Monday, March 8, 2010

HCB - Chocolate Apricot Layer Cake with Lacquer Glaze (Wedding Anniversary Cake)

This week's recipe for the Heavenly Cake Bakers was the Chocolate Apricot Roll with Lacquer Glaze. I decided to transform this week's HCB cake into a layer cake... our wedding anniversary cake to be exact :o) The recipe says to fill the roll with chocolate ganache. Unfortunately, my husband is not a huge dark chocolate fan so I wanted to use something else to fill my layer cake. A while back I came across a white chocolate mousse recipe in Tish Boyle's book, Chocolate Passion, that caught my attention. I'm glad it did because it is phenomenal.

After doing some calculations, I figured that the surface of the required sheet pan for the biscuit roulade, is equivalent to four 8" round pans, where the cake's final height is 1/2". The biscuit batter was easy to put together. This butterless sponge cake relies on air beaten into the eggs for leavening. It's baked in a very hot oven for about 7 minutes. Unfortunately, one of the cakes turned a little too dark on the bottom so I didn't want to use it. This meant that instead of a 4-layer cake, I'd end up with a 3-layer cake which was fine too.

For the cake's filling and frosting, I used the white chocolate mousse recipe from Tish Boyle's book, Chocolate Passion. This recipe starts with a pastry cream to which finely chopped white chocolate is added. To lighten it, whipped cream is folded into it. If you refrigerate the mousse for a few minutes, it becomes thick enough to pipe. Don't bother counting calories. Just enjoy in moderation :o) Tish Boyle has very kindly given me permission to share the recipe here with my blog readers. Thanks Tish! You can find the recipe at the end of this post. A printable version of the recipe can be found HERE.

Although I didn't make lekvar, I used the best store-bought apricot preserves I could find. I heated up the preserves and then used my immersion blender to puree it. Instead of reducing the pureed preserves, I omitted the syrup and used the puree as-is to brush on the cake layers.

The lacquer glaze used to top off this cake is wonderful. It's so shiny! Just beautiful. It has great flavor too. It's very chocolatey and has a great fudgy texture after it's cooled. Since I only needed it to glaze the top of the cake, I made only half of the glaze recipe.


Final thoughts/tips:
  • Hubby and I loved this cake. He rated this cake 9 out of 10. The apricot flavor was very subtle. The cake was soft and spongy. The best part was definitely the white chocolate mousse filling. Light (not in calories!), sweet but not too sweet, with a great vanilla flavor and a slight tang from the white chocolate. The lacquer glaze offered a great contrast to the sweet filling. The amount of glaze was just right. All in all, a huge success.
  • To make the biscuit cake, I heated the eggs and sugar until the mixture felt hot, to ensure I got the most volume. Another reason I did this is laziness, ha ha. I didn't have superfine sugar and didn't feel like getting out my food processor. By heating the eggs, the granulated sugar would quickly dissolve anyway. So it's a win-win :o)
  • The white chocolate mousse is thick enough to pipe, making it great for filling, frosting and decorating your cake.
  • From other HCB-ers I learned that the lekvar was a huge success so I'll have to try that sometime.

White Chocolate Mousse

Printable recipe

This recipe is an adaptation of the White Chocolate Mousse recipe on page 73 of Chocolate Passion by Tish Boyle, reprinted with Tish Boyle's permission. I slightly modified the steps and I added 1/4 cup of sugar to the whipped cream.

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 1/4 tsp powdered gelatin
  • 1/4 cup/1 oz cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup/1.75 oz sugar
  • 2 cups milk, divided
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 6 oz good-quality white chocolate, such as Lindt, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp/1 oz unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup/1.75 oz sugar
  • Place the water in a small cup. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let the mixture soften while you prepare the mousse.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the cornstarch, sugar, 1/2 cup milk until smooth. Whisk in the eggs and egg yolk until blended. Pour the remaining milk in a heavy, noncorrosive saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until small bubbles form around the side of the pan. Gradually whisk 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into the cornstarch/sugar/egg mixture until blended. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan.
  • Continue cooking over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture starts to form bubbles. Continue stirring and boil the mixture for 2 minutes. Take the pan off the heat. Add the white chocolate and the gelatin mixture. Whisk until smooth. Stir in the butter until blended.
  • Strain the mixture through a sieve into a large bowl. Stir in the vanilla extract. Place the bowl over a bowl of ice water and stir for 5 to10 minutes, until cool. Remove the white chocolate mixture from the bowl of iced water.
  • In a chilled large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer set at medium speed, beat the cream and sugar until soft peaks begin to form. Do not overwhip the cream. Using a rubber spatula, fold one-third of the whipped cream into the white chocolate mixture to lighten it. Fold in the remaining whipped cream.
  • Approximately 8 cups
Serve the mousse as-is, or use it as a cake filling or frosting. Refrigerate leftover mousse.


