I made this cake once two years ago. [See right.] And Riley had only had it once a year before that at Patisserie Bechler in Pacific Grove. But when I asked the boys what they wanted for dessert last night, it was a cacaphony of suggestions: 'Chocolate Lava Cake!' suggested one. Cherry Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate Chips! yelled another. And Beehive! shouted the third.
Man, these boys are truly spoiled.
But it got me thinking...I haven't made this in awhile, let's give it a whirl. So, I stayed up way too late, letting the dough rise - twice! Making a praline for the topping. And cooking a custard so that it could set overnight.
We ate this for breakfast. Yes, did I say 'spoiled?'
Part I: The Cake
2 C white whole wheat flour
1 T active dry yeast
1 T organic granulated sugar
1/4 C warm milk
3 T butter, melted and cooled
Place flour in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour. Add yeast and sugar to the well. Blend milk, cooled melted butter, and egg and pour into the well; let sit for 2 minutes to soften yeast, tehn whisk yeast and liquid ingredients to dissolve yeast. Use a wooden spoon to beat in flour until well-blended. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead in enough flour only until dough is no longer sticky. Continue kneading approximately 5 to 7 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Cover dough with a towel or plastic wrap and let dough rest approximately 45 minutes. During this first rise, make the honey praline.
After the first rise, punch dough down. Roll or pat dough into 9 inch, greased pan. Prick dough all over with a fork. Spread cooled honey praline over dough. Let cake rest and double in height approximately, 45 to 60 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. During this second rise, make the custard. Bake until golden approximately 20 to 25 minutes.
Part II: The Custard
1/2 C organic granulated sugar
4 T flour
4 egg yolks
2 C milk
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 C water
2 C heavy cream
1/4 C sugar
2 t pure vanilla extract
Place the sugar and cornstarch in a small to medium pan. In a bowl, mix the egg yolks and milk together. Whisk them into the sugar and starch mixture in the pan. Cook this over low heat and gradually increase to a medium heat bringing the mixture to a boil. The mixture will bubble slowly. Whisk this bubbling mixture for 3 to 4 minutes and remove from heat.
Soak the gelatin in a 1/4 cup of warm water for 5 minutes. Add gelatin mixture to hot custard and whisk. Set aside to cool in a clean bowl. Cover with plastic to keep mixture from crusting and refrigerate until cool.
After mixture has cooled, whip cream, sugar, and vanilla to medium peaks. Fold whipped cream into cooled custard. Refrigerate until ready to fill split cake layers - overnight is best.
Part III: The Honey Praline
The recipe calls for almonds, but I had no nuts in the house. So I decided to use cacao nibs.
1/2 stick butter
1/3 C organic granulated sugar
1/4 C raw honey
2 T raw cacao nibs
Melt the butter, add sugar and honey, cook until bubbly and beginning to turn into a caramel sauce. Remove from the heat and stir in the cacao nibs. Let this mixture cool.
Part IV: The Assembly
Cut cooled cake in half to make 2 layers. Drizzle raw honey over bottom layer. Top with the custard mixture. Place the top layer over the custard and refrigerate or freeze for several hours to firm up custard before cutting.