During last year’s season of MasterChef Australia they had a week dedicated to all things love. Awww…
Kirsten Tibballs from Savour School in Melbourne featured in a couple of episodes and in episode number 44 Kirsten made a dessert by the name of Eve which looked absolutely amazing and I knew I had to make it.
After the episode aired, the Savour School (which is on my wish list of places to do a class) were selling Eve packs with the essential ingredients. Of course I jumped at the chance and ordered a pack which was posted quick smart. However, I was not as quick with making it as the episode aired in early August, and I didn’t make this until February. But it was certainly worth the wait.
The only thing I did not use from the pack by the time I ended up making the cake was the hazelnut praline paste as it had gone out of date. But never fear as the recipe said you could substitute almond oil and some additional chocolate for the paste so that is what I did.
It was funny, last week I was reading through some of the blogs I follow and scanning down the list I saw the word Eve. Immediately I thought I had hit publish on the wrong post, but no, Anita from Leave Room for Dessert had made the MasterChef Eve cake for Valentine’s Day. Great minds think alike.
Now technically this is not really a cake but an entrement. I had to look up the definition of this word and from my reading (feel free to correct me if I am wrong) it is of course French in origin and is a small dish served in between courses to signify the end of the previous course. In the modern world it has been translated more into a dessert, and usually a pretty intricate one made up of multiple layers and textures. I am going to stick with cake because when most people search for this recipe they search for “MasterChef Eve Cake” and I hope some of them make their way here.
First up is making the pistachio dacquoise for which you will need ground pistachios (I did this myself in a food processor), egg whites, cream of tartar, caster sugar, green food colouring, icing sugar and plain flour.
Whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until you have soft peaks. Increase the speed to high and slowly add the caster sugar, continuing to whisk until it has dissolved before adding the food colouring.
In a separate bowl, sift the ground pistachios, icing sugar and flour and mix them together.
Fold in the meringue very gently, you don’t want to knock out all of that air you whisked in, until it is just combined. Line a baking sheet with baking paper and mark out a 35cm x 25cm rectangle and then spread the mixture on the baking sheet until it is smooth. Bake in a preheated 170°C oven for 15-18 minutes, mine took a little bit longer, then set aside to cool completely.
Once cooked, you will need to trim the dacquoise to 33cm x 23cm in order to fit into the cake pan.
Next up is the bottom layer made up of roasted slivered almonds, chocolate, cocoa nibs and almond oil if you did not want to use the hazelnut praline paste.
Line the 33cm x 23cm cake tin with baking paper and in a microwave safe bowl melt the chocolate in 30 second increments before adding the remaining ingredients. I actually ended up adding a little more chocolate as when I spread the mixture over the bottom of the pan there were a few gaps and I was worried it wouldn’t support the cake, which in turn meant the base was a little bit thicker so when trying to cut as a little bit tough.
Just before this sets completely, you want to put your dacquoise layer on top and then spread with some tasty raspberry jam.
On to the best bit of the whole thing, the chocolate crémeux where you will need thickened cream, egg yolks, caster sugar, milk chocolate and dark chocolate.
Place the chocolate in a large heat proof bowl as you will be pouring over the hot cream and egg mixture.
Bring the cream to a boil over a medium heat. In the meantime, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in another bowl. When the cream has come to a boil, whilst constantly whisking add half of it to the egg yolks and then pour the egg yolks back into the saucepan and place on the heat, low this time, and stir with a wooden/silicone spoon until the mixture coats the back of the spoon and hits 80°C. Pour the cream over the chocolate through a fine sieve to catch any cooked egg.
Stir gently until the chocolate is melted and you have the most amazing looking mixture you have set your eyes on.
Pour the crémeux over the dacquoise and place in the fridge to set, generally four hours.
For the decoration on “Eve”, Kirsten makes some chocolate mushrooms, leaves and bark and dusts with edible gold lustre dust. Cath on the other did none of this because it just did not happen that day. Maybe next time…
I took this to work as my belated birthday cake and I think everyone liked it, especially the crémeux. Although I did not get a good picture of the overall cake, I did get a couple of a slice so you can see each of the layers.
This is definitely something I would make again as it was relatively easy and just looks spectacular once cut.
The recipe is pretty epic so rather than recreate it here, head over to the Savour School blog to check it out for yourself.