A share-worthy birthday baking recipe
By Sharon Miki, Humour Editor
Taking the time to conceptualize, craft, and adorn something yummy lets your friends know that you love them in a (literally) sweet and sharable way. Here’s my recipe for an Instagram-themed crowd-pleasing mousse, jelly, and cake confection—adapted with pleasure from howtocookthat.com.
This cake is a bit time-consuming as it requires several parts, so I made it over the course of a few days—which works out fine, because the cake needs to be kept in the freezer as it’s being made and up until an hour before you want to serve it.
Step 1: Rainbow Jello
1 x 85 g pack of strawberry, lime, berry blue, and lemon Jello plus 4 x 300 mL cream
Red, yellow, blue, and green food colouring
Put each colour of Jello plus 300mL of cream in its own bowl and mix together with a fork. Add corresponding drops of food colouring to each bowl until you have the desired colour. Heat the red mixture in a saucepan until it boils and the crystals are dissolved; pour it into a rectangular loaf container lined with aluminum foil until the layer is a few millimeters high, and then put this in the freezer.
Repeat the heating process with each colour, one at a time. Let each colour cool and then add a layer of about the same thickness as the first to the loaf pan until you have four layers: red, yellow, green, and blue. Let this freeze for a few hours. When ready, cut out a rectangular slice and place it in the bottom of a large rectangular loaf pan, where you will assemble the rest of the cake. Use a picture of the Instagram logo as your guide for sizes of all the components throughout the process.
Step 2: Chocolate cake lens and viewfinder
1 x package of your favourite chocolate cake mix
You could bake a cake from scratch, but because this is a small, decorative layer, I decided to bake a rectangular sheet cake from mix to save time. Bake the cake according to directions and let it cool. Then, cut out a long, square strip of cake to fit the length of the final loaf tin for the viewfinder. For the lens, use a shot glass to make enough round circles that, when lined up, fit the length of the tin as well.
Step 3: Milk chocolate mousse
50 mL milk + 50mL cream + 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 egg yolks + 2 1/2 tbsp sugar + 2 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp gelatin + 1/4 cup water
250 g milk chocolate
Additional 250mL of cream
In a bowl, whisk egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch until smooth.
In another bowl, mix together the water and gelatin.
Place the milk, cream, and vanilla into a saucepan and heat until it boils; then, pour it slowly into the egg yolk mixture while stirring. Once combined, pour the mixture back into the saucepan and heat—while stirring constantly—until it’s thick, letting it bubble for about a minute.
Take the mixture off the heat and add the gelatin/water mixture.
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate, and then stir it into the rest of the custard-like mixture. Let it all cool, then whip the rest of the cream and fold it into the cooled chocolate-custard mix.
Pour a bit of the cool mixture into the tin as a base. Then, assemble your cake viewfinder on the side, and pour more mousse over everything to the desired level based on your logo picture (it should be a bit higher than the rainbow layer). Put the tin in the freezer.
Step 4: White chocolate mousse
300 mL milk + 100 mL cream +1 tsp vanilla
6 egg yolks + 5 tbsp sugar + 4 tsp cornstarch
2 tbsp gelatin + 1/2 cup water
250 g white chocolate
Additional 500 mL of cream
Use the same process to make the white chocolate mousse as the milk chocolate.
When the white mouse is ready, take the tin out of the freezer and use an ice cream scoop to carve out a space from the milk chocolate in the middle to place your lens. Assemble your cake circles in a tight line, then cover the whole thing with the white chocolate mousse.
Step 5: Chocolate crispy base
150 g melted milk chocolate + 2 tbsp melted, unsalted butter + 1 cup Rice Krispies
Combine the melted chocolate and butter, and then gently mix in the Rice Krispies. Spread the mixture evenly over the mousse-filled tin. Put the whole thing in the freezer for a few hours to set.
Step 6: Frost and decorate
Take the tin out of the freezer and place it in a hot water bath in the sink (being careful not to let any water into the tin) for about 30 seconds. Place a cutting board or serving platter on top, and then flip it over so you can remove the tin. Frost the whole thing with a thin layer of your favourite frosting, and decorate as desired.
Try it out, take a picture, and share it with us on Instagram! @theotherpress