Chocolate & Coffee Mascarpone Cream, Pear & Date Gingerbread Cake

I think this month of December has allowed me to debate, many times, on my low love for Christmas time. The elements I was mentioning with great efficiency most of the time were the frantic gift race, the cold, the grey skies, the ones who do not have any family for Christmas…well I must say a not so joyful Prévert-style inventory (this famous french poet invented a list with elements that have nothing to do with one another) list. An then, maybe because most of my interlocutors were not convinced and were kindly listening to me, I decided to find some reasons why I could love this moment of the year. So here’s my Prévert inventory looking at the glass ‘half-full’: I love ‘Christmas Carols’ and old American Christmas songs (childhood memories and recent current obsession with ‘Rudolph the Reindeer’), Christmas tree decorations and especially the non-orthodox ones (tropical options like a pineapple or food option like a sushi), the kids urge to see their gifts and the letters to Santa Claus (a must-do), Christmas movies (ahhhh ‘Home Alone’!), my son unwrapping his gifts and the ones ‘home made’ he did for me (which I cherish the most). I love ‘Christmas Crackers’, styling the banquet table, Christmas under the sun with my family and palm trees instead of pines. One thing I do love very much, and especially since the beginning of my blog, is to imagine a recipe that I can make to celebrate the Holiday Season. This year, we decided with Marine of Mimi Confetti to meet and style a cake together. I started from my gingerbread idea with dates and pears served with a coffee or mascarpone cream, and transformed it into a ‘layer cake’.  A multiple layer cake normally made of sponge cakes separated and covered by cream. Sponge cakes have been replaced by gingerbread cakes and I’ve used mascarpone cream to have the layers sticked together. The chocolate flavored cream covered the whole cake. The principle is always the same, only the quantities of cake and cream change. Then we styled the cake and had so much fun placing the flowers, the fruits and sprinkling some icing sugar. Thank you dear Marine for your kindness and great talent. I wish you all a merry Christmas !Ingredients: For the cake

  • 250g spelt flour
  • 180g honey
  • 100g butter
  • 140 ml organic orange juice
  • 50g cane sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp gingerbread mix powder
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground lemon rind
  • 1 peeled pear, cored and diced
  • 2 Mejdool dates, diced

For the ‘layer cake’ icing

  • 180g (70%) dark chocolate
  • 250g mascarpone
  • 1 small strong expresso

For the version with the cream served with the cake

  • 50g (70%) dark chocolate
  • 125g mascarpone
  • 1 small strong expresso

Recipe for the cake served with cream:

  1. Preheat your oven to 395°F
  2. In a bowl, mix the flour and all the other dry ingredients
  3. Add the melted honey and butter, mix well
  4. Add the orange juice and mix well again
  5. Add the diced pear and dates
  6. In a greased and floured pan, pour the mix and let it cook till a knife inserted in the center comes out clean
  7. Prepare the cream by melting at bain marie the chocolate. Once melted, add half of the mascarpone to the chocolate and mix well again. Do the same thing with the coffee and slowly pour the expresso so you do no get a cream that is either too liquid and flavored to your taste
  8. Place the creams in the fridge and retrieve them few minutes before serving the gingerbread

Recipe for the ‘layer cake’

  1. Follow the recipe till point 6. Make 3 identical cakes with a 15/18 cm pan (the final diameter of your cake)
  2. Melt the chocolate at bain marie. Once melted, mix it with 2/3 of the mascarpone; Set aside and place in the fridge
  3. Mix the coffee with the rest of the mascarpone (pour slowly to get the texture and taste you want); Set aside and place in the fridge
  4. Set one cake as the base, then spread the first layer of chocolate cream on top (not too thin, not too thick)
  5. Top with another cake and spread the coffee layer on top
  6. Top with the third layer
  7. Cover the whole cake with chocolate cream and spread well with a spatula
  8. Place the cake in the fridge before decorating it; the cream needs to be a little bit solid to do so. Once decorated, place it back in the fridge
  9. Retrieve it from the fridge few minutes before serving