Psychedelic Halloween Project 🙂
I love Halloween and I love entremets, so I wanted to make something special to have fun at home, since we really do not have a choice about where the entertainment should take place at the moment.
I do not usually use food colouring and if I do I use beetroot powder, matcha, acai etc. to power up the colours of my cakes. However, I was set on having a psychedelic mirror glaze, so I used some vegan food colouring for the marbled/sky effect that I will describe further below. Especially, I was inspired by a horror movie I have loved, Mandy by Panos Cosmatos, which is a psychedelic supernatural revenge horror with Nicolas Cage and has all these colours, so I thought to celebrate it with this cake!
The dessert is inspired by the black forest cake flavour-wise , which is usually made with chocolate, cream, cherries and kirsch. I changed things a bit but I feel I have stayed quite true to the idea of the original cake.
Every time I say dark chocolate here is a 70.5 % Callebaut chocolate, except for the croustillant where I have used a 85% dark chocolate.
The elements composing the cake are:
- Croustillant almond mint
- Chocolate thyme cake
- Mint cherry gelee
- Dark chocolate cremeaux
- Chocolate cherry whipped ganache
- Cocoa butter mirror glaze
The recipe is for a Ø 18cm x h 7.5 cm silicone mould with a geometric donut shape and for the cake and the croustillant I used a Ø 18cm cake tin.
A video of the procedure can be found on my instagram page @cake_files_
100 g Dark chocolate *85%
50 g Ground almonds
1 tbsp cocoa nibs
2.5g leaves mint (chiffonage cut)
Melt the chocolate with the double boiler system and stir in the ground almonds, the cocoea nibs and the mint leaves. Spread on a round cake tin covered in baking paper and freeze. You can leave a hole in the centre to better fit the mould shape but this is not necessary as the croustillant will work like a plate in this case.
120 g flour
100g brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
220 ml soy milk + 2 thyme sprigs
60ml vegeatable oil
40g melted vegan chocolate
6 Glacee cherries chopped
Warm the soy milk with the thyme sprigs and let rest for 1 hour to infuse the thyme flavour. Then remove the thyme and keep 10-15 leaves in the milk.
Mix flour, sugar, cocoa and baking powder together, then add the milk, the oil and 40g of vegan dark chocolate melted with the double boiler or in the microwave at 45 C. Finally add 6 glacee cherries, chopped and bake at 160 C for 45 minutes.
After the cake is baked and cooled, cut a hole in it to allow to fit in the mould.
150g cherries, 1/3 pureed
1/2 lemon zest
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
20g brown sugar
1g agar agar + 5g water
Heat the cherry puree with the rum, the lemon zest, the mint. Add the balsamic vinegar after a couple of minutes, but do not bring to a boil. Add the sugar, pectin and the agar agar and whisk well. Bring to 92 C and then pour in the mini spheric moulds and freeze until ready to use.
Once the gelee spheres are set, remove them from the moulds and place them firmly on the cake (see picture below) then freeze until ready to use.
2 g agar agar + ½ tbsp to dissolve
4g agave syrup
110g 70.5% dark chocolate
150g heavy cream (I use the Schlägfix, the same brand of the mascarpone, it always works well)
Melt the chocolate at 45 C in the microwave, or in the oven, or with the double boiler system.
Bloom the agar in cold water and let rest. Put the coffee on the heat and melt the agar agar in it – do not bring to a boil. Pour the coffee mixture on the chocolate in 2-3 batches, mix well and then blend with an immersion blender: you want a shiny and smooth cream. Finally, add on the side of the mixing glass the cream when blending. Pour in a baking dish or a mould and freeze for a minimum of 4h.
In order to make it fit in the mould I have used, which has a hole in it, I poured the cremeaux in a mould I had (a drop shaped one) with a glass in the middle, so that it formed a creameaux donut-like shape in the end. To remove the glass it is best to use a sharp knife and some heat – I used a blowtorch. If you don’t have one, try to remove the glass a bit before, when the cremeaux is not rock solid yet.
**Chocolate cherry cream mousse
3,5 g agar+ 18 g cold water to soak the gelatin sheets
160 g cherry puree
48 g dark agave
160 g dark chocolate
200 g cream cheese, to room temperature
152 g vegan heavy cream (a whippable one)
Soak the agar in cold water. Then melt the chocolate with the double boiler method. Heat the cherry puree with the agave syrup without bringing to a boil, and dissolve the agar in keeping it on the flame. Pour the warm puree on the melted chocolate and fold well. Once the mixture is homogenous, transfer to a mixing glass and blend with a immersion blender. Add the cream cheese substitute before the temperature falls below 35 C and blend. Finally add to the wire the cold heavy cream and transfer to a baking dish to rest for 12h.
I did not use any coloring because dark chocolate is dark and it would be quite pointless. Unfortunately both the cherry chocolate mousse and the cremeaux will have very very similar color, but the textures are different and the acidity of the cherry mousse complements well with the sweetness of the cremeaxu, which is what I was going for, rather than for a visual effect per se.
After it has been resting, whip the cream: it has to be semi-whipped, so don’t expect stiff peaks because those will never happen and we don’t need them. Medium peaks are what we are going for.
Transfer the whipped ganache to the mould. I used Silikomart’s Gioia as it was the latest birthday present from my husband, so the recipe is for a Ø 18cm x h 7.5 cm mould. Spread well the ganache up the sides of the mould, then insert the cremeaux ring, then more mousse, then the cake+gelee frozen together and finally the croustillant. If you feel that the cake takes up too much space, you can cut a few mms away before inserting, to make room for the croustillant.
Freeze for 5h and then unfold before glazing.
For the mirror glaze: this is a vegan cocoa butter mirror glaze – I veganised a recipe I found here https://www.pianetadessert.com/cocoa-butter-mirror-glaze/which worked really well.
17 g agar agar dissolved in 85g water
135 g Water
275 g Granulated Sugar
275 g liquid glucose
170g coconut milk
125 g cocoa butter
Hydrosoluble food coloring – I used the Wilton suitable for vegans
First place the agar agar in ice-cold water and melt the cocoa butter. Then place the remaining water, together with the sugar and the glucose in a saucepan and brin to a boil. Then remove and add the coconut milk, the agar and mix well. Pour on the cocoa butter and blend with an immersion blender. Then, let rest in the fridge for 10-12 hours with cling film directly touching the top.
When ready to glaze, divide the glaze in 5 bowls. I used a method similar to this: https://www.alsothecrumbsplease.com/mirror-glaze-galaxy-cake-maximacomepass/
The glaze has to be at 32-35 degrees to be pourable.
The two bigger bowls were respectively colored with dark blue and lighter blue. Then I poured the light blue in the dark blue bowl without mixing but just marbling a bit with a toothpick. The other 3 smaller bowls were colored with light pink, violet and a darker pink. After covering the whole cake with the blue mixture, I drizzled the other colors to obtain a psychedelic effect. Don’t overdo it. It’s so tempting to keep refining, but at a certain moment you just have to stop. I also used a toothbrush and the white coloring to give a finer drips effect.
Let set for a few minutes and then move to the fridge for 1-2 h.
I cannot insert the video here but you can find it on my instagram page @cake_files_