Monday, 21 December 2020

Gingerbread Spice Logcake

I wanted to create a different flavour for logcakes this year when my mum requested for them for our extended family. I was rather clueless about what to do until I made the gingerbread spice reindeer macarons last week. Presenting my version of gingerbread spice logcake! 

I made 3 of these actually, decorated with gingerbread man macarons made with leftover macaron batter from making the reindeer

Let me explain what goes into the logcake to tantalise you with the aroma and flavours

Sponge: dairy-free chocolate chiffon 
Filling : muscovado sugar and spice pastry cream lightened with whipping cream (A. K. A. Diplomat cream), and roasted walnuts
Outer frosting : whipped white chocolate ganache that is lightly spiced and lightly flavoured with passionfruit to give the cake a mild fruity tang to complement the warm spices, muscovado sugar and chocolate. 

You may refer to this post for the gingerbread spice macarons. Just to share a couple of pictures for the macarons... 

Piping the macaron shells. This was rather impromptu so I used gingerbread man cookie cutters to trace the template but used a round cookie cutter to give it a bigger head for a more chibi effect. 

The macaron shells were decorated with royal icing. 

Recipe for chocolate chiffon sponge
I have made chocolate chiffons for a few years for log cakes and each one has a slight variation. This time round I decided not to generate any excess egg yolks. At the same time I want to bring out the chocolate flavour in the cocoa powder so I chose to bloom the cocoa powder first in boiling water instead of sifting with cake flour. 

Ingredients (makes one 10 x 12" sheet cake) :
Egg yolk batter
3 egg yolks
5g caster sugar
28g vegetable or canola oil
13g valrhona or other Dutch processed cocoa powder
30g boiling water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
1 tsp kahlua coffee liqueur (optional) 
26g cake flour 
1/6 tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt

3 egg whites
1/5 tsp cream of tartar
40g caster sugar 

1. Preheat oven to 170C. Set oven rack to middle position. Line baking tray with teflon sheet or parchment paper. 

2. Make egg yolk batter. Dissolve cocoa powder in boiling water. Add salt and dissolve. Set aside to cool with cling wrap covering bowl. 

3. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl until pale and thick. 

4. Add oil and whisk until combined. Add dissolved cocoa with water and whisk until combined. Add vanilla and kahlua coffee liqueur. Whisk until well combined. 

5. Add sifted cake flour with baking powder and whisk until no trace of flour is seen.  

6. Make meringue. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar using electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add sugar and continue beating until firm peaks or just reach stiff peaks. 

7. Gently but quickly fold the meringue into egg yolk batter in 3 batches. Pour into lined baking tray. Bake for 13 minutes or until skewer comes out clean. Immediately flip it out onto a clean sheet of parchment paper. Roll it up to cool completely. 

Freshly baked chocolate chiffon sponge. 

Muscovado sugar and spice diplomat cream
2 egg yolks
20g cornflour 
24g muscovado sugar (more if you have sweet tooth) 
200g milk
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
3/4-1 tsp cinammon powder*
1/4-1/2 tsp ginger powder*
1/8-1/4 tsp allspice powder*
A pinch of salt
15g unsalted butter
80g whipping cream (I used non-dairy for better stability in hot Singapore) 

* adjust quantity according to how spicy you like

1. Heat milk, spices, salt and vanilla in saucepan until steaming hot but not boiling. In the mean time, whisk together egg yolks, cornflour and muscovado sugar. 

2. Once milk is hot, pour in a thin stream into egg yolk mixture while whisking the egg yolk mixture continuously. Pour back into saucepan. 

3. Heat mixture over stove while whisking continuously using low heat. Once mixture thickens, remove from heat and continue whisking until smooth. Return to heat and whisk and cook until thickened until preferred consistency. I personally prefer it thicker. 

4. Transfer the custard into a bowl and add butter and whisk until melted. Press cling wrap on surface of the pastry cream. Refrigerate for at least 30 min or overnight. 

5. When ready to assemble, whip the whipping cream until firm peaks. Briefly whip the chilled pastry cream with spatula until loosened. Fold in whipped cream. 

Muscovado sugar and spice diplomat cream

Passionfruit and spice whipped white chocolate ganache
1 gelatin sheet bloomed in ice water
125g heavy cream 
60g white chocolate couverture (I used Callebaut) 
1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
1/8 tsp cinammon powder**
1/8 tsp ginger powder**
1 tsp freeze-dried passionfruit powder **
70g whip topping (this is a non-dairy whipping cream that is pre-sweetened. You may replace with dairy cream but add 1/2-1 tbs of icing sugar when whipping it) 

**optional or adjust according to taste. The quantities I used are deliberately small as the filling is already strong flavoured and I wanted something milder and more refreshing to complement it. 

1. Heat cream with spices and vanilla until just bubble. 

2. Add gelatin and whisk until dissolved. 

3. Pour 1/3 hot cream over white chocolate and wait 30 sec. Stir until melted. Add rest of cream and stir until smooth. Press cling wrap on surface and refrigerate overnight.

4. When ready to assemble, beat on high speed with mixer. Fold in whip topping. 

I had some leftover diplomat cream so I folded it into the whipped ganache. 

1. Unroll cooled chiffon sponge. Spread some diplomat cream on surface. Add some halved walnuts. 

2. Roll it up with parchment paper wrapping around the roll. Freeze for at least 2h or overnight. 

3. Use a serrated knife to slice off both ends. 

4. Apply some diplomat cream on cakeboard and place the main roll on cakeboard. Apply some diplomat cream to glue on the cut off pieces to the main log. 

5. Coat the outer surface of the logcake with whipped ganache. Don't worry sbout being neat as you don't have to be! 

6. Use a fork to draw the bark pattern on the logcake. 

Add decorations as you wish. I just decorated with a gingerbread man macaron and plastic holly logcake decoration. 

Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. If you wish to enjoy it like an ice-cream cake, you may keep the logcake frozen but thaw it at room temperature for 30 min or a few hours in the fridge before slicing to serve. Excess diplomat cream mixed with the whipped ganache can be frozen and served as ice-cream on its own or with chocolate sauce and chopped walnuts. 

Blessed Christmas to all! 

With love, 

Phay Shing

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