Welcome to my blog, through which I hope to be able to share my experiences of gluten free cooking, baking, experimenting and eating.
When my daughter was diagnosed (age 6) with Coeliac Disease, our world of eating changed overnight. From breads, pastry and pasta to cakes, biscuits and puddings.......... suddenly most of what we knew was 'off the menu'. I think I must have tested every available gluten free product on the market, seeking out replacements to try and keep things as normal as possible. I was disappointed to find that what was available was often dry, crumbly and flavourless.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, I decided to turn my kitchen into a laboratory, turn all I knew about cooking on its head and start creating!

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Easter 'Creme Egg' Mousse Cake - gluten free


It's the time of year for all things 'Creme Egg'........ Each year there seem to be more and more variations on what you can do with these little fondant-filled chocolate eggy wonders. It's quite amazing where they end up (in culinary terms), with everything from brownies, cheesecakes, ice-cream cakes and cupcakes..... to ice cream, cookies and even pop tarts, deep-fried Creme Eggs, milkshakes and Creme Egg-filled croissants.

The appeal of the Creme Egg seems to be a little of an obsession in the foodie blogosphere....... Is it the colour, the texture the addictive sweetness I wonder that makes them such a compelling Easter ingredient? There are, of course, a million and one chocolate egg varieties out there to choose from, yet the Creme Egg stands out as the egg of choice for so many Easter-inspired treats.


Should I declare that I was actually around when the first Creme Egg (in its current form) was introduced back in the UK in 1971? Scary as it feels, I actually remember going to the sweet shop on the corner of the 'parade' and buying my first Creme Eggs (along with Curly Wurlys which were launched a year earlier). They were an absolute (but occasional) treat...... biting off the top, licking out the fondant middle (whilst trying not to lose too much melting chocolate from the warmth of my hands) and then stuffing the rest of the chocolate shell in my mouth in one go, and trying not to dribble because it was really way too big to fit! Perhaps some things don't change as much as they should have done.......

As I have got older, I have struggled to eat a whole larger-sized Creme Egg in one go without feeling a little sick..... But the mini Creme Eggs are a different matter....... A couple of those to savour and I am a happy Easter bunny. I think the lesser ratio of sugary fondant to chocolate makes for a better balance and allows for greater control in knowing when I have reached my egg-eating threshold.


Last year, I made some amazing gluten free Creme Egg Cup Cakes, which were not only topped with half a mini Creme Egg, but had a hidden Creme Egg baked within the sponge. They were perfect for the school Easter fair and disappeared extremely quickly!

This year, I wanted to try and invent something a little different..... Encouraged by the many larger cakes around that have Creme Eggs as their inspiration, I have made a gluten free Creme Egg Mousse Cake......

With a slightly dense, chocolate sponge base (which maintains a great texture despite being kept in the fridge), the cake is then topped with two separate and differently-coloured vanilla mousse layers, intended to hint at the contrasting yolk and white colours found in the fondant of a Creme Egg.

The cake is decorated with mini Creme Eggs and dark chocolate ganache...... but don't feel misled.... Hidden within, there is also a layer of Creme Egg pieces waiting to be discovered, somewhere between the top of the sponge and the start of the mousse.


Stuffed full of calories I am sure, this Mousse cake is a rich and decadent Easter treat..... the combination of firm, dark, very chocolatey sponge, contrasted with soft, creamy, melty, vanilla-steeped mousse, is divine. The unexpected discovery of little fragments of Creme Egg on the tongue, feel like discovering edible treasure on a beach....... The wanton addition of smooth, dark drizzles of ganache, dribbling down the sides of the mousse, is literally and figuratively the icing on the cake.....

Looks like my Easter is sorted....... what will you be making?

I am sharing my Easter Creme Egg Mousse Cake with the following linkies :


Bake of the Week with Casa Costello.











Alpha Bakes with The More Than Occasional Baker (and Caroline Makes). March has C as its random letter..... perfect for Creme Egg and Cake.








We Should Cocoa.... this month with Lancashire Food on behalf of Tin & Thyme, with an Eastery theme of 'eggs'. This cake requires eggs of the chicken variety in the sponge and the chocolate variety in abundance.....







#FoodYearLinkup with Charlotte's Lively Kitchen..... celebrating Easter Sunday.








Simply Eggcellent with Belleau Kitchen...... Plenty of eggy stuff going on here Dom!













Tea Time Treats with The Hedge Combers (and Lavender & Lovage). Hopefully this mousse cake will be a fitting addition to Janie's Easter Extravaganza.






Cook Blog Share - this week with Hijacked by Twins.








Recipe of the Week with A Mummy Too.








Tasty Tuesdays with Honest Mum.







Sunday Fitness & Food with Marathons & Motivation and IlkasBlog.












Easter 'Creme Egg' Mousse Cake (makes 1 x 8 inch or 1 x 7 inch (slightly taller) cake) - your cake tin will need to be 3 to 4 inches (8 to 10 cm) tall, with a loose bottom.

Ingredients

Chocolate Sponge
65g dark chocolate
55g unsalted butter

50g ground almonds
85g GF plain flour blend (I used mix A from this post)
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon GF baking powder
¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
pinch fine sea salt
12g cocoa powder

110g golden caster sugar
2 medium eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
40 ml plain or greek yoghurt
40 ml milk

Method (for sponge)

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4. Base-line your cake tin with baking paper. 
  2. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in a heat-proof bowl with the butter. Melt together, either over a pan of lightly-simmering water or in the microwave on medium setting, 30 second bursts, stirring between each. When the chocolate and butter have melted and been blended to a smooth liquid, set aside.
  3. Weigh and mix together the almonds, flour, xanthan gum. baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cocoa, until all lumps have been broken down and set aside.
  4. Beat together the sugar, eggs and vanilla until pale and thickened.
  5. Add the chocolate mix and beat again.
  6. Add the yoghurt and milk and beat until fully combined.
  7. Finally, add the dry ingredients and fold through until even. You should have a batter which is thick, but will still drop off the spoon with minimal encouragement. If the batter seems a little too thick, just add a dash more milk and carefully fold in trying not to over-mix.
  8. Spoon the batter into the cake tin and smooth the top.
  9. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the top springs back to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  10. Leave the cake in the tin to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. When the cake is completely cold, use a sharp knife to level it so that the top is flat and even.
  12. Wash and base line the cake tin that you used to bake the cake and cut a piece of baking paper so that it completely fits round the inside sides of the tin and overlaps on itself by a couple of inches (or use an acetate cake collar if you have one). The collar needs to be a little taller than the top of the tin.
  13. Place the sponge back into the cake tin inside the collar.

Vanilla Mousse - You will need 2 batches, each made separately when ready to layer onto the sponge. Ingredients are for each mousse

165g good quality white chocolate - finely chopped
250 ml double cream
pinch fine sea salt
8g powdered gelatine
2 tablespoons water
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
orange food colouring (for 1 batch of mousse only)

15 mini Creme Eggs - cut into quarters

Method (for mousse)

  1. Arrange the pieces of chopped Creme Egg on the top of the cooled sponge inside the cake tin.
  2. Combine the chocolate, about 80 ml of the cream and the salt and heat until the chocolate has melted and the liquid is smooth. You can do this on the hob over a low heat in a small saucepan, stirring frequently (be careful not to over-heat) or in the microwave on 20 to 30 second bursts (medium setting), stirring between each. Set aside.
  3. Mix together the gelatine with the water and leave for a few minutes for the gelatine to absorb the liquid. 
  4. When the water has been absorbed, heat the gelatine in the microwave for about 15 seconds until liquid and stir thoroughly until smooth. 
  5. Pour the gelatine into the chocolate mix and beat immediately and thoroughly until smooth.
  6. Whisk the remaining cream until it forms stiff peaks (be careful not to over-whisk).
  7. Add the vanilla extract and about half the chocolate mixture and quickly, but gently fold together to combine, then adding the rest of the chocolate mixture and folding again.
  8. For the tinted mousse layer, add a good few drops of colouring and fold through until you reach your desired orange colour.
  9. Tip the mousse into the tin on top of the sponge and Creme Egg pieces and smooth the top. Lightly place a disc of baking paper on top and refrigerate for about 4 hours to set completely.
  10. Make the second mousse layer (without the food colouring) and tip onto the first mousse layer, smoothing the top. Place a piece of cling film over the tin (not touching the mousse) and chill for about 4 hours until completely set.
  11. When set, carefully push the cake up out of the tin, and remove the base paper and collar. Set the cake on a serving plate.
Ganache and Decoration
60g good quality dark chocolate - finely chopped
60 ml double cream

7 to 10 mini Creme Eggs (dependent on the size of your cake)
sprinkles (optional)

Method (ganache and decoration)

  1. Place your finely chopped chocolate into a glass bowl.
  2. Heat the cream to simmering point, either in a small saucepan over a low heat or in the microwave (be careful not to boil)
  3. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and leave to sit for about 15 seconds, before stirring through. Keep stirring until the chocolate has completely melted and the ganache is smooth.
  4. Leave to cool at room temperature (do not refrigerate or you will lose the shine), stirring occasionally until the ganache has started to thicken, but is still pourable. 
  5. Drizzle the ganache in decorative swirls or patterns on the top of the mousse, allowing some to trickle down the sides.
  6. Cut some of the eggs in half and arrange both halves and whole eggs on the top of the cake. 
  7. Add some sprinkles (if using). 
  8. Store refrigerated, but remove from the fridge for about 15 minutes before serving. Especially good served with cream!
 Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-16 unless otherwise indicated

40 comments:

  1. Yummy! I love all the Creme Egg creations too, and am just toying with another Creme egg recipe as well. I love the swirls on top

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    1. Thanks Lucy...... There are so many permutations aren't there?! I have another couple up my sleeve too!!

