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Ernst Knam: the sweet recipes that made him famous


Sacher Knam

Let’s discover Ernst Knam’s easy-to-make recipes at home that made him famous as the king of chocolate.

Ernst Knam is known to most as the king of chocolate. For years now the face and judge of Bake Off Italia, the German-born pastry chef with his severe character no longer pleases everyone, but the same cannot be said of his desserts. Ernst Knam’s recipes differ from those of other famous pastry chefs due to their relative simplicity of preparation. We are not talking about the classic mix and pour cakes, of course, however with a minimum of patience everyone can replicate them . Let’s find out which are the best Ernst Knam cakes.

From his Milanese pastry shop, sweet creations come out, one after the other. Some famous, others less so, many have been presented on occasions of the aforementioned pastry-themed talent, becoming from time to time also at the center of the rehearsals. This could therefore suggest complex desserts instead their goodness lies entirely in the skilful combination of tastes.

Sacher cake by Ernst Knam

Sacher Knam
Sacher Knam

Who better than a German, plus a pastry chef, could make a perfect Sacher cake ? Compared to the most popular recipes on the net, there are no major differences in preparation, but the result is nothing short of amazing.

Ingredients for 8 people:

  • 65 g of flour
  • 90 g of sugar
  • 20 g of powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 65 g of butter
  • 245 g of dark chocolate
  • 130 ml of fresh cream
  • 150 g of apricot jam
  • 1 pinch of salt

First you need to beat the butter with the icing sugar then add the egg yolks one at a time, 75 g of melted chocolate and the vanilla extract. Incorporate the egg whites whipped separately with the sugar and finally the flour and a pinch of salt. Pour into a 20 cm diameter mold and cook at 170 ° C for 40 minutes . Once cold cut two discs, stuffed with apricot jam and cover with a ganache prepared by melting the chocolate with the cream.

Three chocolate mousse

Knam's three chocolate mousse
Knam’s three chocolate mousse

Another dessert that made the maestro famous is the three chocolate mousse . Few desserts like this can be considered a triumph of chocolate and the perfect balance of flavors and textures is the key. The preparation is divided into two steps: the basic marquise and the three mousses.

Ingredients for the marquise:

  • 100 g egg yolks
  • 300 g powdered sugar
  • 225 g egg whites
  • 90 g bitter cocoa
  • 30 g potato starch
  • caster sugar

Whip the egg yolks with 100 gd sugar and the egg whites with the remaining one, then add the two compounds. Stir in the starch and cocoa and pour everything on a baking tray and then cook at 200 ° C for 10-12 minutes. Cut out an 18 cm disc and put it in a pastry ring of the same size then set aside.

Ingredients for the mousses:

  • 125 g dark chocolate 60%
  • 125 g of milk chocolate
  • 125 g of white chocolate
  • 375 g fresh liquid cream
  • 75 g egg yolks
  • 4.5 g isinglass
  • gianduia chocolate to taste

Whip the cream and egg yolks separately. Soak the squeezed gelatine and dissolve it in a little cream or milk. Melt the three types of chocolate in a bain-marie then prepare the mousses by incorporating 1/3 of the cream, eggs and gelatin in each. Form the layers on the marquise base starting with the dark one, then the milk one and finally the white, leaving each one to solidify in the freezer for 2 hours. Decorate with gianduia chocolate and serve.

Giulio cake

Giulio Knam cake
Giulio Knam cake

Dedicated to one of his sons,Torta Giulio is a kind of chocolate tart filled with salted caramel and chocolate ganache. Preparing it is not very difficult but a minimum of organization is required.

Ingredients for 8 people:

  • 200 g of flour 00
  • 40 g of bitter cocoa
  • 225 g of sugar
  • 50 g of eggs
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 215 of butter
  • 1/2 sachet of baking powder
  • 150 g of dark chocolate 60%
  • 210 ml of fresh cream
  • 2 g of salt

First, prepare the pastry by mixing flour, 125 g of sugar, bitter cocoa, vanilla and yeast. Then add the cold butter and, once you have a crumbled dough, also the eggs. Form a loaf and let it rest in the refrigerator for an hour. Roll it out to form a layer of half a centimeter and line a 22 cm diameter pan. Cook in white, ventilated mode at 175 ° C for 15 minutes, then remove the weights and continue for another 5 minutes. In the meantime, melt the sugar and once caramelized , add 100 g of warm cream, the remaining butter and salt. Once cold, pour it into the shell and leave in the freezer for an hour. Bring the remaining cream to the boil, melt the chocolate and once cold pour it all over the caramel. After an hour in the refrigerator , your dessert is ready to be tasted.

Afrika cake

Afrika cake
Afrika cake

There is a truly incredible coffee-flavored cake by Knam: the Afrika cake . Composed of a chocolate marquise and topped with a chocolate mousse , it is not very difficult to prepare.

Ingredients for 8 people:

  • 200 g of egg yolks
  • 200 g of egg whites
  • 600 g of powdered sugar
  • 180 g unsweetened cocoa (+ to taste)
  • 60 g of potato starch
  • 400 g of dark chocolate
  • 800 g of fresh cream
  • chopped chocolate to taste
  • granulated sugar to taste

Whip the egg yolks with 200 g of sugar and the egg whites with the remaining one, then add them and add the sifted cocoa and starch. Pour onto a baking tray to form a layer of half a centimeter and cook for 9 minutes at 200 ° C sprinkling with sugar once ready. Melt the chopped chocolate keeping it at a temperature between 45 ° and 50 ° C then add it to the semi-whipped cream. Create the marquise base in a 22-24 cm ring then pour the mousse and leave in the refrigerator for 2 hours before serving.

Mocaccina cake

Mocaccina cake
Mocaccina cake

Ernst Knam’s last dessert that we will see today is the mocaccina cake made up of a cocoa shortcrust pastry base filled with coffee custard and dark chocolate ganache.

Ingredients for 8 people:

  • 185 g of flour 00
  • 15 g of unsweetened cocoa
  • 100 g of butter
  • 175 g of sugar
  • 40 g of eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 250 ml of milk
  • 25 g of corn starch
  • 235 ml of fresh cream
  • 220 g of dark chocolate
  • 20 g of ground coffee
  • 250 g of white chocolate
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Prepare the pastry by working the butter and 100 grams of sugar with an electric whisk. Add the 40 g of eggs, always with the whips in action, and then add the vanilla, salt, flour and cocoa. Form a loaf and let it cool in the refrigerator. Prepare the custard by working the egg yolks, sugar and corn starch and then adding the milk. After 10 minutes on the stove it should be ready: add the vanilla extract. Melt the dark chocolate with 110 ml of cream and transfer 250 g of the mixture into a separate bowl where you will also melt the instant coffee and add the custard. Roll out the pastry, fill with the coffee cream and bake at 180 ° C for 40 minutes. Cover with the white chocolate ganache and decorate with the remaining dark chocolate one.


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