I always assumed that dome cakes would be incredibly complicated to make and way above my skill level. However, after doing a little research, I discovered that it is actually quite simple as long as you have the right equipment. To make these, you will need two silicon demi-sphere moulds, one approximately 8cm in diameter and the other around 3cm. It also helps if you have a cookie cutter the same diameter as the largest demi-sphere (I just used a glass).
These delicious little cakes have a hazelnut cake base, vanilla panna cotta exterior and a gooey honey-fig centre. If you are not a huge fan of figs you could always use raspberries or apricots instead.
Makes 5 cakes
For the honey, fig centre (This can be made a day in advance)
- 200g of fresh figs cut into small pieces
- 20g of raw cane sugar
- 20g of honey
- 1 regular strength gelatine leaf
Place the gelatine in a small bowl filled with cold water and set aside.
In a small saucepan, caramelise the honey then add the figs and allow to slowly cook for 15 minutes. Use a stick blender or food processor to purée the mixture. Pour back into the saucepan and reheat. Squeeze the water out the gelatine and using a whisk, ensure that the gelatine is completely incorporated. Pour the mixture into the small demi-sphere mould and freeze for several hours or overnight.
For the hazelnut cake
- 100g of roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped.
- 66g of almond meal
- 66g of icing sugar
- 100g of egg
- 10g of flour
- 66g of eggwhite
- 30g of caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 190°C. Beat together the icing sugar, almond meal and the egg (whole eggs not the egg whites) until the mixture is thick and pale. The mixture must double in volume.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggwhite on medium speed while gradually adding the caster sugar. Once all the sugar has been incorporated, continue to beat for a couple of minutes. This is your meringue mixture.
Using a spatula, carefully fold in 1/3 of the meringue mixture and the flour into the egg mixture. Once fully incorporated, continue to fold in the following 2/3 followed by the chopped hazelnuts.
Line a baking tray with baking paper. Pour on the mixture and smooth it out so it is approximately 1cm thick. Bake for approximately 7-10minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Use the cookie cutter or glass to cut five circles the same size as the largest demi-sphere.
For the vanilla panna cotta
- 400ml of cream
- 100ml of milk
- 3 regular strength gelatine leaves
- 60g of sugar
- ½ tsp of vanilla seeds
Place the gelatine in a small bowl and cover with cold water.
In a saucepan add the cream, milk, sugar and vanilla seeds. Slowly bring to the boil. If you have time, remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the vanilla to infuse for 20minutes. Otherwise, once the mixture has come to a boil, remove from the heat and whisk in the gelatine.
Place the large, silicon, demi-sphere mould on a hard surface that fits in your fridge and freezer i.e. a chopping board. Fill the mould to just below the brim with the warm panna cotta mixture and place in the fridge for approximately one hour or until it has slightly cooled.
Remove the large spheres from the fridge and remove the mini fig sphere from the freezer. Place one frozen, fig demi-sphere, flat side facing up, in the centre of each panna cotta dome, then top with a disk of hazelnut cake. Place in the freezer for several hours or overnight.
For the white chocolate glaze:
- 60g of milk
- 25g of glucose syrup
- 3g of gelatine
- 150g of white chocolate
- 15g of water
- 4g of pink food colouring
Place the gelatine in a bowl and cover with cold water. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a bain-marie and set aside.
Place the milk, water, food colouring, and glucose in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil then remove from the heat and add the gelatine. Pour this mixture on the melted white chocolate and whisk until it is smooth and glossy.
Remove the cakes from the freezer and push them out of the silicon mould. Place some plastic wrap on a bench and then place a baking rack on top. Place the dome cakes on the rack and evenly pour over the white chocolate glaze (ensure that the glaze is still quite warm and not too thick, you may need to reheat it a little). Allow to drip for several minutes then carefully place them on a plate or board and put them in the fridge.
At this stage I decorated mine with shards of chocolate and finely sliced fresh figs. You can do the same or feel free to be creative.