21st Chocolate Somló sponge cake by Michelin star Onyx restaurant
Somló sponge cake is a traditional Hungarian dessert that you can order in almost every restaurant and of course you can easily make it at home. You can use sponge cake from the shop, spread it with vanilla cream, cut it into cubes, sprinkle the cubes with crushed walnut and pour chocolate sauce onto them, add a little spirit (rum or a liquor) and decorate it with whipped cream. Easy to make and delicious.
However the Michelin star restaurant, Onyx raised this recipe to an artistic dish. Here is how they make this elaborated dessert!
Recommended wine: Patricius Tokaji 6 puttonyos aszú, 2005
The 21st century Somló sponge cake is among the emblematic dishes of Onyx. This is their only dish to remain on their menu for several years and is considered as the epitome of their philosophy. A traditional dessert in a new format. This complex dessert deserves a complex and rich wine, a real king – a 6 puttonyos Tokaji Aszú.
1/2 litre full cream milk
40-45 g cornflour
125 g icing sugar
6 egg yolks
50 g salted butter
2 pods of Tahitian vanilla
Put the cornflour and half of the sugar into a heavy pan. Add in the milk, constantly stirring with a wooden spoon. Scrape out the seeds from the vanilla pod and add both seeds and pod to the sweet milk. Bring to a boil stirring constantly. In another pan beat the egg yolks to a cream, and then pour the vanilla milk through a fine sieve over the eggs, continually whisking. Warm this vanilla cream but remove from the heat as soon as you see the first bubbles appear. Remove the vanilla pod and put the cream immediately into a bowl cooled with ice cubes. When it has cooled to 50°C, add the butter, whisking all the time.
225 g cream 35% + 580 g cream 35%
25 g glucose
25 g inverted sugar (trimolin)
305 g Jivara lactée Valrhona 40% milk chocolate
Warm 225 g cream, the glucose and the trimolin to 90°C, mixing with a palette knife all the while. Put the chocolate in a mixing bowl and slowly add the 90°C cream, glucose and trimolin mixture. Keep stirring but ensure no air gets into the mixture. When the chocolate has melted, and the ganache is perfectly homogenous, you can add the remaining 580 g cream (cold).
For the walnut cream
250 g walnuts
120 g sultanas
125 ml water
125 ml dry Tokaji Szamorodni a pinch of salt
Put the walnuts in a tray and roast in a 140 degree oven. Grind when cooled. Meanwhile cut the sultanas finely. Boil up the wine and water, season with a little salt. Add the ground walnuts and finely chopped sultanas and bring slowly to the boil for 1-2 minutes. When it is ready cover with foil and set aside to cool.
60 g egg yolks
150 g whole eggs
115 g icing sugar
95 g egg whites
40 g brown sugar
40 g plain flour
35 g Valrhona cocoa
Mix the flour and the cocoa powder and sift together. Put aside till later. Cream the egg yolks, the whole eggs and the icing sugar. At the same time whip the egg whites, but not too hard, with the brown sugar. Bring the two mixtures together in the mixer at a medium speed. Slowly but surely add the flour/cocoa mix. Pour into a square cake tin to a depth of 1.5cm on a silicon sheet. Bake in a preheated oven with the fan on at 180°C for 12–16 minutes. When it is ready, leave to rest for at least 30 minutes before starting to work with it.
125 ml water
125 ml dry Tokaji Szamorodni 60 g sugar
2 cl 80% rum
juice and zest of 1 orange
Boil up the water, Tokaji Szamorodni and sugar. Wait until the temperature cools to 70°C and then add the rum, orange juice and zest. Sieve when it is totally cool.
250 g Nappage Chocolat Absolu Valrhona 50 g water
Heat the chocolate to 45°C in a bowl over hot water. Add the water and use a spatula to make an emulsion. Try not to add air into the mixture (that is why we do not use a whisk). Mix until it cools to 40°C. If it is too cool, it will set before time. If it is too hot, it will melt the layer below.
100 g ground walnuts
100 g icing sugar
100 g plain flour
100 butter at hand temperature
Mix everything but the butter in a mixer. Then slowly add the butter in small amounts until you have a beautifully uniform mixture. When it is ready, cover tightly in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 24 hours. Grate it cold onto baking paper. Bake for 10 minutes in a dry, preheated oven at 150°C. When it has cooled gently rub together.
Each element is in itself a characterful component. To ensure that one cream does not overwhelm another, you must bring all into perfect harmony! And, as this is a dessert in a glass it is worth selecting an attractive vessel. Use a 5-7cm diameter cutter to cut 12–14 gram rounds of sponge. Spread these rounds with 6-8 grams of walnut cream. Place in the marinade for 3-4 seconds and take out immediately. Place walnut cream side down. Put aside until the end of the next step.
Pour 28–30 grams of the vanilla cream into the bottom of the glass. Place in the soaked sponge round spread with the walnut-cream facing down. Use a spoon to press the sponge into the vanilla cream – so the top of the cream and the sponge are in line. Place in the fridge for two hours until the cream and the sponge are a little firmer. When the vanilla sponge has set enough pour 46–50 g of chocolate cream into the glass. This cream should spread of its own accord. Place in the fridge for 24 hours. Then top with the chocolate glaze, which naturally you prepare freshly. This spreads with more difficulty so turn the glass in your hand to make it cover everywhere. Add about 5-6 g per glass. Put in the fridge and you can serve it perfectly well – without any spoilage – for the next 3-4 days. When serving sprinkle over the walnut crumbs and add a ball of cream to finish.