Daring Bakers Challenge June 2012: Battenberg Cake

Mandy of What The Fruitcake?! came to our rescue last minute to present us with the Battenberg Cake challenge! She highlighted Mary Berry’s techniques and recipes to allow us to create this unique little cake with ease.

I’m not really a fan of plain sponge cake or marzipan, so I decided to try and jazz the cakes up a little and used the chocolate plastique rather than marzipan for the covering.  For the cake I made a chocolate sponge and a cherry coconut sponge, sandwiched together with a chocolate ganache.

It was nice, but a little dry and although the chocolate plastique worked quite well as a covering, I didn’t really enjoy the taste, so next time would probably use a chocolate icing instead.

Chocolate Sponge cake and Cherry Coconut Sponge (based on Mary Berry’s Coffee Battenberg)

Ingredients
¾ cup  Unsalted Butter, softened & cut in cubes
¾ cup  Caster Sugar
1¼ cups Self-Raising Flour
3 Large Eggs, room temp
½ cup dessicated coconut
3/4 tsp / 3½ gm Baking Powder
3 tsp Milk
½ tspVanilla Extract

2 cups pitted cherries chopped
1½ tsp cocoa powder

 

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to moderate 180°C/160°C Fan Assisted
2. Grease an 8”/20cm square baking tin with butter
3. Line the tin with parchment paper, creating a divide in the middle with the parchment (or foil)

4.  Whisk together dry ingredients (except cocoa and coconut) and combine with the wet ingredients in a large bowl (except vanilla and milk) and beat together just until the ingredients are combined and the batter is smooth
6. Spoon half the mixture into a separate bowl and stir in the vanilla, 1½ teaspoons milk and cocoa
7. Spoon the cocoa mixture into the one side of the prepared baking tin
8. Add chopped cherries, coconut and the remaining 1½ teaspoon milk and add to the remaining batter, stir until just combined
9. Spoon the cherry batter into the other half of the prepared baking tin
10. Smooth the surface of the batter with a spatula, making sure batter is in each corner
11. Bake for 25-30mins until the cake is well risen, springs back when lightly touched and a
toothpick comes out clean (it should shrink away from the sides of the pan)
12. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning out to cool thoroughly on a wire rack

Chocolate Plastique / Modelling Chocolate (From joy of baking)


Dark Chocolate Plastique
200gm /7 oz Good Quality Dark Chocolate (70% Cocoa content)
¼ cup / 60ml /2 oz Light Corn Syrup / Glucose Syrup / Golden Syrup

Directions:
1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water, stir occasionally
2. Once completely melted, remove from heat and allow to cool a bit
3. Stir in corn syrup / glucose syrup / golden syrup, it will seize up almost immediately, just keep stirring until mixed and it comes away from the side of the bowl
4. Transfer chocolate into a sealable bag, spread the chocolate out then seal the bag
5. Leave overnight or refrigerate for about 2 hours until completely firm
6. Turn out from the bag and knead on a surface dusted with powdered sugar, at first it will just break , but as you knead, it will warm up and start to become pliable
7. Knead until it’s pliable enough to roll out or mould, 5 – 10mins

Chocolate Ganache

1.  Heat 200g dark chocolate in a pan with 200ml whipping cream over gentle heat until chocolate is melted.

2.  Leave to cool a little before use.

 

To make battenberg:

1.  Cut cooled cakes in half to make long rectangular pieces.

2.  Trim pieces so they are all even

3. Stick pieces together with chocolate ganache to form battenberg pattern and ice the top and sides to stick the chocolate plastique.

4.  Cover in rolled chocolate plastique and trim ends to neaten.
.

Momofuku Carrot Cake Truffles

As you may have notice I am obsessed with the recipes from Christina Tosi’s Milk: The Momofuku Cookbook.  In this day and age it’s not easy to find baking recipes that are totally innovative and unique.  Although it has to be said that there is nothing wrong with the classics, you can’t go far wrong with a good lemon meringue pie or sticky toffee pudding, it is nice to see somebody creating something totally new rather than trying to improve upon a traditional recipe that is often better before it was fiddled with.

I made some cake truffles before, which turned out very nicely, despite being just leftover cakes from the freezer mixed with icing, but this time I wanted to try the real deal.  I meant to take them to work for an Easter treat, but to be honest I’m not sure they’ll make it to Monday.

