Bear with me as this is going to be a long blog post because there are a couple of firsts for me for this bake. It's my first attempt at making a bench out of homemade modelling chocolate and my first attempt for this flavour of sponge and pudding cake.
I had lots of fun making the bench and it can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge. There's room for improvement since it's my first attempt but I have learnt a lot from this experience. For one, I should include another leg in the middle of the bench even if aesthetically it may not be as nice as I didn't realise how fast the structure can soften in hot Singapore! I will also reduce the amount of corn syrup by a little the next time I need to make a chocolate structure that needs some strength and rigidity.
Recipe for dark modelling chocolate bench
100g Dark Chocolate couverture
35g Light corn syrup
1. Melt dark chocolate in microwave safe bowl by heating at medium power for 30 seconds and stir. Repeat until chocolate is fully melted and there are no lumps.
2. Add corn syrup and stir until well mixed. The mixture will harden immediately.
3. Pour onto clingwrap and wrap it. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes or until firm.
4. Knead it until it becomes pliable. You may find that wearing gloves or kneading the chocolate through clingwrap helpful as the chocolate may melt and stick to your fingers.
5. Pull out a small handful of chocolate and roll it between two pieces of baking sheet to thickness of 6mm for the legs and 4mm for the bench planks. Use an oiled bench scraper to cut out portions of the chocolate. Stick the pieces together using a bit of semi-melted modelling chocolate. Simply pinch a bit of the chocolate and rub between your finger tips to melt it.
- Place the rolled chocolate on top of reusable freezer packs to firm up the chocolate a little so that it is more rigid but not so hard that you have difficulty cutting through.
- Place the cutout pieces on smaller pieces of baking sheet to facilitate moving them around.
- Chill the cutouts until rigid before assembly.
- You may use straw or cookie cutter to make patterns on the bench back.
I needed to prop up the middle and refrigerate until rigid before removing the baking paper support. On hindsight, I should have added a leg there.
6. Store finished product in fridge until ready for assembly.
I have made macaron sheep in rainbow scarf before sometime last year. You may refer to this post for the macaron shells. I decided to make the scarves appear more vibrant this time. The macarons are filled with whipped mango ganache. Recipe can be found here.
Sheep in vibrant scarves!
Recipe for mango chiffon cake
Ingredients (makes two 7" round cakes):
3 egg yolks
5g caster sugar
42g vegetable/canola oil
52g mango puree
60g cake flour
A pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp mango flavouring (optional)
4 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
50g caster sugar
1. Line the base of the pans with baking sheet. Set oven rack to second lowest position. Preheat to 150℃.
2. Prepare egg yolk batter. Whisk egg yolks and sugar until pale and thick. Add oil and whisk until well combined. Add puree, vanilla and mango flavouring and mix well. Gradually sift in flour and salt and whisk until no trace of flour is seen.
3. Prepare meringue. In a clean metal bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until firm peaks form, gradually adding sugar once the egg whites are foamy.
4. Quickly but gently fold the meringue into the egg yolk batter in three additions with a spatula. Pour the batter into the two prepares pans. Tap the pans gently on the table to release trapped air bubbles.
5. Bake at 150℃ for 10 min, followed by 130℃ for another 25-30min or until toothpick comes out clean.
6. Let the cakes cool in the tray for 5 min before removing.
Freshly baked cakes!
Recipe for mango pudding
113g evaporated milk
188g mango puree
1/4 tsp mango flavouring
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/16 tsp salt
2 tsp agar powder
36g custard powder
1. Place all ingredients in B) in a jug and mix well. Set aside.
2. Place all ingredients in A) in a saucepan and bring to a boil while stirring.
3. Stir contents for B) again and slowly pour into A) while stirring the contents in the saucepan. Keep stirring and bring to a boil again. Boil for a couple of minutes before removing from heat.
4. Sieve the custard before assembling.
1. Scoop some pudding to line tbe base of the spring form pan. Note that the sponge cakes should be about 1-1.5" less in diameter than the spring form pan. Cut the sponge cake if necessary to fit the pan.
2. Place a sponge cake over the pudding. Pour more pudding to cover the cake.
3. Add the second sponge and pour more pudding over, making sure that the sides of the cake are covered.
4. Refrigerate for two hours or until firm before unmoulding onto a cakeboard.
I decorated the cake with a park scene using chiffon cake. The centerpiece is of course the chocolate bench with the macaron sheep on it. Here's a picture of the cake without the occupants on the seat ;)
Thank God the cake was very well received!