Sarah Bernhardt cakes originates back to 1911, where a Copenhagen pastry chef (Johannes Steen) created this cake as a tribute to the world-famous french actress, Sarah Bernhardt, when she came to Copenhagen to mark the publication of her memoirs in Danish.
The cake is a Danish makron cookie topped with a ganache covered with dark chocolate and decorated with candied violets.
I use the traditional recipe from "Kager & konfekt fra Kransekagehuset" with a few modifications.
Makes about 12 cakes.
- 12 Danish makroner
- 150 g dark chokolate min. 60% cocoa, (a good one, I use Valrhona)
- 100 g milk chocolate (a good one, I use Valrhona)
- 1⅔ cup (4 dl) heavy whipping cream (use an organic with milk as only ingredient)
- 200 g min. 60% cocoa, (a good one, I use Valrhona)
- candied violets
Chop the chocolate fine. Bring the cream to a boil in a saucepan, remove the pan from the heat and let the cream cool down to 60℃. Add the chocolate while stirring, and continue to stir until the chocolate is completely melted. You should now have a shiny chocolate sauce/ganache. Cool the ganache in the refrigerator overnight.
The next day whip the ganache with a stand mixer, be careful not to over mix the ganache, this will cause the ganache to curl and become grainy.
Put the ganache into a pastry bag (decoration bag) with a plain round tip. Pipe the ganache on the back side on the makron cookie as a peak. Transfer to freezer until very firm, about 1 hour. (This is where I made a mistake. My cookies were in the freezer overnight, and this made the filling to cold, and caused the condensation on the covered cookies).
Tempering dark chocolate:
Chop the chocolate finely, set just under ⅓ of the chocolate aside, and add the rest into a stainless steel bowl. Set the bowl on to a saucepan with very hot water. Let the chocolate melt while stirring. When the chocolate reaches 122℉ (50℃), take the bowl off the hot water. While stirring let the chocolate cool until it reaches 95℉ (35℃), add the rest of the chopped chocolate and stir vigorously until its all melted. When the chocolate reaches 82-84℉ (28-29℃) put the bowl over the hot water again, and heat the chocolate to 88℉ (31℃), and now its ready to use for coating.
Remove cookies from freezer. Working quickly so that the filling doesn't melt, use a fork to hold cookie above bowl of chocolate, and spoon melted chocolate over cookie. Place filling-side up on cooling rack placed over a baking sheet, sprinkle the candied violets on the tip of the cookie. Refrigerate until ready to serve.