It’s quite a lengthy process, you really have to make three different recipes and then assemble them, but totally worth the effort.  I will also add that with the addition of a few nuts and sultanas, this carrot cake is going to be my new go to recipe.  It’s dense, wonderfully moist and carroty and make have ended my quest for the perfect carrot cake recipe.  Similarly the liquid cheesecake is probably the best I have tasted and I’ll definitely be making it again, probably with the base made from the Graham Crust from the compost cookies recipe. Although it does set quite firmly when chilled, I foresee problems with cutting and serving a slice (being liquid cheesecake after all), but I’m pretty sure presentation will be overlooked once everyone has a taste.

I used the whole cake and cheesecake recipe to make truffles, but didn’t have enough of the milk crumb so got a bit creative and covered some with the caramelized cornflakes used in the Cereal Milk Ice Cream recipe.  Then I got even more creative and tried to make my own ‘crumb’ with coconut, milk powder, and sugar.  This worked surprisingly well, and cuts through the richness of the white chocolate a bit.

The original recipe calls for a paddle attachment on the mixer, which I haven’t got, but used a normal whisk with no problems!

Carrot Cake Truffles (From Milk: The Momofuku Cookbook, by Christina Tosi)

3 cups Carrot Cake Scraps (recipe below)
2-4 tablespoons Liquid Cheesecake (recipe below)
1/2 recipe Milk Crumb finely ground in a food processor (recipe below), you’ll probably need more if you use all the cake!
80g. White Chocolate (more if using all the cake- more like 200g)

1.  Combine the crushed up cake with 2 tablespoons of the liquid cheesecake, mush it all together with hands.

2.  Add more cheesecake if needed to form a ball.  Portion out  balls of the mixture- roll them together with your hands and set them aside on a cookie sheet.

3.Melt the white chocolate and put it in a shallow bowl.

4.  Using a spoon, dip each ball of cake into the white chocolate

5.  Toss it in the milk crumb, coconut crumb or caramelized corn flakes until well coated.

6.  Chill in fridge to set the chocolate.

The truffles can be stored in an airtight container for unto a week in the fridge.
Whole cake makes about 35 truffles

Carrot Cake

113 g butter- room temp.

Milk Crumb Coated

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup  vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 cups grated peeled carrots (2-3 medium sized carrots)

1.  Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
2.  Combine the butter and sugars in the bowl and cream together with an electric mixer on a medium-high for 2 to 3 mins.

3.  Add the eggs, and mix on medium-high for 2 to 3 mins. Make sure to scrape bowl to get mix of the sides.

4.  On low speed, stream in the oil

5.  Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and mix for 4 to 6 mins, until the mixture is practically white, twice the size of your original fluffy butter/sugar mixture, with no streaks of fat.

6.  On low speed, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Mix for 45-60 seconds, just until your batter comes together all dry ingredients are mixed in.

7.  Add carrots and fold in with a spatula.

8.  Grease a 9×13 pan with cooking spray and spread the batter in  the pan.

9.  Bake for 25-30 mins. The cake will rise and puff, doubling in size, but will remain slightly buttery and dense. At 25 minutes, gently poke the edge of the cake with your finger, if it bounces back slightly and isn’t jiggly in the center, it’s done. Leave it in for 3-5 more minutes if it isn’t quite done.

Cool the cake on a wire rack (or in the freezer.)

Liquid Cheesecake

250g. Cream Cheese

Corn Flake Coated

3/4 cup Sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 tsp.  salt
2 tablespoons milk
1 egg

1.  Heat oven to 180 C.

2.  Put cream cheese into a  bowl and using an electric mixer, beat on medium speed for 2 mins.

3.  Add the sugar and mix for 1-2 mins.

4.  Whisk together the cornstarch and salt in a medium bowl then whisk in the milk in a slow, steady stream, then whisk in the egg until all mixed together.

5.  With the mixer on a medium low speed stream the egg mix into the cream cheese.

6.  Mix for 3 or 4 minutes, until the mixture is smooth.

7.  Line the sides and bottom of a 6×6 baking pan with plastic wrap.

8.  Pour the cheesecake batter into the pan and bake for 15 mins.  It is done when it is set on the edges but still wobbly in the center. If the edges aren’t quite set, bake for 5 min increments until it’s done- no more than 25 minutes.

9.  Cool completely to finish the baking process and allow the cheesecake to set.
Milk Crumb
1/4 cup milk powder
1/8 cup flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tablespoons melted butter

1/8 cup milk powder
40g white chocolate.

