Fidough Box Cake

I have made many cakes in sake cups before. I just love the minimalistic aesthetic of a small wooden cake and when you scoop into it, there’s cake! The concept of this recipe is definitely inspired by the tiramisu from Cafe Bora, but since there is no coffee/tea or alcohol being used, it felt wrong to call it that. I used sweet white yams and lucuma(fruit from the Amazon that tastes just like caramel!) throughout these mini cakes, which gives them a caramel-y flavor profile. Originally, it was meant to be a Psyduck-themed doughnut recipe, but I swapped the idea from a doughnut to a box cake since I felt like that would be a lot more approachable for any home cook, as not everyone would own a deep fryer/would want to set one up for just one recipe. Trust me, working with that much hot oil is a royal pain, and I totally get it. Anyways, as I was making the Psyducks, unfortunately they just were not looking like them. I was using a yam-lucuma mousseline to make Psyduck’s head and sweet yam chips to resemble the bills, but they looked…. hideous. I will not include a picture because I chose not to take pictures of that nightmare fuel. So instead, I had to scrap the Psyduck idea, and go with something else. Luckily, a new game, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, came out and I saw this adorable Pokemon, Fidough. Fidough is a cute little dough/bread-themed dog, and I am obsessed with it. I was actually going to make Fidough Brioches as an homage to Fidough apparently having “yeast breath”, but in this particular moment, I could not think of anything else that I could mold what I had already prepared into, so I shifted gears and make these cakes into Fidough Box Cakes.

For the components, we have a sweet yam chiffon cake, a lucuma ganache, and a sweet yam-lucuma mousseline. As I went with Fidough ultimately, I scrapped some components that were originally meant to be used for Psyduck, as Fidough is a simpler Pokemon in terms of color contrast and distinctly different features. The cake is layered in a wooden box, while Fidough is piped out of the mousseline on top of the cake, using some of the cake scraps to form some of its features, namely its puffy collar, eyebrows, and nose. I froze the mousseline after piping out the main features, just so that it will hold its shape easier, and finished the little Fidoughs with some edible paint for the eyes, and a dusting of lucuma powder on top to tie everything back together, and also to act as the color contrast in Fidough’s features. I will definitely be making the Fidough Brioches in the future as well, just because I love these little dogs, amd I want to make something yeast-based inspired by its lore(allegedly these dogs are inspired by ensaymada pastries, so that might be another route I choose to take with them!). This recipe was a great test run to familiarize myself with the Pokemon’s appearance, and the cake itself is light, fluffy, and is contrasted beautifully with the caramel-like ganache and the silky mousseline!

For the lucuma ganache:
1/3 cup white chocolate chips
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp lucuma powder
1/4 cup heavy cream
a pinch of salt

Spread and roast the chocolate chips on a lined sheet tray at 275 degrees F for 30 minutes. Place into a pot with the other ingredients and cook down until they form a smooth, silky ganache. Microwave for about 1 minute prior to assembly to keep the ganache soft and usable.

Cooked yam scraps/slices:
Either boil the yam slices until fork tender, or microwave the yam slices in a covered bowl on medium power for 1 minute intervals until cooked through. Pass the yam through a sieve or ricer to refine the texture of it.

For the batter:
4 tbsp unsalted butter, browned
2oz cooked yam slices/scraps
1 egg yolk
2 egg whites
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
a pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking powder

Mix the yam with brown butter and egg yolk until smooth. In a bowl, whisktogether the egg white with the sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. In another bowl, sift the flour and mix in the salt and baking powder. Then alternate between folding into your yam mixture the buttermilk, egg whites, and the flour until everything is combined. Pour the batter onto a lined quarter sheet tray and bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Cool down the cake completely and cut into 2 to 3-inch squares and 1/8 inch disks. Roll the crumbs into tiny, tiny balls as these will be used for Fidough’s eyebrows and nose.

For the lucuma-yam mousseline:
1 tsp gelatin powder + 1 tbsp water
3 tbsp lucucma powder
1/4 cup milk
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp brown butter
a pinch of turmeric
a pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp unsalted butter
4oz cooked yam

In a pot, heat up gelatin, lucuma, milk, cornstarch, brown butter, turmeric, and salt and bring to a boil. Once the gelatin is dissolved into the mixture, pour half of it over your egg yolk and whisk. Then pour the egg yolks back into the pot and whisk on medium heat for 1 minute, just to thicken it. Transfer into a blender with the vanilla, unsalted butter, and cooked yam and puree until fully combined. Pass everything through a sieve to remove any lumps. Transfer into either a piping bag with a small piping tip or a bowl and cover with cling wrap. Refrigerate first for 10 minutes before attempting to use.

To garnish:
Activated charcoal
vanilla extract
lucuma powder

In a small wooden box(I used sake cups), place down a square of the cake first. Drizzle in the ganache, then add in about 1 tbsp of the lucuma cream. Add in a layer of mousseline, about 1 tbsp, and repeat these steps twice to make sure that you have 3 layers of each already in the box. Pipe out the legs and torso of Fidough first. The pipe two dollops on top of one another in the bag to form its tail. Place down the reserved disk of cake on top of the two front legs to form a “collar” and pipe on top of that a larger dollop of cream to form Fidough’s head. Pipe onto the sides two more dollops to form the ears, and one more dollop in front to act like Fidough’s mouth. Add in the eyebrows and nose cake crumb balls. Freeze the cakes first, then mix small amounts of charcoal and vanilla to form your “paint”. Dot on Fidough’s eyes using a skewer and your “paint”, then dust the tops with lucuma powder to finish.

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