Who’s your fave food personality on TV? When I have the tv on, I usually switch to the food channels and I watch a lot of food programs. I have my fave TV food personalities, however I’m not familiar with programing from across the pond (as we say it in the US) so I was delighted to have met Eric Lanlard recently, an award winning master patissier and international baking star from England who has his tv show on BBC Lifestyle channel.
Eric Lanlard is author of five books, a twice winner of the prestigious ‘Continental Pâtissier of the Year’ at the British Baking Awards and the success of his career has seen him baking for the likes of Queen Mother, Victoria and David Beckham, Claudia Schiffer and Madonna. During his masterclass at ToTT, I learned how to make Dark Chocolate Moelleux – a decadent chocolate sponge cake filled with chocolate buttercream and drizzled with chocolate ganache.
Eric did a demonstration on how to make the cake before we got to re-create a version of our own. He is very masterful and a pro at his craft, he makes baking look so easy and fun!
Happily I partnered up in the ToTT kitchen with my buddy Dennis from Superadrianme.com – who has also kindly shared all the photos that you’re seeing in this post). It’s cool to be partnered up with a dude, coz there was quite a bit of elbow grease required and Dennis gentlemanly did most of the laborious work. Kekeke~
Due to time constraint, we had to finish our cakes off-site so we shifted to Casa Moonberry where we completed the assembly of our Dark Chocolate Moelleux. We switched on BBC Lifestyle on the telly and I was in the midst of piping out the buttercream when I heard Eric’s voice booming in the background, coming through the speakers. His program was on tv! Funny, coz just a couple hours prior I heard the man speak in person and there he was again inside the boobtube.
Dennis did this beautiful web motif over the chocolate ganache and added plenty of fresh cranberries into his cake. His cake turned out so gorgeous!
I think the Dark Chocolate Moelleux will be perfect on the holiday table this upcoming festive season. It isn’t very difficult to make, but with practice of course it will be easier. I’ve included the recipe below, have fun baking!
Eric Lanlard’s Dark Chocolate Moelleux
Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus cooling
Cooking time: 40–45 minutes
For the sponge
350g (11½oz) butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
50g (2oz) dark chocolate, roughly chopped
350g (11½oz) golden caster sugar
50g (2oz) black treacle
8 eggs, lightly beaten
300g (10oz) self-raising flour
50g (2oz) cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
50g (2oz) ground almonds
For the ganache
200ml (7 fl oz) whipping cream
200g (7oz) dark chocolate, chopped
For the buttercream
25g (1oz) dark chocolate, roughly chopped
200g (7oz) icing sugar, sifted
100g (3½ oz) unsalted butter, softened
a few drops of vanilla extract
2 tbsp double cream
berries or dried fruits and nuts, to decorate
1. First make the sponge. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F. Grease 2 x 22cm (8½in) diameter shallow cake tins and line with baking paper. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the surface of the water does not touch the bowl.
2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the black treacle. Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, then add the melted chocolate. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder together, then fold in with the ground almonds. Finish with an electric hand whisk to produce a smooth, glossy consistency.
3. Divide the mixture between the prepared tins and level the tops. Bake in the oven for 30–35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tins, then turn out on to a cooling rack.
4. To make the ganache, put the whipping cream into a saucepan and heat to just below boiling point. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, beating vigorously until melted and smooth. Leave to cool to room temperature.
5. To make the buttercream, melt the chocolate as above and leave to cool. In a bowl, cream the icing sugar and butter together using an electric hand whisk until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, cooled chocolate and double cream to form a fairly stiff spreading consistency.
6. To assemble the cake, level the tops of the sponges using a sharp knife. Spread the buttercream over the top of one of the sponges and place it on a cooling rack set over a large plate or baking tray. Place the other sponge, upside down, on top to give a nice flat surface. Pour the ganache over the cake, completely covering it. Smooth with a palette knife and leave to set. Serve decorated with berries or dried fruits and nuts.
Let me know if you are trying this recipe out. Baking Mad with Eric Lanlard airs every Monday, from 16 December 2013, 8.00pm on BBC Lifestyle (StarHub channel 432).