Fancy Easter Bunny Cake

Easter’s almost here! During the mini blogger meet that I told you about in a previous post we also baked a lovely cake! Nadine’s initial idea was to make a 3D easter egg, but since that didn’t work out and so the creative wheels started turning. Mannin had a great idea at hand for an Easter bunny cake and so we ran with that. The result was a cake born truly out of teamwork!

Pre-ears it’s still looking a bit creepy (picture by www.baksels.net)

So what’s exactly fancy about this cake? you ask. Well, it’s made up of ingredients which are perhaps a little advanced. The base is a light and nutty sponge with a praliné mousse filling (recipes both courtesy of Nadine). Small cakes make up the cheeks (Mannin’s recipe), on which a creamy chocolate ganache is poured to create an even surface as it were. Chocolate is then used to give the bunny some personality. You need a little patience, but the result is absolutely scrummy (and fun!). It’s a fun activity for Easter, if you want to avoid the busy, large furniture stores for example (although that might be a Dutch thing). 

Here I’m “murdering” the Easter bunny (picture by www.baksels.net)
Fancy Easter Bunny Cake Recipe
 
Makes: one 18cm/7″ Easter Bunny Cake
 
Tools: 18cm/7″ spring cake tin, sugar thermometer, silicone half sphere mould (if you don’t have one of these you could bake the bakes in a muffin tin instead, and sculpt the cakes into half spheres by cutting), toothpick
 
Ingredients:
 
Praliné mousse:
3      egg yolks
45    grams caster sugar
45    ml water
80    grams milk chocolate
50    grams hazelnut nougat
240  grams whipped cream
 
Chocolate-hazelnut sponge
3     eggs, separated
50   grams caster sugar
seeds of 1/2 vanilla pod
pinch of salt
1     tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2  teaspoon baking powder
30    grams plain flour
40    grams ground hazelnuts
 
Cakes for cheeks (leftover cake you could make one of these; or have it as a snack!)
50   grams unsalted butter, softened, at room temperature
100 grams caster sugar
1    medium egg
50  grams plain flour
 
Chocolate ganache
75  grams dark chocolate, chopped finely
65  grams whipping cream
15  grams unsalted butter, softened, at room temperature
 
Decoration
White chocolate + (pre) red colored white chocolate  (for eyes, teeth, nose)
50 grams milk chocolate (for ears)
 
1. Start off by making the praliné mousse. Melt the chocolate and hazelnutnougat au bain marie. Set aside. Whip the egg yolks until light and fluffy. Set aside. Cook water with sugar in a heavy bottomed pan until the mixture reaches 115C/240F. Then quickly add the sugar syrup to the egg yolks, whilst continuously whisking, until the mixture has cooled somewhat. Pass the yolk mixture through a sieve into a separate bowl to remove any hardened sugar. Whisk the chocolate and hazelnut nougat into the mixture until you have a firm mixture. Mix the whipped cream in until evenly distributed. Place mousse in fridge to firm up.
 
2. Make the chocolate-hazelnut sponge. Grease your springtin and line the base with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 190C/370F. Whisk the egg yolks with 20 grams of sugar and vanilla seeds until frothy. In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites with 30 grams of sugar and the salt until stiff peaks form. Add a third of the egg whites to the yolk mixture, beating firmly to loosen the mixture. Then carefully fold in the rest of the egg whites. Sift the cocoa powder, flour and baking powder into a separate bowl, then carefully fold into the egg mixture. Lastly, fold in the ground hazelnuts. Pour into the cake tin and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. Once baked, leave in the tin to cool.
 
3. Make the cakes for the cheeks. You can bake these directly after you’ve baked the sponge, just make sure to lower the oven temperature to 180C/360F. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and whisk for about 5 minutes, making sure you scrape down the sides of the bowl every now and then. Sift the flour into the mixture and carefully fold it in. Fill three of your mould’s cups with the cake batter until 2/3 full. Bake for 30 minutes, or until they are golden brown and a skewer comes out clean. Cut the risen tops off the cakes immediately after baking so that it is level. Leave to cool.
 
4. Once everything has cooled, assemble the cake. Cut the sponge in half, spread the mousse on one half and top with the other half. Position the “cheeks” on top. Make the chocolate ganache. Bring the whipping cream to a boil. Once boiling, take off the fire and add the chocolate to the cream. Stir until chocolate has melted. Add butter and stir until incorporated. Place cake on a wire rack with a baking tin underneath (see second picture) and pour ganache over cake. Make sure the whole cake is covered – you can re-pour the ganache which you have collected in the baking tin. Set cake aside. Sculpt or pipe chocolate decorations. If piping, make sure your chocolate is melted au bain marie. Add chocolate decorations to the cake. 
 
Tip: make some meringues with leftover egg whites!
 
 

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