Jul 2, 2013

Lemony Sour Cream Cake Mini Trifle’s with White Chocolate Mousse and Raspberry Coulis

I‘ve had more than my share of ‘oops’ and ‘what the ***k!’ moments in the kitchen.  But who hasn’t?  However what I’m starting to learn through my practice with the blog and pastry school is after time you can always find a way to fix things.  Pretty much anything can be salvaged when it comes to food.  Well, unless you burn something, then you just better order a cake and put it on your own dish.
My latest ‘oh god what did I do’ moment was this:
Yes I know isn’t it pretty?  It came out of the pan (without tearing; I still do a happy dance when that happens, especially with bundt cakes) nor was it burned, wasn’t dry, and didn’t collapse.  Nope, it was a textbook sour cream cake.  Except that it’s turquoise.  And I planned for blue.  4th of July blue.  And since we don’t have a smidgen of aqua on our flag, this really was a problem.
However, I cut a slice of the cake and was happy to at least see that at least the inside of the cake was blue, so not all hope was lost.
My brain then went into over-drive thinking how to sort out this dilemma.  No way was I going to start over, I used a cup of butter and almost 2 cups of sour cream.  Imported sour cream none the less…no this was not getting binned.  And since I’m a trifle lover at heart, I figured okay then, we layer.
And you know, I think ultimately what I ended up with was way better than what I originally intended anyway.  And look, it’s red, white, and blue - in that order!  It totally looks like I planned this dessert.  I shouldn’t have even told you.
But those flippin’ strawberries.  Oh ick that was another ‘oh I’m never doing that again’ moment.  I googled ‘how to coat strawberries with white chocolate’ before I even started.  I mean okay it’s not that hard but you know, I just wanted to watch it at least once before I got started.  And it’s pretty damn clear.  Wash.  Pat dry.  Melt.  Dip.  Harden.  Duh.
Until I dipped them in the sprinkles.  The  way in which I dipped the strawberries into the sprinkles cause the white chocolate to shimmy its way up to the top, basically looking like a collar of white chocolate.  I know that sounds pretty damn good but not for garnish.  So I thought maybe I should let the chocolate sit and harden slightly before I dipped, but it still did the same.  So please tell me if you’ve got a secret here.  I finally said ‘oh screw it’ and used my thinnest dusting sprinkles and just lightly coated them. 
THEN…geeze yes there is more, I dipped the strawberries a day ahead of time and when I pulled them from the fridge the next day to garnish, the strawberries were beaded with moisture causing the blue sprinkles to bleed creating a bluish puddle around the bottom of the strawberries.  Oh what fun I’m having now.
Ultimately I ended up just dunking them in the coulis and hid the blue tinted bottoms.  See, problem solved.  There is always a way.  And if not, close the kitchen door, leave the mess for later and go eat ice cream.
Lemony Sour Cream Cake Mini Trifle’s with White Chocolate Mousse and Raspberry Coulis
Makes 5 single serving trifles; glasses shown are approx. 6 inches tall *you will only need HALF of the baked cake for the 5 servings; I do not recommend scaling down the recipe as the texture of the cake may be affected...nothin' wrong with extra cake if you ask me!
For the Cake:
8 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons lemon extract
Zest of one large lemon
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sour cream 

Blue gel food coloring

For the glaze:
¼ cup apricot preserves
1 tablespoon Cointreau

For the White Chocolate Mousse:
110 grams white chocolate, coarsely chopped
200 ml whipping cream, equally divided
1 egg, separated
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 sheet gelatin
½ teaspoon vinegar 

For the Raspberry Coulis:
18 ounces raspberries (I used fresh but frozen would be okay too)
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

*NOTE: If you want to make the mini trifle’s as shown in the photograph above, do not bake cake in a bundt pan.  Use two 9” round cake pans.  If the outside of your cake discolors as mine did, you can simply cut of the top and it will be ready to use (it will still be blue inside, only the exterior darkens).

Also, very important; the mousse recipe is enough to make about 5 single serving trifle’s.  You will have HALF of the cake left over.  If you want to make more than 5 servings, or plan to make a large standard size trifle, double the mousse and couils recipes.

To prepare the cake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two 9” round cake pans.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until well combined, about 5 minutes.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl after each addition.

Stir in the salt, baking powder, lemon extract, and lemon zest.

Add the flour alternately with the sour cream, starting with the flour. Add the flour about 1 cup at a time, the sour cream 1/2 cup at a time. Mix at medium speed between additions, until ingredients are thoroughly combined. The finished batter will be quite stiff.

Add food coloring if desired. 

Scrape the batter into the prepared pans, leveling it with your wet fingers or a spatula.

Bake the cake for 60 to 75 minutes, until a cake tester, bamboo skewer, or long toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven, and gently loosen its edges.
After 15 minutes, carefully turn the cake out of the pans onto a rack to cool.

Once the cake has cooled, cut it into pieces that are small enough to fit into the bottom of the serving glasses.  Be sure to firmly press the cake into the bottom of the glass, filling about one third of the glass with cake.

After the glasses are filled with cake, prepare the apricot glaze.  Add the preserves to a medium saucepan and cook down until melted. 

Pour the sauce over a strainer to remove any pieces of fruit. Stir in the Cointreau.

Using a pastry brush, gently give each cake a wash of the glaze.  This ensures the cake won't dry out.

To prepare the mousse, soak the gelatin in cold ice water and set aside.

Boil HALF of the cream and remove from heat.  Add chocolate and mix well to form a ganache.

Squeeze excess water from the gelatin and mix into the ganache until it dissolves.

Lightly beat the egg yolk and pour into the ganache. 

 Return pot to range, insert candy thermometer. Heat mixture until it reaches 140 degrees F. This ensures any bacterium on the egg yolk is killed.

Whip remaining cream and sugar to a stiff peak and fold into the ganche mixture.

Whisk the egg white and vinegar until medium peaks form and fold into the mousse.

Pour mixture into a measuring cup with a spout and refrigerate for 5 minutes.

Remove mousse from fridge and evenly distribute over each cake serving.

Transfer glasses to refrigerator until mousse sets, about 4-6 hours.  I put mine in the freezer and it took about 2.
Once the mousse has set, prepare the coulis.  Add raspberries and sugar to a medium sized saucepan.  Cook on medium heat until the raspberries have completely cooked down and you are left with a thickened sauce, about 5 minutes.

 Strain the sauce through a fine sieve to remove seeds.

Transfer sauce to a measuring cup with a spout and refrigerate for 5 minutes. 

Remove from fridge and equally distribute over the mousse. 

Refrigerate for at least an hour and serve immediately.

Phew!  Lots of steps but truly worth it.  The fresh raspberries made for such an inviting tang paired with the sweet mousse, truly a great combo.  Hope you love it as much as we do! 

Happy 4th of July! 

Sour cream cake adapted from King Arthur Flour
Mousse recipe adapted from ICCA

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