1.  Heat the oven to 120C.

2.  Combine 1/4 cup of milk powder with the flour, cornstarch, sugar and salt in  bowl. Toss with your hands to mix.

3.  Add the butter and toss using a spatula until the mixture comes together and forms small lumps.

4.  Spread the clusters on a baking paper lined tray and bake for 20 mins. Watch them, they burn quickly!

5.  Crush any bits that are larger than 2 cm in diameter and put the crumbs in a medium bowl.

6.  Toss in the remaining milk powder

7.  Pore melted white chocolate over the crumbs and toss until your the crumbs are all well-coated.

8.  Continue tossing them every 5 mins until the white chocolate hardens and the clusters aren’t sticky.

9.Run the dried and cooled clusters through the food processor before using them for the truffles. (I didn’t have a processor, so I used the stick blender, which didn’t make them quite as fine as they should have been)

Coconut Crumb Recipe

Coconut Crumb Coated


3/4 cup shredded coconut

1 1/2 Tbsp Butter melted

1 tsp corn flour

1Tbsp Milk powder

1/2 tsp salt

1.  Mix ingredients

2.  Bake at 180 C on a paper lined tray for about 15 mins or until coconut starts to brown slightly.

Click on link for Caramelized Corn Flake Recipe

Mandarin Yoghurt Cake

My third installment of February’s Daring Bakers challenge was a mandarin yoghurt cake.  Mostly because I had a lot of mandarins to use up!  To make the cake taste more strongly of mandarin, I boiled the mandarins in their skins until very soft, and then blitzed the whole lot up with the stick blender and put the lot in the cake, skins and all!

The recipe is adapted from My Fabulous Recipes

Mandarin Yoghurt Cake

2/3 cup softened butter

1 1/4 cups sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup thick natural/Greek yoghurt
4 mandarins

2 1/2 cups plain flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

  1. Boil mandarins in a saucepan until soft (about 15 minutes)
  2. Cream butter and sugar until light.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Blitz boiled mandarins in food processor or with stick blender
  5. Add yogurt and mandarin to eggs and sugar
  6. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
  7. Add the wet mixture and beat until smooth
  8. Pour into two medium sized  greased bread pans
  9. Bake at 180 degrees C for 45-50 minute until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean if poked in the middle of the bread.
  10. Cool for 10 minutes before cooling on a wire rack.

Serve with lemon yoghurt icing(recipe below)

Lemon Yoghurt Icing

3/4 cup natural yoghurt

2 cups icing sugar

1 tsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp butter softened

1.  Beat yogurt, butter and icing sugar until smooth.

2.  Add lemon juice and refrigerate to firm up a bit.

 

Banana Caramel Peanut Butter Loaf

This was another Daring Bakers’ Challenge quick bread recipe.  The loaf turned out more of a peanut loaf than anything else, the peanut butter and whole peanuts seemed to dominate the flavor, so you couldn’t really taste the bananas much in the end.  It may be better with a reduced amount of peanuts, or using another more subtle nut, such as the more traditional walnut-banana combo!

Banana Caramel Peanut Butter Loaf (adapted from Dan Lepard’s Butterscotch Banana Cake.)

250g caster sugar

250g banana flesh, chopped into 2cm pieces

1 tbsp butter

2 tsp vanilla extract

175ml sunflower oil

2 large eggs

150g plain flour

75g  wholemeal flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

2 level tsp baking powder

½ level tsp bicarbonate of soda

50ml plain yoghurt

1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter

1/4 cup whole salted peanuts

1 cup chopped dates

1.  Grease a 20cm square tin and line the base with non-stick baking paper.

2. Put 150g of the caster sugar into a frying pan with 25ml water, bring to the boil, then cook over a high heat until the sugar caramelizes.

3.  Add the banana pieces, butter and vanilla, and simmer until the bananas break up in the caramel and the mixture is thick.

4.  Leave to cool on a plate.

5.  Beat the remaining 100g sugar with the oil and eggs until thick

6.  Then beat in the bananas, peanut butter and the yoghurt.

7.  Sift the flours, spice, baking powder and soda together two or three times (throwing the bran back in), then fold this through the banana mixture.  .