  1. Happy Anniversary Hanaa! :)

    I like the way you made your cake! It looks delicious and so pretty! So clever of you to change it to a layered cake! I would never have thought of that. White chocolate mousse sounds so yummy, i have to try that one of these days too!

  2. hanaa dear .. what a beautiful cake ! your husband is one lucky man.

    and are those rosebuds piped mousse ? beautiful .. I love the dripping icing. gorgeous.

  3. ב''ה

    Looks great! Nice idea.

    Well done.

  4. What a gorgeous cake! That white chocolate mousse looks fantastic...I'll have to fit that one in somewhere. Happy anniversary!

  5. This is just beautiful. I wish I'd done a layer cake--roulade just isn't my thing, in the end, though I was proud of how it rolled up. But this is just masterful, I may need to try it.

  6. Happy Anniversary!
    Your cake looks wonderful.

  7. First of all, Happy Anniversary! Secondly, that cake looks gorgeous! Love the sound of the filling. I will have to try this one, maybe for our anniversary in July! :)

  8. Happy Anniversary!

    What a gorgeous cake. The glaze is just stunning.

    And that white chocolate mousse is inspired... will write that in the margins of the book for next time.

  9. Happy Anniversary Hanna:) Cake looks great!

  10. I love the variation that you pulled off! And the dark glossy finish against the white looks stunning!

    Sort of like a formal affair!

    Happy anniversary

  11. Quite a transformation, and a beautiful result. Happy anniversary!

  12. Thank you all very much for your anniversary wishes.

    @gartblue: yes, the piped decoration on top is done with the white choc mousse. I've updated the post to indicate that this mousse is thick enough for piping :o)

  13. Happy Anniversary! how many years are you married?
    The cake looks very tempting, hope your day was as wonderful as the cake!

  14. Simply stunning! What a beautiful anniversary cake. You have some serious decorating skills.

  15. so beautiful !!congratulation!! so delicious!!

  16. Happy Anniversary to you and your husband! Beautiful cake - great job on making it so even. I used biscuit roulade for 1 layer in a cake recently! My roulade didn't turn out to be very even - I think one side is a bit shorter than the other. Love the black and white contrast and great job decorating!

  17. Gorgeous cake Hanaa! Happy Anniversary to you and your husband :)

  18. Hi Hanaa, Happy Anniversary! This cake does sound really delicious. I'm always amazed when people are able to decorate cakes this well too-nice.

  19. Happy anniversary! The cake looks amazing, I'm so impressed with your decorating skills.

    I made my first cake (almond chiffon) from Rose's Heavenly Cakes a couple weeks ago and loved it.

  20. Thanks for stopping by my blog, it gave me a great opportunity to discover yours! What a lovely cake for an anniversary...just gorgeous inside and out. Happy Anniversary!

  21. Hanaa, what a great post! Your cake is phenomenal! You even took the extra effort to get Tish's permission to poste the mousse recipe. Well a happy belated anniversary wish to you and your hubby!

    The cake decorations on top are beautiful and perfect too!

    The hike was wonderful last Sunday and the weather was perfect! Thank you for asking. I even brought cookies to share with the other hikers in our group.

    Hanaa, I am getting Ashley (only daughter) ready for college (35 minutes from home), getting her set up for both of us to volunteer at the local St Anthony's hospital and helping her find a part-time job to help pay for gas. I was trying to spread all these things out so she wouldn't feel overwhelmed but I guess she likes the pressure, I don't know =(. So, my baking and all fun projects were put on hold until I can get her set. College starts March 29th. Life always finds a way of working out and this will too but everything is a little humorous because she reminds me so much of myself at her age. =o)

    Happy baking Hanaa!

  22. SOO gorgeous! I don't know where to start - The elegant dark and white, the basket-weaved heart, the beautiful floral circlet- Just so wonderful. I know it tasted delicious.
    Happy Anniversary. joan

  23. Hi hana,

    Its truly amazing that you do so many events. I am just a post old in Heavenly cake bakers and I was late for that as well. How do you do it??
    Great job and all your cakes are really innovative. The apricot cake in this form is really a great idea.


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