Caramelized White Chocolate Cream
- With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 250°F (120°C). Place the chocolate on a non-stick or silicone mat-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 40 minutes, stirring the chocolate with a spatula every 10 minutes, until it turns the colour of caramel. Transfer the chocolate to a bowl (see note).
- In a small pot, bring the cream to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes without stirring. Whisk until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours.
White Chocolate Whipped Cream
- Meanwhile, place the white chocolate in another bowl.
- In a small pot, bring the cream to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit for 1 minute without stirring. Whisk until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours.
- With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line the bottoms of two 8-inch (20 cm) springform pans with removeable bottoms with parchment paper. Do not butter the sides.
- In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, spices and salt.
- In another bowl, whisk the eggs, brown sugar, molasses and vanilla with an electric mixer until tripled in volume and falls from the beaters in a ribbon, about 10 minutes. With the machine running on low speed, drizzle in the oil. Using a whisk, delicately fold in the flour mixture. Divide the batter between the prepared springform pans.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of one of the cakes comes out clean. Remove the pans from the oven and immediately turn over onto a wire rack. Let cool completely, about 3 hours. Run a thin blade between the sides of the pan and the cake to unmould.
- Whisk the caramelized white chocolate cream with an electric mixer until semi-stiff peaks form. Set aside ¼ cup (60 ml) of the cream in a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip.
- Whisk the white chocolate whipped cream with an electric mixer until semi-stiff peaks form. Transfer into a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip.
- Cut each cake in half horizontally to have a total of 4 cake layers.
- Place one cake layer on a serving dish. Top with one-quarter of the caramelized white chocolate cream and spread into an even layer using a spatula. Repeat with the remaining cake layers and caramelized white chocolate cream.
- Decorate the top of the cake with dollops of the reserved caramelized white chocolate cream and the white chocolate whipped cream, if desired. Drizzle with the caramel and sprinkle with the cookies, if desired.
- Slice the cake and serve. The cake will keep for 3 days, covered, in the refrigerator.
The white chocolate can be replaced with pistoles of caramelized chocolate, also called blond, Dulcey or gold chocolate, which is available in some specialty shops. In this case, omit steps 1 and 2 of the recipe.
Caramelizing white chocolate at this temperature will affect its structure and it will become grainy if left to harden. But it is perfect for use in whipped cream, ganache or panna cotta.