Sunday, 12 April 2015

Traditional "Mona de Pasqua" (Easter cake), did it my way

If you search in Google images "Mona de Pascua" (Spanish traditional Easter cake) you'll find so many options that it seems difficult to find the one and only traditional way. Depending on where you live, is one or the other, so, when I decided I would make the "Mona"this year, after looking and looking, I decided on one of these versions but my way. That is, where I use chocolate whipped cream maybe others use jam, or where I use cream others use butter.

So this is my interpretation of the "Mona" this year, there will be someone who likes it or maybe who thinks is an aberration of tradition. Either way, if the cake doesn't suits you for Easter, you can always change feathers and chickens for nice candles and it will be perfect as a birthday cake.

And so, if this my interpretation, why have I title this entry as "traditional"? Well, first of all because this cake looks exactly as the ones called "traditional" that always I have sawn in my neighbourhood bakeries. But above all, because it is the first cake I prepared with "no weird stuff" (here in Barcelona buttercream, cream cheese, red velvet, sugarpaste and this kind of things are new and often seen as "weird stuff" for people used to traditional baking). So, no buttercream or cream cheese or strange sponge cakes. Just "pa pessic" (traditional catalan sponge), a chocolate whipped cream filling and caramelized custard on top. As simple as this, even no atrezzo for the pictures! By the way, I found chocolate truffle much easier to make than buttercream, as more tasty as well!!!



 For the sponge "Pa de pessic":
  • 6 eggs
  • 125 gr sugar
  • 125 gr flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
 For the chocolate whipped cream:
  • 500 ml whipping cream - very cold
  • 40 gr unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 75 gr icing sugar
For the custard:
  • 150 gr eggs (aprox 3eggs)
  • 150 gr sugar
  • 12 gr cornflour
  • 45 gr water
 For decoration:
  • Almond flakes
  • Brown sugar (for caramelized the custard)
For the sponge, line and grease a 20-22 cm round pan and preheat the oven to 170ºC - 340ºF. Separate the yolks from the white. Reserve the whites and beat the yolks with the sugar until they have a texture similar than butter. Add the flour and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs whites to form stiff peaks. Gently combine with the yolks mixtures carefully, until well combined. Put the mixture into the pan and bake for 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes clear. Let cool in a wire rack.

For the custard, mix the sugar and the cornflour. In a saucepan, beat the eggs with thewater, add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and put on low heat, stirring constantly for about 10-15 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat and let cool covered with plastic wrap touching the surface (to avoid a thick layer on the top of the cream)

For the chocolate whipped cream, whisk the whipped cream. Wait until soft peaks appers, and then add the cocoa powder and the sugar. Continue whisking until it's firm.

To assemble the cake, cut the sponge into three layers. Fill with the chocolate cream and cover also the sides. "Paste" the almonds. Put the custard on top, smooth it, cover with a little brown sugar and a burn it with a blowtorch.