8.  Fold in whole peanuts and chopped dates.

9.Spoon the mixture into the tin, heat the oven to 180C (160C fan-assisted) and bake for about 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Serve with salted caramel whipped cream (recipe below)

Salted Caramel Whipped Cream

1 cup whipped cream

1 Tbsp Dulce de Leche

1/2 tsp salt

Combine ingredients and serve. 

Caramalized Onion and Chorizo Quick Bread

As promised in my previous post, here is the recipe for one of the quick breads I made for the February Daring Bakers challenge.  The bread was a bit of a throw in whats in the fridge recipe, luckily there was chorizo in the fridge, which i think is almost impossible to go wrong with.  The bread turned out a little dry due to an unreliable oven that refuses to rise above 150 degrees, therefore I had to cook it for much longer than I should have!

 

The quick bread was loosely based on a recipe for Caramelized Onion, Spinach and Olive oil quick bread from Cookin’ Canuck, but ended up quite different, as I had to substitute a lot of ingredients!

 

Caramelized Onion and Chorizo Quick Bread

3 tsp olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp  salt
1 jar roasted red peppers, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup milk
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tsp herbs de provence.

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

 

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

1.  Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.

2.  Add the onion to the pan, with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook for 10 minutes, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until the onions are golden brown, about 10 additional minutes.

3.Add 1 teaspoon olive oil to the onions, then stir in garlic and peppers.  Cook about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

4.  Whisk together flour, herbs baking powder, and salt.

5.  In a large bowl, combine eggs, lightly beaten, milk, and extra-virgin olive oil. Whisk well until combined.

6.  Pour the flour mixture into the eggs mixture and stir until just combined. Do not overmix or the bread will become tough. Add onion, pepper mix and stir until just combined.

7.  Grease a loaf pan and line with grease proof paper.  Add batter to tin.

8.  Bake until the top is for about 25 minutes then remove from oven and quickly grate Parmesan over the loaf, return to oven for another 10-15 minutes.  Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove the bread from the pan, and cool on a wire rack. Slice and serve with butter or cheddar cheese.

Makes 1 loaf of bread.

Daring Bakers’ February Challenge- Quick Breads

The Daring Bakers’ February 2012 host was – Lis! Lisa stepped in last minute and challenged us to create a quick bread we could call our own. She supplied us with a base recipe and shared some recipes she loves from various websites and encouraged us to build upon them and create new flavor profiles.

I couldn’t decide on just one quick bread for this challenge, so I made a few!  The first was a banana peanut caramel loaf, which was nice, but very heavy, probably due to too many peanuts, which tended to dominate the flavor.  It was really more like peanut loaf.

Banana peanut caramel quick bread

a caramalized onion and chorizo bread

and a mandarin yoghurt cake

Recipes to follow….

Cake Truffles: Momofuku Genius

Peanut Caramel Banana Bread Truffles

I have spent the weekend delving into the sweet tooth heaven that is the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook by Christine Tosi.  Starting with the cereal milk ice cream, (recipe to follow- definitely the best ice cream I’ve made at home so far, and one of my favourite ice creams ever!), I then started perusing the internet looking at pictures of other fantastic creations from this New York bakery.

One picture that kept popping up was the Cake Truffle, in particular Birthday Cake Truffles, sold by the bakery.  These looked absolutely amazing, and combined two of my favourite things, truffles and cake.  I couldn’t locate a recipe for these bite sized cake balls, but after reading a number of blogs from people who had tried them, or made something similar it seemed it was simply a case of crumbling a cake, mixing it with icing and rolling into balls.  Perhaps with a quick roll in something to coat to improve the appearance. Obviously the quality and flavour of your original cake and icing will effect the ball. I’m not sure this is quite how Momofuku does them, as the menu seems to feature binding ingredients such as liquid cheesecake (further experimentation to come!), but it was a good starting point.

I had a couple of cakes in the freezer after a Saturday baking frenzy that resulted in three cakes and only two people to feed, so I thought I would experiment with those.

One cake was a banana peanut loaf and the other a mandarin and yogurt cake.  I quickly whipped up some salted caramel butter cream for the banana and chocolate butter cream for the mandarin, crumbled them up and mixed them in.  I then rolled the mixture into balls, rolled the banana cake in shredded coconut and the mandarin one in icing sugar and chilled in the fridge for a couple of hours.

not so attractive Mandarin Chocolate Cake Truffles- next time I'll coat them in chocolate

The resulting balls were amazing, dense and moist like the part of the cake that comes in contact with the icing and is really soft (my favourite part!).  They were definitely a huge improvement on the cakes themselves which were a little dry.  A great use of any slightly old/dry cake really, but probably tastes even better with a fresh moist one.

