Hi everyone! We’ve just reached 1000 subscribers on Instagram which is crazy! To celebrate, I’ve decided to realize a Number Cake with a combination of flavors that most people love. It is made up of a cocoa sponge cake, garnished with some whipped vanilla ganache and praline, and decorated with some caramelized almonds and hazelnuts, dots of praline and sliced strawberries. This is a very easy recipe to make that requires only 3 different preparations!
The size of the numbers are a little bit smaller than a A4 format. The number 1 is 19cm long and 9,5cm at the wider part and 5cm at the narrowest part.
The number 0 is also 19cm long but is 13cm wide.
You can of course make this recipe with different numbers.
For 4 numbers:
Cocoa Sponge Cake:
- 9 eggs
- 270g of granulated sugar
- 200g of flour
- 70g of unsweetened cocoa powder
Whipped vanilla ganache:
- 700g of full liquid cream (420g + 280g)
- 350g of white chocolate
- 8,3g of powdered gelatin
- 1/2 tsp of vanilla seeds (or 2 vanilla beans)
- 5 tsp of vanilla extract
Praline and caramelized nuts:
- 150g of almonds
- 150g of hazelnuts
- 200g of sugar
- 50g of water
- 2g of salt
- 100g of water
- 30g of sugar
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 70g of strawberries
- 80g of caramelized nuts
- A bit of praline
Let’s get started!
1. We’ll begin by printing the numbers. Here’s the PDF file I’ve used. To have a size smaller than the A4 paper, in the printing settings, you need to adjust the size percentage to 75% for the number 1, and 70% for the number 0.
For the whipped ganache (you need to make it the day before):
1. Hydrate the gelatin in 6 times its weight in cold water.
2. Bring to boil the greater quantity of liquid cream (420g) with the vanilla seeds and vanilla extract. For a better flavor, you can let it infuse 30min-1h.
3. Pour the boiling cream in 3 times over the melted white chocolate and stir vigorously.
4. Add the hydrated gelatin and the remaining cream (280g) which needs to be cold.
5. Wrap with cling film (the film must touch the surface) and refrigerate overnight.
Now, for the sponge cake:
1. In a bowl, crack the eggs and add the sugar. Whisk at high speed for 10-15min. The mixture must have tripled in size and when you lift the dough it should form a nice ribbon that stays on the surface.
2. Fold in the sifted flour and cocoa, in three times, with a silicone spatula by lifting the dough from the inside to the outside. Make sure to scrap the bottom of the bowl and that there are no pockets of flour left (you may still have some small chunks but they’ll disappear in the oven)
3. Spread the batter between two baking trays of 33cmx38cm covered with parchment paper. If you have only one baking tray, you can cook it in two times.
4. Cook for ~12min in a 180°C (fan-assisted) preheated oven. The surface must have a nice golden color. You can watch the edges, they must begin to darken.
5. Once it is cooked, slide it on your work surface and let it cool down completely.
6. When it is cold, gently unmold the cake. If you make it a day ahead, you can wrap it with aluminum so it doesn’t get dry.
Third preparation, the praline:
1. Preheat your oven to 150°C (normal mode) and roast the almonds and hazelnuts for 10-15min.
2. Bring to boil the water, salt and sugar and let it cook until it reaches 116°C. If you don’t have a thermometer, it is when there are big bubbles in the middle and on the edges, but it is not very accurate, so I really recommend buying a thermometer.
3. Add the roasted nuts and stir. A thin layer of sugar will coat the nuts. Keep over low/medium heat until all that white sugar caramelizes.
4. When there is no sugar left, you can spread the nuts over a silicone mat (or a greased baking tray) and let them cool down.
5. Put 200g of the caramelized nuts into a food processor (or blender). Mix until you get a thin and smooth praline. It can take up to 10min depending on the power of your food-processor.
6. Place the praline in a jar and keep at room-temperature.
7. Crush the rest of the caramelized nuts into small pieces (I’ve used a knife) and store them in an airtight container.
For the syrup:
1. Bring to boil the water with the sugar and vanilla extract. Let it boil for a couple of seconds.
2. Set aside until use.
It’s time to assemble!
1. Take your ganache out of the fridge and whip it by increasing the speed gradually. It must have the same consistency as for a whipped cream, firm enough to stick to the whisk.
2. Place the ganache in a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip. Refrigerate for 1h.
3. In each sponge cake rectangle, you can cut one number 1 and three 0.
4. On your serving dish (I’ve found a big cardboard in a stationery that I’ve covered with cling film), place the number 1 with the three 0. Soak each number with syrup.
5. Pipe the whipped ganache. If the cream is too cold to be piped easily, you can let it at room temperature for 10-15min.
6. In the middle of each number, add a generous amount of praline. Cover with the second layer of sponge cake.
7. Soak the cake and pipe some whipped ganache.
8. Refrigerate for 20min before decorating.
9. To decorate your cake, add some sliced strawberries, as well as some dots of praline and the crushed caramelized nuts that we’ve made earlier.
Your delicious Number Cake is ready! Enjoy!
Don’t forget to write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to share your pictures of the recipe and your opinions! I will add them at the bottom of this article.