When I was a little girl, I love to eat a three-flavour ice cream bar, consisting of banana, strawberry and chocolate. I can't remember the name of the ice cream, but most likely it was one of those King's or Magnolia ice cream, where you can easily buy from a neighbourhood grocery store. It was my brother who first bought me this yummy ice cream bar.
With this month Aspiring Baker's theme "layers of love", I had in mind pictures of my childhood's favorite ice cream - a nice yellow, pink and brown combination. Instead of inter-laying chocolate sponge with mousse filling, I decided to experiment a little with texture. I will have three chocolatey layers with a different texture - a layer of chocolate digestive crumbs at the bottom, a layer of chocolate sponge in the middle and coated with a top layer of chocolate ganache. In between them, I have banana caramel cheesecake (non-baked) and a layer of raspberry mousse.
How should I describe the taste ..... it has that delightful melt-in-your-mouth feel. Not exactly like eating ice cream, but somehow the cheese, sponge and mousse just blend together smoothly. The tartness from the raspberries helps to balance the sweetness of the banana caramel, so the cake does not taste too rich or heavy.
I happily kept a slice of this cake for my brother. Looking at how carefully he tasted each and every layer, it reminded me of the yummy ice cream bar that he bought for me when I was small :)
(makes a 7" round cake)
Chocolate digestive biscuits
6 to 7 pieces of digestive biscuits, finely crushed
40g melted butter + 1 tsp cocoa powder, mix together
Combine crushed biscuits, melted butter, cocoa powder and press evenly onto the base of a 7" cake ring. Place in freezer to harden while you work on the rest.
15g butter + 30g fine sugar
1 to 2 tbsp rum
3 to 4 medium-sized bananas, thinly sliced
Combine butter and sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium heat. When mixture melts and starts to bubble and caramelise, add in the rum (Careful: The mixture will bubble-up a little, but will subside after a few seconds). Add in the sliced bananas and cook till softened. Set aside to cool. I used about 100g of banana caramel for the cake. Any leftover can be used as toppings for waffle or pancake.... yum!
Banana Caramel Cheesecake100g dairy whipping cream, cold from fridge
150g cream cheese
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp sugar
100g banana caramel (see above)
2 tsp gelatin + 2 tbsp water, melted
1) Whisk whipping cream till soft peak. Keep in fridge.
2) Beat cream cheese, lemon juice and sugar together till smooth.
3) Add in the banana caramel and beat till batter is smooth.
4) Pour in the melted gelatin and mix well.
5) Fold in the whipped cream from step 1.
(A): 3 egg yolks + 30g fine sugar + pinch of salt
(B): 3 egg whites + 50g fine sugar + pinch of cream of tartar
(C): 70g plain flour + 10g cocoa powder, sifted together
(D): 30g melted butter
1) Whisk (A) till thick and creamy.
2) In another bowl, whisk (B) till stiff peak.
3) Fold (A) and (B) together, then fold in (C).
4) Pour in melted butter and fold well to combine.
5) Pour batter into piping bag (fitted with a round nozzle) and pipe a 7" round disc on baking paper.
6) Bake in preheated oven of 180C for about 15 minutes till light brown.7) Remove from oven and cool on baking rack.
Note: The batter is enough to make two more round disc.
100g raspberries + 3 tsp sugar
120g dairy whipping cream, whisked till soft peak
1.5 tsp gelatin + 2 tbsp water, melted
1) Combine raspberries and sugar in a pot and cook for a few minutes till raspberries turn soft. Leave aside to cool. Mash the raspberry jam with a fork or spoon.
2) Add the melted gelatin to the raspberry jam and fold in the whipped cream.
80g dark chocolate + 20g dairy whipping cream
100g dairy whipping cream, whisked till soft peak
1 tsp gelatin + 1 tbsp water, melted
1) Combine chocolate and cream in a stainless steel bowl. Place bowl over simmering water to melt chocolate. Let it cool.
2) Fold the whipped cream into the melted chocolate and mix in the melted gelatin.
3) Keep in fridge to harden the ganache a little before spreading on the cake.
It may seem like this cake requires a lot of time and steps to prepare. All you need is a little planning ahead and spread out the preparation steps. For instance, the biscuit base, cheesecake and sponge can be prepared one or two days in advanced. So, you only need to prepare the mousse and ganache on the day where you assemble the cake.
Notes on preparation steps:
1) The biscuit base, cheesecake and sponge layers can be prepared in advanced.
2) When (1) is ready, cook the raspberry jam (it takes only a few minutes to cook) and let it cool.
3) While waiting for the jam to cool down, whisk the whipping cream for both raspberry mousse and chocolate ganache together, to cut down on the time spent to make this cake. Use about half the whipped cream for the raspberry mousse, and keep the rest in fridge (for the chocolate ganache).
4) After pouring the raspberry mousse layer, place in freezer for at least an hour for it to set completely, before spreading the chocolate ganache.
5) While waiting for the cake to set at (4), prepare the chocolate ganache.
Finally, to assemble the cake:
1) Pour the banana caramel cheesecake mixture over the frozen biscuit base. Place raspberries on the cheesecake mixture.
2) Place the chocolate sponge over the cheesecake mixture.
3) Pour the raspberry mousse on the sponge layer. Place in freezer till set.
4) Remove cake from ring and cover the whole cake with chocolate ganache.
5) Keep in fridge for another one to two hours before serving.
I will be submitting this post to Aspiring Bakers #18: Layers of Love (April 2012), hosted by Sam of Sweet Samsations.