The runner-up in the first series of Australian Masterchef was a beautiful Malaysian-Australian woman called Poh, who specialised, unsurprisingly, in Asian cuisine. Poh did very well out of her Masterchef exposure, gaining her own TV show on the ABC as well as a book of the same name, Poh's Kitchen. Unfortunately, Poh's Kitchen was always on my Pilates night, so I only saw one or two episodes as Saturday morning catch-ups. However, as a food blogger, I ran across the magnificent Le Papillon Cake that featured on her show, created by the regular chef on her show, Emmanuel Mollois. The cake is called "Le Papillon" solely because of the large chocolate butterfly that sits atop it in full flight.
I knew that I wanted to make a Le Papillon, but the long list of expensive ingredients and time that it would consume did not justify making it as an everyday cake. However, the perfect opportunity to make this cake came up - my lovely friend and taste tester Sandra's birthday was yesterday, and I made Le Papillon for her.
Taking heed from the comments at the end of the recipe, and after a little bit of Googling to see who else had made this cake, I decided to make a modified version by Steph of Little Pot Belly. She had cut down on all the extravagant quantities of ingredients (which you don't need - there is a fair bit of waste even with Steph's version), and converted the cake from a dome mould to a 9 inch springform pan. Perfect! You can find Steph's version of Le Papillon here. (However, do refer to the original recipe site, which features videos on how to cut the biscuit for a dome cake and how to make the butterfly.)
The modifications that I made were:
- I made a milk chocolate mousse using melted down Easter eggs instead of a dark chocolate mousse. This means that my cake was sweeter because the mousse was milk chocolate, but it saved me having to buy a truckload of extra chocolate just for the cake and ensured that some of the many Easter eggs that my kind family and friends gave to me disappeared before they disappeared down my gullet and reappeared on my paunch.
- I used crushed cornflakes in the croustillant layer instead of crushed icecream wafers (an idea gained from the comments on the original ABC version of the recipe).
- I used rhubarb raspberry vanilla jam instead of raspberry, primarily because that is what I had.
- I coated all of the sides of my cake with crushed up treats.
- The coating on the side of my cake was crushed Maltesers (like US Whoppers) instead of crushed biscuit and nuts.
Here are some of the steps in pictures:
This is one of the biscuit (jaconde) layers being brushed with chocolate sugar syrup (which you make more of than you use by miles):
This is the croustillant layer after being glued on top of one of the biscuit layers using chocolate mousse:
This is the other biscuit layer being spread with jam:
Here is the first layer of mousse being slathered over the biscuit/croustillant base of the cake:
and after being studded with raspberries: