Chocolate Cupuaçú Cake

Chocolate Cupuçú Cake

This Chocolate Cupuaçú Cake is not a fast recipe, but well worth the time to make it. If you’re looking for Olympian baking, this is it! The cream is made in a similar fashion as Lemon Curd. Cupuaçú is a fruit that grows in the Amazon and is in the same family as cacao. The pulp is removed from the seeds and then used in cooking. For me, its scent recalls the exotic perfumes of the Amazon. Cupuaçu’s taste is quite hard to describe, but it falls somewhere between a banana and white chocolate, with a tang at the end. Most likely, you will find cupuaçu being sold in the U.S in a pasteurized and frozen form as I used for this cake. I buy from the freezer of Brazilian and Latin specialty stores. You can also find it here. When using, I drain the water accumulated in the bag and try to use just the pulp (that helps the pastry cream to become less runny).

This Chocolate Cupuaçú Cake is inspired by Dona Nena Chocolates from the Amazon story, published on this website.

You can find a video of making this cake on my YouTube Channel.

Chocolate Cupuaçú Cake

 

Chocolate Cupuaçú Cake

Serves 8 to 10 people

 

Equipment: one 9-inch springform cake

Two sheet pans, greased and lined with parchment paper

 

For the Cupuaçu Cream:

1½ teaspoon unflavored gelatin powder

1 tablespoon water

½ cup (100g) sugar

2 eggs

2 bags (100ml each, 200ml total) frozen cupuaçu pulp, thawed

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into small pieces

 

For the Flourless Cake:

4 oz (110g) bittersweet choc

6 tablespoons (45g) unsalted butter, softened

8 tablespoons sugar (100g) sugar, divided

1 teaspoon cocoa powder

2 egg yolks

1 large egg

Tiny pinch of salt

6 large egg whites at room temperature

 

For the Chocolate Mousse:

1¾ cup heavy cream

2 large eggs, room temperature

4 large egg yolks, at room temperature

10oz (280g) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

½ cup (100g) sugar

3 tablespoon water

 

For the Chocolate Glaze:

1¼ cups heavy cream

225g semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped

 

Prepare the Cupuaçu Cream: Sprinkle the gelatine in a small bowl and pour the water to moisten it.

In another large bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, and cupuacu and place over a pot of simmering water (the bowl should not touch the water). Cook, whisking constantly until the cream starts to thicken and whiten. This is going to take some patience, anything between 10 and 15 minutes, and you have to babysit, whisking constantly, or else, it’s going to curdle. You are looking for a creamy consistency, light and fluffy. Remove the bowl from the water.

Gently melt the gelatin in a small pan, over low heat (or you can even use the hot water; hold the bowl of gelatin for a few seconds right onto the hot water, making sure it doesn’t fall or flip into the water, just for a few seconds, until the gelatin is completely melted.

Pour the gelatin into the cupuacu cream and mix with a rubber spatula. Let it cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Pour the cupuacu cream into the bowl of a food processor, start beating and add the butter, a few pieces at a time. The butter and the cupuacu cream must be at similar temperatures. If the cream is hot, the butter will melt and break the cream; if the butter is too cold, it won’t melt, and you’ll have pieces of butter.

Line the springform mold with a piece of plastic film. Pour the cupuacy cream into the cake ring and spread it smooth using an offset spatula. Freeze for at least 3 hours (or up to 2 weeks), then remove from the pan because you will need it to assemble the cake. Keep the cupuacu in the freezer until ready to make the cake.

Prepare the Cake: Pre-heat the oven to 350˚F. Prepare two sheet pans greased, lined with parchment paper, and greased again. (don’t try to use a Silpat; it will not release the cake as we want.)

Melt the chocolate in a metal bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Stir the chocolate with a spatula.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, three tablespoons of sugar, and the cocoa powder, and beat on medium speed until the mixture is nice and creamy.

Add the yolks and egg and continue to beat. It will look curdled, but don’t worry; it comes back together when you add the chocolate.

Add the melted chocolate and beat until it is well blended.

In another bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, place the egg whites and salt, and start beating on low speed, gradually increasing to high speed while adding the remaining five tablespoons sugar until soft peaks.

Carefully incorporate one-third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then gently fold in the rest, stirring carefully from the bottom up until the mixture is nice and light.

Divide this mixture into the two sheet pans and spread thin. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes or until nothing sticks to your fingers when you touch lightly. You’re looking for a flexible cake, not dry.

Remove from the oven and let them cool in the pan. Carefully peel off the parchment paper, and let the cake rest in a safe place until ready to assemble.

Prepare the Mousse: In a clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream, starting at medium speed and gradually moving to a faster speed until it holds soft peaks. Set aside.

Melt the chocolate in a metal bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Stir the chocolate with a spatula until it’s all melted, and immediately remove it from the hot water. Set aside.

Now, we will make what is called in French cooking a “pate a bombe”: Place the sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook without stirring until it reaches soft ball stage, around 257˚F if measured on a candy thermometer. If you don’t have a thermometer, make a small bowl of iced water. When the sugar is boiling high, leave your fingers for at least 60 seconds in the ice water, then very quickly deep into the sugar syrup and back in less than a second into the ice water. You will get some sugar, and it needs to be in the softball stage.

While the sugar is cooking, start beating the eggs and yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until it begins to foam and rise.

When the sugar is ready, carefully pour into the eggs in a steady stream, increasing the speed to high. Be careful not to make any splashes with the sugar, but it might, and it’s normal. Continue beating at high speed until the eggs double in volume, very creamy, fluffy, and light. Fold the melted chocolate into the eggs using a rubber spatula, then fold in the whipped cream.

Assemble the Chocolate Cupuaçú Cake: Cut three circles out of the chocolate sheet cake. Center a cake board inside the springform. These chocolate sheets cakes are so thin that it’s okay if you need to patch them.

Spread about 1 cup of chocolate mousse and smooth with an offset spatula. Position another cake layer on top, pressing down very gently. Now add a light coat of mousse. Remove the cupuacu cream from the freezer and place it on the mousse. Spread another light coat of chocolate mousse on top of the cupuacu cream. Cover with another cake layer and finish with the remaining mousse (you will only use three cake layers). Refrigerate the cake while you prepare the chocolate glaze.

Prepare the Glaze: Place the chocolate in a medium bowl and set it aside.

In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a boil over medium heat. Let sit for a few seconds, then whisk gently. Immediately pour over the chocolate.

Run a knife dipped in hot water around the edges of the springform cake, then release the metal ring.

Place the cake over a rack and pour the glaze all over the cake, covering the entire surface and sides. Carefully transfer to a beautiful cake pedestal and serve this gorgeous dessert to your guests.

 

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You can buy my cookbooks on Amazon: Latin Superfoods is my latest cookbook, I’m also the author of The Brazilian Kitchen and My Rio de Janeiro: A Cookbook.

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Leticia

 

 

 

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