Saturday, February 4, 2012
Mini Chocolate Cheesecake Ruffle Cakes (GF)
I'm a sucker for anything "mini" and ruffle cakes are one of my new favorite things to make. This weekend I decided why not combine the two?
I'm not sure if you've ever made a big batch of mini layer cakes, but it's no walk in the park. I once made mini heart layer cakes, frosted with an offset spatula and what a pain in the butt those were! Not only were they very time consuming because mini cakes aren't as stable as larger cakes to frost individually (they're tiny and weigh almost nothing, so it's hard to get a grip), but I don't own any cake rings, so I baked 3 regular sized round cakes and cut out heart shapes with cookie cutters, layered them together, and frosted them.
Icing these mini ruffle cakes with a pastry bag is actually much easier than creating a smooth layer with an offset spatula. Especially if you don't bother with sticking a layer of cheesecake in between the cake layers like I did. My main excuse for making these mini cakes is that I'm determined to find as many ways of using my new mini-cheesecake pan as possible. Since each cake comes out of the pan with a narrow, evenly sized height, unlike a cupcake, you can create mini individualized cakes by using this pan without as much fuss.
For the Chocolate Cakes: Makes 12
1/4 cup, plus 1 tbsp white rice flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1 tbsp sorghum flour
2 tbsp cup almond meal
1/4 cup, plus 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
Scant 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup, plus 2 tbsp warm water
1/4 cup, plus 2 tbsp buttermilk
1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil or canola oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
PS: If you're not Gluten Free, replace the flours and starches with 1 1/2 cups AP flour
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease each cup of mini-cheesecake pan. Set aside.
Place flours, starch, almond meal, and cocoa powder in food processor and whirl until fully combined. Place in large bowl. Add sugar, salt, eggs, water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla extract. Stir with large spoon until fully combined, scraping the sides of bowl as you mix.
Fill each cup about 1/2-2/3 way full. Bake at 325 degrees until cakes spring back to the touch (about 18-20 minutes).
For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
4 egg whites (from large eggs)
1 cup granulated sugar
3 sticks butter, unsalted
1 tsp vanilla extract
Fill a saucepan with water and heat on stovetop until simmering. Place egg whites and sugar in bowl of stand mixer. Place bowl over simmering water and whisk continuously until sugar is dissolved and whites are foamy (or until mixture registers 160 degrees on a candy thermometer).
Place bowl onto mix and beat with whisk attachment on medium-high until fully cooled. Cut butter into pieces. While mixer is running, add butter piece by piece, mixing well after each addition. Continuing mixing until all butter is added and fully combined. Take off whisk attachment, add vanilla extract and food coloring. Beat with paddle attachment for 2-3 minutes.
For the Cheesecake filling: (recommended- make these the night before, if using)
1 8-oz package of cream cheese (at room temperature)
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cheesecake pan and set aside.
Combine cream cheese, sugar, and egg. Add vanilla extract. Once mixture is fluffy and has come together, scoop out evenly sized portions and add to each cup of mini-cheesecake pan (do not fill more than 1/2 full).
Bake for about 14-18 minutes. Allow to cool for 20-30 minutes prior to removing from pan.
Cut each cake in half. Place cheese cake layer in the middle of the cake. Once each cake is assembled, pop in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Frost the tops of each cakes gently, using an offset spatula. To create the ruffled sides of each cake, fit pastry bag with a #103 Ateco tip.
Hold bag vertically, slot of tip perpendicular to cake. Use a swift back-and-forth motion to make each ruffle column.
Top each cake with a fondant heart cut-out.