You could really do this with any cake you enjoy, or even a packet mix.  The icing possibilities are endless and these little bites make great, transportable treats.  I think next time I will chocolate coat them, and there will definitely be more than one next time!

Daring Bakers January 2012 Challenge- Scones

Audax Artifex was our January 2012 Daring Bakers’ host. Aud worked tirelessly to master light and fluffy scones (a/k/a biscuits) to help us create delicious and perfect batches in our own kitchens!

I stuck with the plain scones as I just can’t go back a plain scone with jam and cream.  These scones were very tasty and light.  I really liked the layers that the folding technique produced, but unfortunately mine didn’t rise very much (probably due to old baking powder), and they were a little heavy because of this.

I would definitely make this recipe again if I was looking for a non-sweet scone.  However, I personally like my scones a little sweet, and although it’s probably cheating a bit , I love a nice lemonade cream scone.  The best part is you just lob everything in, the gas in the lemonade makes it rise well and it always works!  (recipe to come).

Basic Scones (a.k.a. Basic Biscuits)
Servings: about eight 2-inch (5 cm) scones or five 3-inch (7½ cm) scones
Recipe can be doubled

Ingredients:
1 cup (240 ml) (140 gm/5 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
2 teaspoons (10 ml) (10 gm) (⅓ oz) fresh baking powder
¼ teaspoon (1¼ ml) (1½ gm) salt
2 tablespoons (30 gm/1 oz) frozen grated butter (or a combination of lard and butter)
approximately ½ cup (120 ml) cold milk
optional 1 tablespoon milk, for glazing the tops of the scones

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to very hot 475°F/240°C/gas mark 9.
2. Triple sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. (If your room temperature is very hot refrigerate the sifted ingredients until cold.)
3. Rub the frozen grated butter (or combination of fats) into the dry ingredients until it resembles very coarse bread crumbs with some pea-sized pieces if you want flaky scones or until it resembles coarse beach sand if you want tender scones.
4. Add nearly all of the liquid at once into the rubbed-in flour/fat mixture and mix until it just forms a sticky dough (add the remaining liquid if needed). The wetter the dough the lighter the scones (biscuits) will be!
5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board, lightly flour the top of the dough. To achieve an even homogeneous crumb to your scones knead very gently about 4 or 5 times (do not press too firmly) the dough until it is smooth. To achieve a layered effect in your scones knead very gently once (do not press too firmly) then fold and turn the kneaded dough about 3 or 4 times until the dough has formed a smooth texture. (Use a floured plastic scraper to help you knead and/or fold and turn the dough if you wish.)
6. Pat or roll out the dough into a 6 inch by 4 inch rectangle by about ¾ inch thick (15¼ cm by 10 cm by 2 cm thick). Using a well-floured 2-inch (5 cm) scone cutter (biscuit cutter), stamp out without twisting six 2-inch (5 cm) rounds, gently reform the scraps into another ¾ inch (2 cm) layer and cut two more scones (these two scones will not raise as well as the others since the extra handling will slightly toughen the dough). Or use a well-floured sharp knife to form squares or wedges as you desire.
7. Place the rounds just touching on a baking dish if you wish to have soft-sided scones or place the rounds spaced widely apart on the baking dish if you wish to have crisp-sided scones. Glaze the tops with milk if you want a golden colour on your scones or lightly flour if you want a more traditional look to your scones.
8. Bake in the preheated very hot oven for about 10 minutes (check at 8 minutes since home ovens at these high temperatures are very unreliable) until the scones are well risen and are lightly coloured on the tops. The scones are ready when the sides are set.
9. Immediately place onto cooling rack to stop the cooking process, serve while still warm.

Donna Hay’s Four Tier Chocolate Layer Cake- my new ‘go to’ choccie cake!

After a brief period of obsession with the Masterchef series, in particular Junior Masterchef Australia, I was inspired to try some of the dishes that were created on the show.

I trip to the Masterchef Australia website , provided me with a huge pile of new recipes to test out, both challenges set by guest chefs and intriguing creations from contestants.

