed, add 1/4 cup of very cold heavy cream, 1/8 tsp of kosher salt, and an optional 2 tsp of brandy, and continue whipping till you see stiff peaks. Transfer into a separate bowl, and set this aside in the fridge till you're ready to use it.

Dark Chocolate Shell:

Set a double boiler over simmering water over medium-low heat. Add 1 cup (6 oz) of bittersweet chocolate baking wafers or chips. Stir until melted and smooth.

Add in 1 1/3 cups of coconut oil (sub: butter). Stir until smooth and combined - about 1 to 2 minutes. Take the chocolate shell off the double boiler and let it sit at room temperature as you assemble the cake.

Assembling the Cake:

Take an acetate sheet that's 30" long and 4" high, and place it around one of the meringue wafers, so that it's the same circumference as the wafer. Hold the acetate sheet together using freezer-resistant tape. Acetate sheets usually come with stickers - and I'm using the sticker that comes with the acetate sheet when I bought it. Make sure the acetate sheet is perpendicular to the bottom surface, and not tapering in or widening out towards the top.

Dab a little of the white chocolate cream on a few spots of your cake board to prevent the cashew meringue wafer from slipping. Place the 1st cashew wafer with an acetate sheet wrapped around it, in the middle of the cake board, bottom side down.

Ladle a thin layer of the dark chocolate shell over the top of the cashew wafer, spreading it out as evenly as possible. Let the dark chocolate shell set in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Add half of the prepared white chocolate cream on top. With a small spoon, level it so the top is as smooth and even as possible, making sure it goes all the way to the sides touching the acetate sheet. Let this white chocolate set in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Ladle another thin layer of the dark chocolate shell over the white chocolate cream, spreading it out as evenly as possible. Place the 2nd cashew wafer on top of the dark chocolate, and immediately ladle another thin layer of dark chocolate shell on top of the cashew wafer, and spread it out. Let the dark chocolate shell set in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Add all of the prepared milk chocolate cream on top. With a small spoon, level it so the top is as smooth and even as possible, making sure it goes all the way to the sides touching the acetate sheet. Let this milk chocolate set in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Ladle another thin layer of the dark chocolate shell over the milk chocolate cream, spreading it out as evenly as possible. Place the 3rd cashew wafer on top of the dark chocolate shell, and immediately ladle another thin layer of dark chocolate shell on top of the cashew wafer, and spread it out. Let the dark chocolate shell set in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Add the remaining half of the prepared white chocolate cream on top. With a small spoon, level it so the top is as smooth and even as possible, making sure it goes all the way to the sides touching the acetate sheet. Let this white chocolate set in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Add the remaining dark chocolate shell over the white chocolate cream, spreading it out as evenly as possible. Place the 4th and last cashew wafer with the flatter bottom-side up so the top of the cake is as flat as possible, on top of the dark chocolate shell. Let the cake layers set in the freezer for a minimum of 2 hours.

Dark Chocolate Ganache:

In a microwave-safe bowl, add 1/2 cup heavy cream and 4 tbsp of granulated sugar, and mix to combine. Microwave the sweetened heavy cream for 1 minute, till the heavy cream is steaming. Then add in 1 1/3 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (or baking wafers) to the hot cream, let it stand for 1 minute, then gently mix until the bittersweet chocolate is completely melted and there are no lumps.

While the mixture is still warm, add an optional 2 tsp of brandy, and mix this into the mixture until it's smooth.

NOTE: If your ganache splits and looks grainy / oily, add 1/4 cup of warm milk, and gently stir it in. The extra liquid from the milk will resuspend the fat, to create a nice, silky smooth dark chocolate ganache (only add the 1/4 cup milk if your ganache splits).

Continue stirring till it cools and becomes a nice spreadable consistency.

When the dark chocolate ganache reaches a nice spreadable consistency, take the cake out of the freezer, remove the sticker, and peel off the acetate sheet to reveal the layers of cake. Apply the dark chocolate ganache on the sides of the cake and the top surface. Clean off any stray chocolate from the base of the cake. Rest this in the freezer for a minimum of 20 minutes to firm up the dark chocolate ganache.

Chocolate Wrap Cage:

Cut a long strip of parchment paper. Stand the short side of the parchment paper next to your cake to measure the height of your cake, and cut the long strip of parchment paper so that it is the same height as your cake.

When your parchment paper strip is the exact height of your cake, wrap the parchment paper around your cake to measure the exact circumference, and mark the parchment paper. Cut off the excess length of parchment paper so that the parchment paper matches your cake's circumference exactly. When you're finished measuring your cake's dimensions, place the cake back in the freezer.

In a microwave-safe bowl, add in 1/2 cup of bittersweet
chocolate baking wafers or chips. Microwave in 30 second increments until all of the chocolate is melted. For us it usually takes 2 increments of 30-seconds in the microwave, stirring a bit in between (total of 60 seconds in the microwave). Whisk to make sure there are no lumps.

Transfer the melted chocolate into a small Ziploc bag. Seal the bag and cut a small hole in one of the corners. With the prepared piece of parchment paper lying flat on a smooth surface, drizzle your chocolate to create a zig-zag pattern along the length of parchment, so that there's chocolate running along the entire height of the parchment paper. It's okay if chocolate gets on your counter. Continue making layers of chocolate along the length of parchment that are angled in slightly different directions, so that it forms a "cage" like pattern, until the chocolate runs out.

Let the chocolate set a little bit so that it's no longer runny, but not fully set so it is still somewhat bendable and not yet brittle. This will take about 30 minutes at room temperature. When the chocolate is semi-set, with your cake on the revolving cake stand, lift up the parchment paper and starting at one end, lining up the bottom of the parchment paper with the bottom of the cake, press the chocolate into the side of your cake, making sure to line it up with the bottom of the cake all the way around. Wrap the chocolate cage all the way around the cake, making sure there are no spots where the chocolate cage and the side of the cake don't touch, and there's a firm connection between the chocolate cage and the ganache surface. Clean up any stray drips of chocolate from the base of the cake as needed.

Leave this in the freezer for the chocolate cage to set completely, a minimum of 1 hour. Leave this cake in the freezer until you're ready to serve.

Topping:

Just before serving the cake, sift 2 tbsp of Dutch process cocoa powder to dust the top surface of the cake. You can also use unsweetened natural cocoa powder, but Dutch process will have a more mellow and smoother flavor, and it also has a deeper and richer color than natural cocoa. Carefully peel off the parchment paper to reveal the chocolate wrap cage.

Dip a metal knife in very hot water (mug of water microwaved for about 3 minutes) and wipe on a paper towel before making each slice. This will make it easier to make clean slices through the chocolate and the cold cake layers. Enjoy!

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