Yes, here we are in 2019 and you’re wondering what is up with us. Well, it’s cold and there is a lot of snow on the ground. Pretty typical winter weather. If you want to know just how cold, I took a screen shot of the forecast on Jan 20th.
For those who speak in Fahrenheit, 0C is 32F, -18C is 0F and -40C is -40F. With those conversions you should be able to get a rough estimate of what is going on here. Mostly cold, though tomorrow (Wed) it’s warming up to 0C. We’ve had a lot of ups and downs with the temperatures this winter.
Anyway, we aren’t working on any major projects right now so we need to find things to occupy ourselves. Kat and I didn’t really give each other gifts for Christmas so we decided to do a shokugeki instead. For those not familiar with Japanese, that means “food war”. The name actually comes from a popular Japanese animated show that Kat and I both love that is all about cooking.
Anyway, we chose dessert for this event. Each of us would make a one serving sized dessert for the other and we would compare the results. We didn’t bet anything, we just chose to enjoy the desserts.
I went first on the weekend of Jan 12/13 and while Kat was out tending to the horses I whipped this up.
Whipped may not be entirely accurate, as it took me 3.5 hours, but there was whipped cream involved so I guess that works. I bet you’re wondering what is on the inside.
There are several aspects to this cake that are not revealed by the pictures so I will give you a full description of the 10 layers.
First, I made some really thin cake rounds, approaching the thickness of a crepe, but not quite that thin. I got the recipe for those from another dessert I made last year.
Then there was stiffened chocolate ganache. If you aren’t familiar with this, you can make really stiff chocolate ganache by using water instead of creme.
I made some whipped cream and also some chocolate meringues.
When I put it all together, the layers went like this (from bottom to top):
- whipped cream
- chocolate meringue
- whipped cream
- chocolate meringue
Unfortunately, there was supposed to be an 11 layer right in the middle, which I did make, but I forgot to actually put it in the stack when I was putting it all together. I had made some candied pecans, which I then put through a chopper to make into small crumbs. I then used the crumbs to make some praline whipped cream. You can see this in the small glass dish in the back ground of the second picture.
After I put all the layers together I covered it all with real chocolate ganache (using cream) and sprinkled more of the praline crumbs all over it. As a garnish I put two of the candied pecans on the top.
Overall, it turned out well and it tasted really awesome, but it had some structural issues when trying to eat it mainly because the whipped cream layers don’t have any structural integrity. I have being doing some thinking and have a good idea on how to fix this which is good because Kat said, “I would DEFINITELY eat this again!”
This past weekend of Jan 19/20 Kat had her turn and I left for a while to visit some friends on Saturday and came home to this:
… and this…
… and even one of these!
So, yeah, I got to try multiple things. The first is a simple sugared donut hole. The second is a full Bavarian cream filled donut and the third (which was the main event) is a pumpkin cheesecake filled donut with caramel and praline whipped cream on top.
Yeah, they were all really tasty and Kat and I are always talking about donuts but rarely actually eat them so this was quite a treat.
Similar to my own dessert, Kat had some issues with the donuts. She had to make two batches of dough because for some reason it didn’t want to rise. Eventually she go it to work, but I don’t think it was quite as puffy as she would have liked.
The next question that always comes up is, “Who won?” I think that is still up in the air. We both really enjoyed the desserts, which is really what matters most. Maybe we’ll just have to do another one to figure out the winner.