All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.

2014-02-23

Amazake chokoreeto keeki / chocolate cake with amazake

A little chocolate cake with a delightful aftertaste. One of our favorite desserts.




110 calories (1/8 cake slice); 2.4 g protein; 6.9 g fat; 8.4 g carbohydrate; 7.7 g net carbs; 23 mg sodium; 73 mg cholesterol; 0.7 g fiber


<Ingredients>


(for 8.5” x 6.5” or 20.5 cm x 15.5 cm baking sheet; makes 14 cm round cake)

2 eggs
15 g flour or rice flour
20 g cocoa powder
50 g amazake no moto base (see Notes)
1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp Grand Marnier + 1/2 tsp water (not in photo)
130-140 cc heavy cream (36% heavy whipping cream in photo)
1 2/3 tsp sugar
1-2 drops lemon juice (for beating egg whites; not in photo)


<Directions>
1.
Preheat oven to 360 F/180 C.


2.

Line baking sheet with paper, or make a paper mold.
Here, 2-3 cm of the four sides of letter-size (or A4-size) copy paper are folded up and stapled to make a paper mold. (Two sheets of letter-size paper are used here; one sheet would do the job, too.)

3.

Put egg yolks in a large bowl, and egg whites in a small (preferably metal) bowl; place egg whites in the freezer.

4.

Mix flour and cocoa powder.

Sift at least twice with a tea strainer.
Sift the mixture from some height to help fluff it up with air.
Set aside.

5.

Heat some water in a pot.
Add amazake to egg yolks, place bowl in hot water, and beat.


Remove bowl from hot water when egg yolks are warm (slightly above body temperature), and continue beating until color becomes paler and texture is creamy and fluffy (leaves some trace on surface when whisk is lifted).

6.

Put semi-frozen egg whites in a separate large, deep bowl.
Add 1-2 drops of lemon juice, and beat with hand mixer at high speed until relatively stiff.

Add 1/3 of maple syrup, beat, add half of remaining maple syrup, beat, and repeat one more time. 
When egg whites make clear peaks, lower the speed and continue beating for another 1-2 minutes to make a fine meringue.

7.

Take 1/4 of meringue and add to egg yolk mixture.

With a whisk, incorporate meringue into egg yolk mixture well.

8.

Sift 1/2 of flour + cocoa powder from a higher position to incorporate air.

Hold whisk horizontally and fold flour + cocoa powder into eggs. Scoop batter with whisk at the far end of bowl, move whisk along the bottom, and bring it out into the air at the near end (toward you), letting batter drop through the wires. At the same time, turn bowl counterclockwise (for the right-handed) 5-10cm. 
Repeat until flour + cocoa powder is incorporated.
Repeat with remaining half of flour + cocoa powder.

Fold meringue into batter in the same manner, 1/4-1/3 of the amount at a time.
For the last round of mixing meringue and batter, put batter into meringue bowl, and incorporate in the same manner.


Batter is ready.

9.

Pour batter in the center of mold.
Spread batter, starting with the four corners.

Lift the baking sheet, and gently drop it 15-20 cm to the kitchen counter in order to get rid of large air bubbles in batter.
Mist water on surface.

10.

Bake for 10-12 minutes.

11.

Remove from oven, and drop baking sheet from a relatively high position (30 cm) to let hot air out of cake.

Undo staples of paper mold, peel back the four sides, and remove outer sheet of paper.
Place another sheet of paper.

Flip, and cover with baking sheet. 
Let cool completely.

12.

Using a rectangular piece of paper as a guide, remove long outer ends, and cut cake into 4 strips.
Make closely spaced cuts on surface of one end of the first strip. 
Mix Grand Marnier and water, and brush on cake surface.

13.

Add sugar to heavy cream, and beat until somewhat thick.

Take 1/3 in a small bowl, and beat until it makes soft peaks.

Spread it over cake.

14.

Place the first strip on plastic film, with the end with closely spaced cuts toward you.
Lift plastic film and roll the cake, using plastic film as a support.

Place rolled cake on a plate.
Put the other strips around the first layer.
Cut off the end at a slant to smooth outline.

15.

Beat the remaining cream as necessary (still loose, should not leave clear trace when whisk is lifted), put on top of cake, and spread on surface.



Decorate as desired, and put in the fridge.

<Notes>
  • Amazake base above is made with 135 g koji rice malt, 45cc regular rice and 45 cc sweet rice, 500 cc water for porridge and another 350 cc water for incubation; it is then incubated for 8-10 hours.
  • Egg yolks and amazake can be beaten after beating egg whites if whisking is difficult.
  • Heating egg yolks (in other words, beating egg yolks until thick) is not necessary if using baking powder. Baking powder is avoided in the recipe above due to its high sodium content.
  • I use a stainless bowl and flat plate as a substitute for a turntable.  
  • 120 cc heavy cream should be enough to cover the entire surface and simple decoration (marking patterns on surface, for example). The 130-140 cc heavy cream above includes the portion that is removed during the finishing and decoration process.
  • Aside from Grand Marnier, any liqueur, brandy, rum or syrup works fine.
  • When cutting cake, use a sharp knife. Insert the tip in the center, and gently push down to the bottom. Wipe cream with paper towel or rinse with warm water before making another cut to get a neat look.
  • Place a piece of wax paper, parchment paper or foil on the cut surface when keeping the cake in the fridge. This prevents the surface from drying out.
  • Best on Day 1 and Day 2. 
  • Whole cake: 882 calories; 19.0 g protein; 55.2 g fat; 67.4 g carbohydrate; 61.8 g net carbs; 258 mg sodium; 186 mg cholesterol; 5.6 g fiber


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