A Mothers Day Maple Cake

Happy Mothers Day!

My momma she loves me, loves me like a rock

And to thank her for all that love, this year I’m made her a maple cake. We talked about maple cake a few weeks ago. Apparently in the 80’s my mom had a piece of maple cake that she thinks about to this day. I have no idea what went into that cake, but I can make something that is full of maple goodness. This is  a joconde soaked in maple liqueur with maple butter cream. Janice made this cake for a birthday for a few weeks ago and got rave reviews. The joconde recipe came from Joe Pastry, and the butter cream is a Martha Stewart recipe. Soaking in the liqueur was Janice’s idea.

Joconde

  • 6 room temperature egg whites
  • 2 tbsps granulated sugar
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 5 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Grease 2 9 inch pans and line with parchment paper.
  2. Whip egg whites to soft peaks. Add granulated sugar and continue whipping till stiff peaks.
  3. In another bowl, add whole eggs, almond meal and confectioners sugar. Beat until light and foamy.
  4. Add flour, beat just until incorporated.
  5. Fold egg whites into the egg and flour mixture.
  6. Fold butter into batter.
  7. Pour into pans, being sure to separate evenly.
  8. Bake for 9 to 12 minutes, until the center of the cakes spring back when touched. Let cool for a few minutes in the pans then turn out on to wire rack to cook completely.

Maple Liqueur Syrup

Directions

  1. Bring sugar and water to boil in a saucepan.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes
  3. Add maple liqueur
  4. Brush over cooled cake layers.

Maple Buttercream

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups maple syrup
  • 1 1/3 cup unsalted butter

Directions

  1. Using a standing mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk yolks until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes)
  2. At the same time, in a large saucepan, heat maple syrup till it reaches 240 degress. Keep a close eye on the syrup as it will bubble up quite a but while heating.
  3. With the mixer running, slowly pour syrup down the side of the bowl. Be careful not to splash the hot syrup.
  4. Mix until bowl is just slightly warm.
  5. Add butter in pieces, making sure each piece is thouroughly combined before adding the next.
  6. Ice cake.

The buttercream is ridiculously good. I had to stop myself from sitting down with the bowl and eating the leftovers with a spoon while watching the hockey game.

Enjoy!

PS: I know the song is about a boy and his mom, I just think it still applies.

PPS: Please don’t laugh at my piping skills, I’m working on it!

A Surprise Birthday Cake

I recently changed departments at work. My old department would collect a dollar from every employee on Friday’s and use the money to buy birthday cakes from Premiere Moisson. My new department does not. The switch from a cake department to a non-cake department hasn’t been easy. I often find myself craving a piece of Opera cake. Or chocolate mousse raspberry cake, which I will try to reproduce at home one day.

I have therefore decided to introduce cake to my new coworkers. Today is my bosses birthday, and I will be bringing a birthday cake to the office tomorrow to celebrate. I checked with Genevieve, and she thinks the department will sing Happy Birthday to her. I won’t, but since I’m making the cake I think that’s ok.


I decided to go with a classic, chocolate cake with chocolate icing, to be sure that everyone will like it. I used the same recipe as the last birthday cake I made, mostly because I didn’t have time to look for a new recipe. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t any drama though! I decided to make the cake in a 9 by 3 inch spring form pan instead of baking it in two separate pans. My goal was to limit the domming effect that led to the lopsidedness last time. Bad idea.  About two minutes after I put the cake in the oven, it smelled like something was burning. At first I thought maybe some of the milk from the icing (recipe below) had landed on one of my stove burners. I looked but everything seemed fine. Then I opened the oven. The pan was leaking. Thankfully it was a slow leak and some of the batter had landed directly on the element so the smell of burning alerted me to the impending disaster. I pulled the cake out of the oven, poured the batter into two regular 9 inch pans, set the timer and walked away. Thirty minutes later the timer went off. I opened the oven and discovered two completely uncooked cakes. I had turned the oven off when I pulled the springform pan out and never turned it back on again. So I turned on the oven, reset the timer and tried to bake the cake for the third time.

Third time is the charm!

I won’ t repost the recipe for the cake, as you can find it here, and the only change I made was to soak it in a little Kahlua.

I will however post the buttercream recipe. The buttercream is divine. The recommended to me by Janice, who has the answer to all of my baking questions. She described it as tasting like chocolate milk, but I think its more like hot chocolate. It’s a pastry cream based buttercream, and is incredibly easy to make. If you’ve never made a pastry cream before, be careful not to curdle the eggs.

Chocolate Buttercream

Yields about 4 cups.

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 lb butter (4 sticks)
  • 3 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted

Directions

  1. In a large bowl mix egg yolks, 1/4 cup sugar, cornstarch and cocoa together with a wooden spoon.
  2. Bring milk and 1 1/2 cup sugar to boil in a large sauce pot over medium high heat.
  3. Once boiled, add a small amount of milk to the egg mixture, stir to combine. This will temper the eggs to avoid curdling. Slowly add the rest of the milk mixture, whisking constantly.
  4. Return milk and egg mixture to sauce pot over medium heat. Mix constantly but slowly for 2-4 minutes, until you see large bubbles come up. At that point mix quickly for 45 seconds to 1 minute. The pastry cream should have increased in volume and become quite thick.
  5. Whisk the pastry cream with an electric mixer for 5 to 10 minutes to cool.
  6. Once cooled, add the butter 1 tbsp at a time, thoroughly incorporating after each addition.
  7. Add the melted chocolate, whisk till well combined.

I’ll try to get a picture of a slice at the office tomorrow.