Summer Birthday Dream Cake

Makki’s Mash is still alive, even though slow and a bit sleepy! I’ve been doing some spring and summer hibernating it seems. But here I am again, ready to share some recipes.

A few weeks ago I was asked to do a birthday cake for one of my best friends. She turned 30, so I wanted to something that was both beautiful and delicious. The ends result was better than I expected and because it was such a great summer cake I want to share the recipe here. I don’t have many pictures of the process because I didn’t plan to post it here, but I am trying to be as descriptive as possible. It is not very complicated, but you will need some time because of the different steps, but there are also ways to simplify it and I will share that with you too.

This was my schedule to make the cake:
day 1: bake the base and make the pannacotta
day 2: make the mousse and assemble the cake
day 3: make the chocolate gele and decorate. And serve and eat, of course!

Summer birthday dreamcake/ Strawberry mousse with chocolate pannacotta, brownie base and white chocolate gele

What you need:
Base:
150 g dark chocolate
100 g soft butter
250 ml caster sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
250 ml flour
Mousse:
5 sheets of gelatin
500-600 grams of fresh strawberries
3 egg yolks
200 ml icing sugar
500 ml cream
Pannacotta:
200 ml cream
50 ml jelly sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
Gele:
250 ml water
160 ml sugar
40 g glucose
100 g white chocolate
140 ml cream
4 sheets of gelatin
Decorations:
All things you find pretty and summery. I chose a lingonberry powder, strawberries and then I picked wild strawberries and edible flowers such as rose, violet and elderflower.

Start with the brownie base. Put the oven on 175°C. Cut out a circle from parchment paper to fit the base of your spring form tin, preferable 24 cm in diameter. Melt the chocolate in a ban Marie, or microwave. Stir the butter and sugar together. Add one egg at the time and then stir it together with the chocolate. Use a sieve to add cocoa powder, vanilla sugar and flour, and then stir together until it’s smooth. Pour the batter into the tin. Bake in the lower part of the oven for circa 20 minutes. Take it out and let it cool in the tin!

If you want to you can make the cake in advance and freeze it right after it cooled. After it is cooled you have to cut the base slightly smaller, circa 1 centimeter all around. This way the strawberry mousse can float around the edges and the cake will look smooth and the base will be a hidden treasure.

The next step is to make the pannacotta. If you want to simplify the cake you should skip that! It adds to flavour and it looks beautiful when you cut it but the cake is also great without it.

For this step you need another spring form, but a much smaller one, because this part of the cake will only be visible when you cut it, and will be a “floating layer” in the mousse. Prep the tin with plastic foil this time, it will be easier to handle the pannacotta later.

Put cream, sugar and cocoa powder in a saucepan and whisk it together, bring it to a boil and let it boil for half a minute. Then pour it in the tin! Once it cooled, put it in the freezer and let it freeze completely.

The next step is to make the mousse. Make sure the brownie base is cold and that the pannacotta is frozen before this step! First you prep a clean spring form, the same size as for baking the base is good. Put another circle parchment paper on the bottom and oil the edges with sunflower oil.

Put the gelatin sheets in cold water. Mix the strawberries to a smooth puree. Beat the icing sugar and egg yolks until porous, and whip the cream in another bowl until it is fluffy but not too hard. Slowly heat up half of the strawberry puree. Squeeze the water out of the gelatin and add to the warm strawberry puree, but do NOT boil it! Add this strawberries mix in the egg mix with the rest of the strawberry puree and stir until smooth. After that you turn in the whipped cream carefully, and make sure it is all blended but you don’t want to loose the fluffiness.

Now for the assembly! Be ready with the cake base, and take out your pannacotta puck from the freezer and the plastic. Put the brownie base in the middle of the tin so there is equal space around it. Then pour over a bit of the mousse, the whole base should be covered with about 1,5 centimeters of mousse. Put the pannacotta on top of the mousse in the middle of the tin. After that you pour over the rest of the mousse! Be careful! After this you just cover your cake and put it in the freezer until its set, make sure that it is standing straight.

The last step you can make the same day as the cake is being served.

Boil water, glucose, and sugar in a sauce pan. Then add cream and finely chopped chocolate. Lower the heat and let it simmer for about an hour, keep an eye on the mixture and stir every now and then.

Let the gelatin sheets soak in cold water for about ten minutes. Then carefully squeeze the water out. Remove the pan from the heat and add the gelatin while whisking. Strain the mixture through a sieve and cover it with plastic foil. Let it cool until 35 degrees, then it is time to glaze the cake!

Prepare a surface with some paper or old newspaper, because it will get a bit messy. Take the cake out from the freezer and place it on something high (I used a stable enough food can). Then you just carefully and evenly pour the chocolate gele on the cake, to create a smooth and shiny surface. Make sure all the edges are also evenly covered!

Let the gele set for a bit and then decorate the cake however you feel. I started with a light dust of lingonberry powder around the edges and then added the flowers and berries, but you can use what you feel suits your cake.

I hope you have fun doing this! The cake taste amazing and I am sure you will impress whoever you will serve it to. As you can see on the picture below, the cake mingles well with other cakes, candy, vodka and wine!