Recipe/Tutorial: Chocolate Truffle Shroom Cake Inspired by Paper Mario!

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[Props to KevinandAmanda.com for the Paper Mario-esque font!]

This month the Fandom Foodies have organized another awesome theme… Mario Month! Mario Month is being hosted by Bryan over at Level 1 Chef, who you may remember as hosting Zelda Month this past November!

Check out Bryan’s host post here to see how to participate and also check out all the cool contributions made so far!

I chose to make Shroom Cake, which appears in the Paper Mario game series! In-game it’s usually composed of actual mushrooms combined with cake mix. I briefly considered experimenting with candy caps, the only mushroom generally accepted as working out in desserts… but honestly, I wanted to do something a little easier to replicate. That’s why I admit I cheated: my mushrooms are meringues and I made a chocolate truffle filling as a wink to edible fungus. Truffle/truffle. Geddit? I know; I’m lame.

As an aside, Level 1 Chef appears to be developing a version of Shroom Cake using candy caps! Count on a fellow Fandom Foodie to be the brave chef I couldn’t muster up the energy to be this month.

SHROOM CAKE

SUPPLIES
1 6″ round cookie base (recipe below)
2 6″ chocolate sponge cakes (recipe below)
Kahlue syrup (recipe below)
Truffle Filling (recipe below)
Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse (recipe below)

Acetate or parchment cake collar, 4″-5″ high
Tape
Cake Spatula
Pastry brush

1. Snip the tip from the bag holding your truffle filing and use a dab of it to secure the cookie base to your serving plate. Spread a thin layer of the truffle filing on top and top it with your first cake layer. Use a pastry brush to cover the layer of cake liberally with with kahlua syrup.


2. Wrap the cake collar all around the cookie base/cake. Pull it so that it’s a tight fit around the cake and secure the cake collar with a piece of tape. Snip the tip off of your mousse bag and pipe a thin layer of mousse onto the cake layer. Now pipe rings of filling as shown below: a rim of mousse, a circle of truffle, another ring of mousse, another circle of truffle, and mousse in the center.


3. Top this layer with another thin layer of mousse, then add on the second cake layer. Brush liberally with syrup. Top with a thin layer of the mousse and place the cake in the fridge for 4-6 hours to set up completely.


4. Once the cake has set, remove the cake collar. Smooth the sides with a spatula if you want. Top with 6 meringue mushrooms and serve!

COOKIE BASE
65g (1/2 cup + 1 tbsp) flour
10g (scant 2 tbsp) cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 pinch salt
30g (2 tbsp) sugar
1 tsp. strong vanilla
50g (scant 1/4 cup) margarine or butter, softened

1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and line a 6″ cake pan with parchment paper. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt and set aside. In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the dry ingredients all at once and mix until it just comes together. NOTE: It might take a good while to come together since there’s little liquid, but keep mixing and it will come together into a ball. If things go in the other direction and the dough becomes too sticky, chill it for a moment before continuing to knead.
2. Pat the dough into the bottom of your parchment-lined cake pan. Prick the dough with a fork all over, then bake for about 15 minutes at 375°F (190°C). Allow to cool completely before removing from the pan, or else it will crumble.

CHOCOLATE CAKE
3 eggs
1.5 tbsp hot water or coffee
80g (1/3 cup + 1 tbsp) sugar
1/2 scraped vanilla bean OR 1 tbsp. good vanilla
60g (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
20g (scant 3 tbsp) corn starch
10g (scant 2 tbsp) cocoa powder
1 pinch cinnamon
2 tsp. baking powder

1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease, flour and line the bottoms with parchment on to 6″ cake pans.
2. Using a hand or stand mixer, whip the eggs with the hot water on high speed until doubled in volume and very pale in color. This can take up to 10 minutes. While still mixing, gradually add in your sugar, HALF the baking powder, and scraped vanilla bean. Beat on high speed for an additional two minutes.
3. Sift together your flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder, cinnamon and remaining baking powder. Carefully fold the flour mixture into the whipped egg in two parts, taking care not to deflate the batter. Split the batter between your two pans and bake at 350°F (175°C) for 23-30 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Allow to cool.

KAHLUA SYRUP
100g (1/2 cup) sugar
100ml boiling water (1/3 cup + 1 tbsp)
50ml kahlua (for a non-alcoholic option, use a double shot of espresso)

1. Stir together the sugar and boiling water until dissolved. Finally, stir in the kahlua.

TRUFFLE FILLING
200g (7 oz) good quality dark chocolate, chopped
100g (3.5 oz) heavy whipping cream
30g (2 tbsp) butter
2 tbsp triple sec or other liquor of choice (optional)

1. In a microwave safe bowl, combine all ingredients except the triple sec. Microwave 30 seconds at a time, stirring between each heating, until the chocolate has melted. Whisk until smooth. Add the triple sec. Fill into a plastic piping bag and allow to set at room temperature for 4-6 hours.

CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT MOUSSE
350ml (1.5 cups) heavy whipping cream, cold
120ml (1/2 cup) chocolate hazelnut spread
1 tbsp good vanilla
1.5 tsp. gelatin
3 tbsp. iced coffee or ice water

1. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold coffee and allow to sit for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, whip the heavy cream with a mixer until you have achieved soft peaks. Add the vanilla and hazelnut spread and beat until just combined.
2. Gently warm the gelatin until just dissolved, but do not boil. With the mixer still running, drizzle the gelatin into the whipped cream. Beat until you have just barely achieved medium-stiff peaks. Fill into a large piping bag and use immediately.

MERINGUE MUSHROOMS
50g (1/4 cup) sugar
1 egg white
1 pinch cream of tartar
25g (1 oz) dark chocolate
.5 tsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp good vanilla (or other flavoring of choice)
Ivory food coloring
Cocoa (for dusting)

1. Preheat your oven to 250°F/120°C and line a cookie sheet with parchment. In a clean bowl and with clean beaters, whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar until foamy. Drizzle in the sugar and continue to beat until you achieve stiff, glossy peaks. Add in the vanilla and a few drops of ivory food coloring and mix until just barely combined.
2. Fill the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a broad round tip (I used an ATECO #804). Pipe roughly quarter-sized rounds for the caps, holding the piping bag about 1″ above the surface of the cookie sheet and swirling at the end to avoid large peaks. For the stems, simply pipe a little hill while moving the bag upward. See the gifs below for a visual aid!
  
3. Bake the meringues at 250 for 90 minutes, then turn the oven off and allow the meringues to dry inside overnight.
4. The next day, take out your meringues. Brush them liberally with cocoa powder. Next, melt the chocolate together with the vegetable oil and using a pastry brush, brush it onto the underside of the caps. Finally, dip the tops of a stem into the chocolate and use it to glue on the cap. Allow to set upright, then store in an airtight container until ready to use.

If you want to cut down the amount of work a little, I recommend using Japanese mushroom-shaped candies as garnish instead of making meringue mushrooms. I’ll add a link to those below!

IN THIS ENTRY (affiliate links):

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