Henceforth, he wants to be referred to as His Lordship or HL. (He watches one episode of Downton Abby and he's searching Craig's List for a Valet. (naturally, he keeps getting directed to Casual Encounters) His Lordship. And he’s Irish.)
HL had a birthday and I had an appointment with Miette, very like an appointment at Samarra (Miette, not the birthday).
I chose the coconut mousse cake. I got out my six inch pans, tried to muster up some aversion to my comfortable nine inch pans, read the recipe through and put on my obedient shoes. Two days before the birthday, I got to work.
Hot milk cake. Nothing like hot cross buns or hot buttered rum. No relation to that Hot Milk web-site which is just what you would imagine if you have that sort of imagination. The sugar and eggs are heated in a double boiler to 110 degrees and then whisked in the stand mixer until cooled to 85 degrees and voluminous. The butter is melted in the milk which is heated to 108 degrees and then also whisked and cooled to 83 degrees. All this heating and cooling is important for the final moisture and crumb. When you have simultaneously achieved all the correct temperatures, the dry ingredients are folded into the eggs, then the hot milk is gently folded in with the rest of the batter. I used my candy thermometer, I was vigilant about every degree.
Apparently hot milk cake is a stand-in for the usual dry, white cake and absorbs syrups without becoming gummy.
I really couldn’t attest to that, because naturally it didn’t work for me. The cakes rose around the edges, never rose in the center and developed a thick crust on top. The coconut mousse cake recipe calls for one six inch cake and the hot milk cake recipe makes two six inch cakes, so I was able to slice the layers and end up with one cake.
The good part is the coconut mousse. Coconut puree, a little gelatin and some whipped cream. Say no more.
I sliced the cakes with the handy wire cake slicer; I layered in the coconut mousse, wrapped and chilled.
There is a coconut syrup step that I hesitate to even bring up because I didn’t make a particularly good coconut syrup and my hot milk cake didn’t really absorb any syrup anyway.
Miette wants a boiled icing. Miette apparently owns stock in some candy thermometer company. Actually, the boiled icing was sort of gross but also seriously beautiful. It is hot sugar syrup whisked into egg whites to make a thick and shiny meringue.
I spread the icing, I pressed the shredded coconut all over and back in the fridge it went for more chilling.
The failed cake was incidental. The coconut mousse was all we needed. In fact, the failed cake left a lot of extra space to be filled with more coconut mousse. The boiled icing was a good complement. Next time I might make a nine inch, old reliable, Rose Levy butter cake, and use the coconut mousse with that.
I left it with HL, he ate a little more and threw out the rest. I guess boyfriends are better eaters than Lordships.