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  2. You're right, we bloggers all go rather creme egg crazy at this time of year. I think it's the most iconic of the chocolate eggs, and it's got such vibrant colours when you split it in half. I love this creation as I expect the lightness of the mousse offsets the rich, sweet chocolate perfectly. It's so beautifully presented too.

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    1. Thank you Charlotte. There is something very distinctive about a Creme Egg that has been 'cracked'. It seems to be understood the world over....

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  3. I remember when these came out too! It was such a Big Deal & I was so excited to find them in my Easter Basket way back then :-) This cake is so beautiful & decadent! Thank you for sharing at the Sunday Link-Up, Pinned!!

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    1. Thank you Angela. Pleased I'm not the only one with a memory that long.....

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  4. Wow, gorgeousness. Thanks for linking up to we should cocoa this month,eggs galore and a perfect easter treat

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  5. Wow, gorgeousness. Thanks for linking up to we should cocoa this month,eggs galore and a perfect easter treat

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  6. That looks mesmerising! Lovely swirls on top. Thanks for joining in with #BAKEoftheWEEK !

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    1. Thanks Sarah. I'm very proud of the decoration on this one!

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  7. This is such a stunning looking cake! #cookblogshare

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  8. Oh my goodness, this is absolutely awesome! And your photos are absolutely stunning - have pinned this to several of my boards :-)

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    1. Thanks Eb. Perhaps some cakes are made to be photographed! I had lots of fun with this one, as it had no intention of being camera shy.....

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  9. Oh wow, that looks utterly incredible! Thanks for linking up to #tastytuesdays x

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  10. Wow, your creme egg mousse cake looks absolutely delicious Kate. I love the sound of the vanilla mousse with the chocolate sponge.

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    1. Thanks Sarah. It was lovely. I think chocolate and vanilla is one of those timeless combinations which just 'works'!

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  11. This looks beautiful but I must have made a breakthough on the quitting sugar because it doesn't make me want to eat it! Hurrah! With any luck I am over my addiction!!

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    1. Thank you Vicki. Much as I would love you to want to eat it...... I am so pleased that you have managed to quit the white stuff! One day, maybe I will try too.....

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  12. Wow, so beautiful! Such a stunning creation! I could *almost* resist eating it!

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    1. Thanks Kat..... no such consideration of willpower in our house..... it was gone in a flash!

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  13. Absolutely stunning this bake!! You have made really well. It is lovely to make your own cakes for Easter and with chocolate.
    Bravissima!! :-))

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  14. um... how stonkingly beautiful is this!?!? Heavenly. Simply heavenly. There are a LOT of creme egg cakes going around but this takes the biscuit (get it??? Groan....) Thanks for the linky xxx

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    1. Ha ha ha! Thanks Dom. It is definitely the month of Creme Eggs..... seems you can't turn on the computer without another CE recipe popping up! x

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  15. This cake is just too much! I want a slice like now!:):)

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  16. Oh wow that is one stunning Easter egg cake, just beautiful! Thanks for linking up to #tastytuesdays

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  17. This looks AMAZING Kate, I love the chocolate dribbling down the side of the cake, the swirls and the fact that there is a layer of hidden pieces within too - perfect treat. #foodyearlinkup
    Angela x

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    1. Thanks Angela. I was really pleased with the result. It's great to see it has gone down so well (and it tasted great too!) x

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  18. Wow, you must be thrilled with how this turned out. There are so many Creme Egg creations about this year but this has to be one of the best. Thanks again for joining in with #BakeoftheWeek x

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    1. Thank you so much Helen. That's really kind (and great to have such lovely feedback)!
      I didn't expect it to look as good as it did, so yes.... I was pretty chuffed xx

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  19. This is one of the best creme egg recipes I've seen this year! It's so beautifully presented and I love the mousse cake element. I have to confess I don't actually like creme eggs but they are so pretty to use in cakes and bakes at this time of the year.Thanks for entering AlphaBakes.

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    1. Awww.... Thanks Ros. It seems to me we get more and more inventive with Creme Eggs every year. Actually I can't eat the big ones either..... way too sweet, but the little ones are perfect for baking!

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  20. Sweet lady, that is too beautiful for words :)
    Janie x

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  21. Sweet lady, that is too beautiful for words :)
    Janie x

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