1. Have a container ready (high temperature proof) and coat with oil lightly, using a paper towel.
2. In a small cooking pot, add water and agar powder. Melt the powder over medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Heat and stir until the agar powder melts completely. It usually takes about 1 to 2 mins.
3. Add the sugar. Melt the sugar, stirring constantly to prevent burning with a spatula. It will be very foamy and bubbly. Keep on stirring for about 2 to 3 min.
4. Remove from the heat and immediately pour the espresso. Mix well.
5. Transfer into a prepared container through the sieve.
6. Chill in the fridge until it has set. It should be firm enough to cut.
7. Remove from the fridge and cut into small pieces, using the knife or even with your hand (about 2 to 3 cm dices) and place them on a baking sheet. You can also coat the pieces with sugar to make them sweeter.
8. Let the candies sit there for 2 to 3 days (it may even take up to 5 days, as it depends on so many factors : climate, season,...). Eventually their surface should dry out completely. The candies will be crystallized with a jewelry finish. They are crunchy outside, but inside texture is like jelly.
9. You can keep your “kohakutou” in an airtight container for about 2 weeks.
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (mix with 1 tsp instant coffee powder if you like.)
For the cake top
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1. Cut a piece of parchment paper to cover the bottom and sides of a jelly-roll pan.
2. Sift flour into a medium bowl and set aside. Pre-heat the oven to 190C degree.
3. Beat eggs with sugar in a medium bowl until creamy (about 3~5min) with an electric hand mixer.
4. Gradually add the flour and mix the batter until all the lumps are gone, using spatula.
5. In a small cup, add butter and milk and microwave for 10 to 15 sec at 600w. Mix to melt. Then add into the mixture (#4). Scrape the bottom of the bowl to ensure all the ingredients have been incorporated evenly.
6. Pour the batter onto the prepared sheet pan and spread into an even layer. Flatten the surface with the spatula.
7. Bake for about 10~12min or until light golden in color.
8. Remove from the oven, immediately loosen the edges of the cake from the pan gently. Flip the cake upside down. Peel off the parchment paper you just used for baking (you could even use printing paper sheets). Let the cake cool completely.
9. Place the sponge cake onto the plate you are going to use. Then spread coffee onto the cake evenly. Let it cool down to room temperature. Using a sieve, dust the cocoa powder (mix with 1 tsp coffee powder) over the cake.
10. In a bowl, add mascarpone, cream cheese and sugar. Beat until just combined and smooth. Gently fold the whipped cream (soft-peak) into the cream mixture and mix well.
11. Spread the cream mixture over the sponge cake. Dust the top with cocoa powder.
12. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight before serving.
50g cream cheese (e.g. philadelphia Plain Cream Cheese)
85g white sugar
200g heavy cream (whipping cream)
5g gelatin - dissolve in 20ml water
100g whole milk
For the topping
5g unsweetened cocoa powder
1. Line the bottom of a 15 cm circle cake pan (removable bottom) with parchment paper.
2. Process flour, almond powder, sugar and coffee powder in a food processor for a few seconds and then add butter. Process until mixture becomes crumbly : do not process too much as the dough should be crumbly.
3. Spread the crumbs onto the baking sheet and bake for about 20 to 25 mins or until lightly brown at 160℃. Remove from the oven. Put aside 40g cookies for the topping.
4. While the crumbs is hot, press them into the bottom, using a spatula. Set the cake pan aside in the fridge.
5. In a bowl, add mascarpone, cream cheese and sugar. Mix well until soft.
6. In a small pan, add the milk and heat it up to about 50~60℃ degree (do not boil), then add the dissolved gelatin. Melt it well and let it cool to room temperature.
7. Pour the milk into the cream cheese mixture little by little and mix well each addition.
8. In a another bowl, add the heavy cream and whip to soft peak, then mix with the cream cheese mixture well.
9. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the cake pan (from the fridge). Crush the topping cookies which you put aside at the step 3, using a wooden stick and add cocoa powder and sugar. Mix well.
10. Sprinkle the topping cookies onto the cake and let stand for at least 6 hours or overnight in the fridge.
Tip on How to unmold : wet a towel with hot water and apply to the side of cake pan gently. Place the cake mold onto the jar (like a jam jar) and slide the side or the cake pan down.