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Sunday, 6 February 2011

Selva Cake

Nuala's Selva
This Saturday I decided to treat myself and go to a very nice french patisserie for a mid morning snack. After a lot of deliberating to what cake i was going to have as they all looked so tasty, I choose a cake called 'Selva'. The cake was rich as well as light and had three different types of icing; a chocolate ganache, whipped cream and a custard icing and was garnished with fresh fruit.

After eating this beautiful cake I immediately want to try and create my own. I found that the cake was similar to a Boston Cream Pie but a chocolate version with whipped cream as well. I decided to use a simple chocolate flour less sponge for the cake, cut into 4 layers. Between the first layer of cakes would be whipped cream and in the next layer creme patisserie and in the final layer there was whipped cream again. To top it all off the outside of the cake would be covered with a chocolate ganache and garnished with fresh fruit.

Well it sounds t so tasty, so now all I have to do is make it!

Selva Cake
Makes 1 cake or 8 indivual cakes (58mm)

For the flour less sponge:
14 large eggs
300g Castor sugar
135g cocoa powder

For the creme patisserie:
85 ml milk
85ml double cream
2 large egg yolks
35 g Castor sugar
10g plain flour

For the chocolate ganache:
250g chocolate
250ml double cream

For the whipped cream:
175ml double cream

To make the creme patisserie:
  • Warm the milk and cream in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to the boil and then remove from the heat and set aside.
  • In the bowl of a food mixer add the egg yolks and sugar. Beat until pale and creamy and then add the flour.
  • Add the warm milk and cream to the egg mixture and whisk slowly until combined.
  • Pour back into the pan and whisk gently until it comes together as a thick sauce.
  • Cool the custard by placing it into a wide bowl. Put greaseproof paper to cover the bowl, this stops it forming a skin. Do not put it in the fridge but put it to side to cool until you are ready to use it.
To make the sponge:
  • Heat oven to C180. To make one large cake line and grease two 20cm tins. Or to make small individual cakes line and grease a large square tin (I used a 20cm by 15cm tin). Circles can then be cut out of the tray bake and cut in half.
  • Separate the eggs.
  • Put the egg yolks into the bowl of a food mixer and add the sugar. Mix for 3-4 minutes until very thick and pale and a ribbon like trail falls back into the bowl when the whisk is lifted and disappears after a few seconds.
  • Sift in the cocoa powder into this bowl and fold it in. It will be difficult to work in so after a few strokes leave it.
  • In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until it forms stiff peaks.
  • Add a small proportion of the egg whites to the egg yolks and fold in. Fold in the remaining egg whites in three batches to make a mouse like mixture.
  • Divide the mixture evenly between three tins.
  • Bake in a heated oven for 20minuites or until the cake comes away from the edges and is firm to the touch.
  • Cool the cakes completely before turning out onto a wire rack.
To assemble the cake:
  • Once the creme patisserie and cakes have cooled it is time to assemble.
  • Firstly whip the cream until it is very thick and firm.
  • To assemble the cake cut each cake into two, so you have 4 different layers of cake. Or if you are making individual cakes cut out 58mm rounds and then cut in half. Use the appraite amount of filling if you are making individual cakes.
  • Put the first layer of cake onto a plate with grease proof paper on it. Spread half of the whipped creme onto the cake, spreading right to the edge. It does not matter if the icing spreads down the side of the cake.
  • Place the next layer of cake on top. Spread all of the creme patisserie over it, right to the edges.
  • Sandwich the next layer of cake on top. Onto this layer add the rest of the whipped cream, again spreading right to the edge.
  • Put the final layer of cake on. Taking a knife run it around the edge of the cake removing all the excess icing. Put the cake aside to set whilst you make the ganache.

To make the ganache:
  • Melt the dark chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of water, (make sure the bowl and water do not touch) then pour the melted chocolate over the room temperature cream. Whisk this together. Cool by putting it in the fridge for about 10minuites.
  • Finally cover the top and sides of the cake with the chocolate ganache evenly
  • Garnish with fresh fruit such as raspberries or strawberries.
Selva in a Ramakin
If this cake seems complicated or you want to try an easier method:
Leave out the whipped cream and do not split the cake into 2. So there are two layers of cake filled with creme patisserie and then spread the chocolate ganache over the top.
If you do not feel confident in decorating the individual cakes you can assemble the cake in layers in ramekins, they look just as good.
If you make individual cakes either put the left over cake in ramekins or a large bowl and assemble the cake as instructed.
Another tip is so wrap ribbon or paper around the edges so nobody has to see the sides!

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