So when it comes to Easter, I don’t really celebrate it. Growing up in a Buddhist household, Easter as a holiday just meant that time of year when there’s lots of rabbits, ducks, marshmallows, polka dots, colorful eggs, and randomly, jellybeans. That’s literally all Easter means to me to be honest. With that in mind, I did want to try making a rabbit shaped dessert, using these super cute petit gateau molds, so I figured, screw it, let’s do an Easter Bunny carrot cake! Since the only other connotation I have for rabbits in dessert is the Tsuki no Usagi(which is a bunny on the moon in Japanese folklore that is associated with making mochi), I wanted to make the cake portion of the carrot cake gluten-free, using mochiko or glutinous rice flour in the batter to give it more body(you can sub the mochiko and xanthan gum with the same measurements in just regular AP flour and the recipe will still function 100% the same!).
The idea was to make super thin layers of the cake so that they can be stacked up and pressed into the mousse molds. The carrot cakes also have a dash of cinnamon and brown butter to give them a lot more flavor as well! To hold the cakes together, I went with a blonde chocolate(slow roasted white chocolate that is almost caramelized in flavor) ganache that is accented with burnt honey for a more fragrant finish. Lastly, the mousse is essentially a whipped no-bake cheesecake, just to tie in with the cream cheese frosting most commonly associated with carrot cake! What I love about these petit gateau is that they have this snow white exterior, but a more exciting and vibrant color on the inside! If you like carrot cake, these are definitely the right recipe for you! Even in not-molded form, as just a layer cake, this is a fun recipe to make, and 100% gluten-free as well!
Makes about 6 cakes:
For the gluten-free carrot loaf:
2 carrots, grated or shaved
1/4 cup mochiko flour + 1/4 tsp xanthan gum(can sub with just 1/4 cup all-purpose flour)
2 tbsp brown butter
3 tbsp dark brown sugar
a pinch of salt
a pinch of cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tbsp cider vinegar
Mix together to form your batter. Spread onto a lined sheet tray to about 1/8th-inch thickness. You want it to be almost like a pie crust! Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool down before cutting out ovular shapes using a 2-inch cookie cutter.
For the blonde chocolate ganache:
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp heavy cream
2 tsbp brown butter
1/4 cup blonde chocolate
2oz cream cheese
a pinch of salt
In a pot, heat up the honey until it begins to boil. Add in the heavy cream and brown butter first. Then the blonde chocolate, mascarpone, and salt. Stir everything together on low heat until everything is fully melted together. Allow the ganache to cool down and firm up before spreading onto the cake.
For initial assembly:
Stack your cakes so that they in mini layers of 3, with 3 layers of ganache on top of each layer of cake. Keep these mini cakes ice cold for the next step of assembly.
For the cheesecake mousse:
6oz cream cheese
1 tsp gelatin powder + 1 tbsp cold water
1/4 cup milk
2 tbsp granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy cream, whipped stiff
In a bowl, begin creaming together the cream cheese until soft and spreadable. In a pot, heat up the gelatin, milk, sugar, and salt until they begin to dissolve. Pour that mixture into the cream cheese first, and continue to whip until combined. Then add in the vanilla and whipped cream. Transfer to a piping bag.
For final assembly:
Pipe the cheesecake mixtures into rabbit petit gateau molds. Press the carrot cakes into them, leveling them off on the open side so that one side of the petit gateau is completely flat. Freeze for at least 2 hours before attempting to unmold.