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I’m so excited to share this cookbook review for Dini Kodippili’s brand new cookbook, Secret-Layer Cakes. Dini has a blog called The Flavor Bender with delicious food and beverage recipes packed with loads of flavor. Before I tell you about the Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookie Pudding that I’m Pintesting, I have to tell you about the recipe that caught my eye.
I have a love of bacon, as you can see from this, this, this, and this post. So when I saw that Dini had a recipe for a Brownie Bottom Candied Bacon Cheesecake, I just about lost it. Brownie + Cheesecake is always delicious, but the add Candied Bacon?!?!?! And just look at that ganache that blankets the lot with chocolate. I’ve had maple-candied bacon. I’ve had chocolate covered bacon. But this looks swoon-worthy.
But the recipe I’m testing is the Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookie Pudding. I was so excited to try this because it’s very tiramisu-ish (if that’s a word). It’s a no-bake dessert – like tiramisu – but instead of using ladyfingers, espresso, and a mascarpone custard mixture it uses Maria cookies, milk, a Mexican Hot Chocolate buttercream, and is topped with stabilized whipped cream and toasted marshmallows. And if that wasn’t enough, the cinnamon and hint of cayenne in the buttercream is a fantastic replication of what makes a Mexican hot chocolate so unique.
Rather than break them up, I included all of the ingredients for all components for this dessert. This is definitely a recipe that you want to have all of your ingredients all prepped and ready for – mise en place!
The Custard/Swiss/French Buttercream starts with 6 egg yolks and 3 whole eggs and sugar.
Whisk them with the spices.
Once they’re mixed, continue to whisk them over a double boiler so that you’re not eating raw eggs. You’ll want to keep whisking by hand for this or you’ll have a layer of scrambled eggs in the bottom of the bowl.
After about 7 minutes on the double boiler, remove the bowl from the heat and whisk even more to cool the mixture down. Then mix in the butter, one stick at a time, until it’s fluffy.
Add the melted chocolates and vanilla.
Now it should look exactly like it does in the cookbook. I was so excited to see it an EXACT MATCH!
The Stabilized Whipped Cream:
Stabilized whipped cream is something that every baker should know how to make. It’s perfect to use when you want your desserts to look fabulous for more than 10 minutes. I use stabilized whipped cream for things like strawberry shortcake or as a light frosting.
First, sprinkle the gelatin powder onto the water.
Once the gelatin has bloomed, or solidified, then microwave it to melt it into a liquid state.
Prior to all this, chill the mixing bowl and whisk in the freezer. This will give the best results for whipped cream. You want them COLD!
Whip the heavy cream and add the melted gelatin once the cream starts to get soft peaks.
Keep whipping until you have stiff peaks but DON’T walk away or you’ll end up with butter.
*You can make the buttercream and stabilized whipped cream components and stop here if you’re planning ahead of time or you can assemble the dessert from this point.
Prepare a springform pan by covering the bottom and sides with parchment. My parchment ring for the sides went above the sides of the pan – and it’s a good thing.
In a tiramisu-ish fashion, dip the cookies in warmed milk and layer in the bottom of the pan.
***NOTE: Don’t soak them for more than 1-2 seconds or you’ll end up with a soggy milk mess.
Layer the soaked cookies to make a crust.
Then spread it with a layer of the buttercream.
Continue layering for at least 4-5 cookie layers.
Smooth the top layer of buttercream.
Top with the stabilized whipped cream.
Chill to let the flavors and textures get all happy and perfect. I recommend overnight, but wait at least a couple of hours.
Do you see how tall this cake is? THIS is why the extra height of the parchment liner is helpful.
Now comes the fun part. Put a ring of marshmallows on the cake, get your kitchen torch, and toast them like you’re on a campout.
***NOTE: If you don’t have a kitchen (or other) torch, DO NOT try to toast the marshmallows in the oven broiler – it will melt the cake.
This is how the Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookie Pudding… cake looks when it’s done.
Just look at all of those layers of cookies and buttercream! The left side shows how it looked after it chilled for just under 2 hours before I cut a slice. The right side shows how the cake looked after chilling overnight.
This was one of the most flavorful desserts I’ve ever made. I really loved the ‘Mexican Hot Chocolatey’ cinnamon and cayenne kick that is balanced by the cool of the whipped cream. The Maria cookies aren’t sweet so the dessert isn’t cloying. I had work colleagues, coffee-house friends, and random strangers taste it. Here’s what they said:
- “decadent without being too rich”
- “the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten”
- “it’s cool, light, and has a zap that surprises”
While it isn’t on Pinterest, I’m going to be giving my usual Pintesting results. But first – LET’S DO A GIVEAWAY!
If you want a chance to win a copy of the Secret-Layer Cakes Cookbook, use the Rafflecopter below to enter. One lucky winner will get a copy of the Secret-Layer Cakes to make your own desserts with “hidden fillings and flavors.”
CONGRATULATIONS to Jessica, the winner of the cookbook giveaway! If you didn’t win, you can still order your copy by clicking here.
Overall Results: 4.25
Accuracy: This dessert turned out EXACTLY like the recipe said it would. Every step of each component was well laid out with clear directions. The flavors in the buttercream were spot on with a Mexican hot chocolate; rich and complex. The milk-soaked Maria cookies carried the texture in tiramisu fashion. The stabilized whipped cream and toasted marshmallows were the, well, icing on the cake. (Pun incredibly intended.) 5 Pins
Difficulty: This might not a great cake choice for a novice – even if it is a “no bake” dessert. There are several components. The buttercream is a cross between a custard-based French buttercream and egg-white-based Swiss buttercream. An experienced baker should be fine with this, but it could be a challenge to someone lacking. 4 Pins
Time: This dessert isn’t one that you can whip up in a jiffy. Like tiramisu, it takes time to make and chill – neither of which can be rushed. 3 Pins
Cost: My local grocer had all of the ingredients for this (yay!). While nothing was expensive, it did take a whole pound of butter, 9 eggs, 2 kinds of chocolate, and 2 sleeves of Maria cookies in addition to the other ingredients. 4 Pins
Practicality: If you’re looking for a dessert that will impress beyond imagination – this will fit the bill. The combination and paradoxes of flavors, textures, (heat & cool, rich & light), and the fun of the toasted marshmallows on top make an extraordinary dessert that will have people talking about and raving over it. Since this is a “special occasion” dessert, I’m delighted to give it 4 Pins.