I've been working on new flavours and this lime mallow cake is the result of craving a lime and dark chocolate dessert.
I frosted the cupcakes with marshmallowy lime flavoured Italian Meringue. To achieved the layered effect the cupcakes were iced, then rolled in fine unsweetened coconut and dipped in dark chocolate coconut ganache.
The dark chocolate ganache was quite yummy; rich, thick and gooey. You could easily cut through the layers with a fork, but it was still dense and chocolatey.
I was pleased with how the chocolate coconut cupcake recipe turned out too. I will share the recipe with you soon in Mallow Cakes Part 2, but I still want to toy with the meringue and ganache recipes before I put it in print.
In the mean time I do want to encourage you to try making your own mallow cakes, because I really enjoyed making mine. I thought I'd share the basic process of making ganache, meringue and the mallow cake assembly. If you know that, you can try experimenting with all sorts of creative flavour combinations yourself.
Basic Dark Chocolate Ganache:
To make the ganache, chop dark Lindt chocolate and set it aside in a microwave safe bowl. Heat a little coconut milk in the microwave until it is hot (I usually use whipping cream, but I wanted coconut flavour this time around) . Pour in a little coconut milk at a time, while stirring the chocolate. Add just enough to dissolve all the pieces; at this point the chocolate should be shiny, thick and free of lumps.
You can add a little splash of liquor if you'd like, but don't add too much -- the ganache should be soft enough to dip a cupcake in, but not too syrupy. It will thicken a little more as it cools, set it aside to cool down slightly while you prepare the cupcakes for dipping. It will still need to be slightly warm and soft so that you can press the cake top in and get an even coating of chocolate. If you try to dip it while it is too hot, the chocolate layer will be too thin.
If the ganache seems too thick, add more cream. If it seems too runny, you can adjust by stirring in more finely chopped chocolate, as long as the ganache is still warm enough to melt it. If it won't dissolve, heat the entire mixture gently over a boiling water. Ganache is very forgiving, all it takes is a little patience and gentle adjustment of the consistency and temperature if necessary.
Italian Meringue - Marshmallowy
3 large egg whites,
1 1/4 cups of sugar,
1/3 cup of water,
1 tsp vanilla extract,
and 1/4 tsp cream of tartar.
This is actually pretty simple and inexpensive. It just takes a little practice and a good mixer. You may substitute some of the water for lemon or lime juice if you'd like a citrus variation.
Separate the egg whites and turn the mixer on high. Once the whites start to foam up, add the vanilla and the cream of tartar (it prevents over beating). Let the eggs continue to whip as the sugar cooks.
Dissolve the sugar and liquid in a heavy bottom saucepan. Turn it to medium heat and stir gently. Once it starts to boil turn it down a little and do not stir it any more (it could cause the sugar to crystalize and become hard and crunchy). Once it thickens to the soft ball stage, it is ready to add to the whites. (It is at soft ball stage when a drop of sugar syrup is dropped into a glass of ice water and it forms a gummy ball in the bottom of the cup. If it is still too runny it won't hold it's form.)
Carefully pour the sugar into the egg whites in a thin, steady stream while the machine whips the mixture on high speed. Try not to pour it on the beaters-- it could splash the hot sugar mixture. Also be sure to add all of the syrup or the meringue may not have enough body.
Continue to whip the eggs for several minutes, until the mixing bowl is cool and the meringue becomes stiff and glossy.
Mallow Cake Assembly:
You will need a piping bag, #10 round tip, and a small bowl of fine unsweetened coconut.
1. Prepare your piping bag with the round tip and meringue. Pipe a liberal mound of mallow on a cupcake top in a swirling motion.
2. Gently roll the entire cupcake top in fine coconut. Fluff the coconut with a whisk or fork after each cupcake. Coconut sprinkled on meringue is amazing, you may want to leave some of your batch like this. Since they remind me of snow I usually call these cupcakes "snowball cakes". They look lovely next to the chocolate covered mallow cakes.
3. Dip the prepare cupcake top into the soft ganache making sure to coat the entire marshmallow top. Refrigerate or store in a cool space, best eaten fresh.
Dan and I shared these mallow cakes this afternoon in our little garden.