This idea came to me after eating some Pocky. You know Pocky? These are cookies from Japan. I buy them at the Vietnamese market. They come in different flavors, strawberries, banana, coffee, chocolate and they even have Men’s Pocky, I guess that one is reserved for men, because it is flavored with dark chocolate, more virile a flavor!
To assemble this cake, just make your favorite chocolate cake recipe and bake in a square pan. Cool the cake and cut in squares.Each square will serve as the rabbit’s cage, so figure on as many rabbits as cages or squares.
Make some chocolate ganache, let it firm up a bit in the fridge (15 minutes should suffice) and spread it on the cake square. Plant the (store-bought) rabbit on the cake, insert the Pocky sticks all around and cover his cage with a cloud of cotton candy; drop a few candied sunflower seeds as eggs all around the rabbit.
NOTE: If you buy the Pocky at the regular American supermarkets you will find that they are marked up by at least 200% compared to the Asian markets (at least in Dallas)
If you are having a hard time finding cotton candy (I found it at a carnival and then at my local supermarket) you can make a poached meringue and use it as the cloud on top. The advantage there is it will last a couple of days, while the cotton candy goes limp very quickly. Check this post, follow the same recipe but add more sugar (up to a cup) to the meringue base. You can also bake the meringue in a 200F oven for a couple of hours or longer until dry.
I am submitting this to All through the year cheer.
To make the ganache:
- 1 cup of whipping cream
- 2 chocolate bars (like Lindt bittersweet or Ghirardelli 60%) 200 g or a bit less than 7 ounces
- Place the cream in a heavy-bottomed saucepan; bring to a simmer. Take off the heat and place the chocolate, broken in pieces in the cream. Let it melt, stirring a bit. Add a half tablespoon of liqueur or vanilla if you like.
To make the cake:
- 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa (Dutch-pro)(63 g)
- 1 cup of boiling water
- 3 large eggs (150 g)
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla
- 2 1/4 cups+2 tablespoons of sifted cake flour (235 g)
- 1 1/2 cups of sugar (300 g)
- 1 tablespoon of baking powder
- a dash of salt
- 12 tablespoons of unsalted butter, softened at room temperature (225 g)
- Preheat the oven at 350F (180C). Whisk the cocoa and boiling water till smooth. Cool.
- In another bowl, mix the eggs, vanilla and 1/4 of the cocoa mixture.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and mix for 30 seconds; Add the butter and remaining cocoa mixture and mix until all the ingredients are moistened. Beat at high speed for 90 seconds; add the egg mixture in three additions, mixing well for no more than 60 seconds.
- Pour the cake in a cake pan, previously lined with parchment paper and grease and floured on the sides. Bake about 30 minutes until the cake springs back when touched lightly and a tester comes out clean. Cool and use. (Recipe is from The cake Bible, by Rose Levy Beranbaum)
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