The first recipe that caught my eye was Donna Hays Four Tier Chocolate layer cake, which featured on Junior Masterchef.  With four layers, it was a very impressive cake, but the recipe seemed simple and not too time consuming, so I decided to give it a whirl. This was my first attempt at anything more than two layers in a cake!

The cake itself was delicious, and has thus become my new go to chocolate cake for any occasion when chocolate cake is required, (it’s amazing how often these occur!).  It’s moist and crumbly, but holds together well when cutting it to make layers.  The stand out in this recipe, however, has to be the cream cheese chocolate icing.  I love cream cheese icing, but the combination of cream cheese and chocolate brings it to a whole new level and is (in my opinion) a vast improvement on a chocolate buttercream.  The cheesy tang really balances the sweetness of the chocolate nicely.

I didn’t quite achieve a 4 layer cake as the recipe suggests, the second cake seemed a little thin to cut in half, but the result was still impressive and very tasty!  I chose to top it with sweetened whipped cream, white chocolate shavings and strawberries, but just about anything would go.

Four Tier Chocolate Cake (from Donna Hay)

  • ½ cup water
  •  60g butter, chopped
  •  2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 cup  plain  flour, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of (baking) soda, sifted
  •  1 cup  caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup  buttermilk (I used milk and a little lemon juice as buttermilk isn’t available in Spain)
  •  ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F).

2. Place the water, butter and cocoa in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until the butter has melted.

3. Place the flour, bicarbonate of soda and sugar in a bowl, add the cocoa mixture and whisk to combine.

4. Add the egg, buttermilk and vanilla and whisk to combine.

5. Divide mixture between 2 lightly greased 12cm round cake tins lined with non-stick baking paper.

6. Bake for 40–45 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Allow to cool in the tins for 5 minutes.

7.Turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

While the cake is baking, make the cream cheese frosting.

chocolate cream cheese frosting

  •  50g butter, softened
  •  250g cream cheese
  •  1 cup  icing sugar mixture, sifted

    Slightly lopsided but still standing.

  •  ¼ cup cocoa, sifted

I made double icing quantity as I love a lot of icing!

 

1. Place the butter and cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 6–8 minutes or until pale and creamy.

2.Add the icing sugar and cocoa and beat for a further 6–8 minutes or until light and fluffy.

 

 

To assemble, slice the cakes in half horizontally. Place one cake layer on a plate and spread with one quarter of the frosting. Repeat with remaining layers and frosting. Decorate as desired.

Daring Bakers November Challenge – Sans Rival Cake

This was my first Daring Bakers Challenge and I will definitely be back for more.  Not only has it opened my eyes to a whole new cultural cuisine, but also introduced me to new baking techniques and skills.    Catherine of Munchie Musings was our November Daring Bakers’ host and she challenged us to make a traditional Filipino dessert – the delicious Sans Rival cake!  This is made up of crunchy layers of dacquoise (meringue with crushed nuts- traditionally cashews), sandwiched together with layers of smooth French butter cream.

It tastes as good as it sounds, really delicious!  Super rich and sweet as you can imagine from the ingredients list, so a small piece does the job, but  it had great flavour and textures.  I made a chocolate butter cream for the outside and vanilla for the filling, with a chocolate meringue with almond meal as that was the easiest to find!  I think in the future I would grind the nuts myself, leaving bigger pieces, as I think even more crunch and texture would be better.

I was really impressed with the French butter cream, having only ever made it the quick icing sugar and butter blend it all up way.  The French version, with  sugar syrup, did take a lot longer and was more labour intensive, but the finished product was far superior with a richer and creamier taste, and smoother texture.  I’ll definitely be using it as my staple butter cream if I have a bit of time in the future! I did run out of butter cream in this recipe and had to make a second half quantity, so I recommend doing this from the start as it’s quite time consuming.

Making meringue was  a bit of a gamble, as my oven is far from reliable and doesn’t actually seem to cook from the top.  However, as the oven also doesn’t seem to ever get really hot it was actually quite good for meringue, although it still took two hours to get crispy layers.  As presentation is never my strong point, I coated the sides with white and dark chocolate shards to hide uneven edges!

A Filipino friend said it tasted as it was meant to, so I was pretty satisfied.  I am also inspired to try more Filipino food, as I’ve never really investigated or tried to cook it before.  If it’s all as good as this cake, I think I’ll be cooking a lot in the future!

Sans Rival:
Serves 12-20 (depends how much you can eat, It’s pretty rich!!)

Ingredients
10 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon  cream of tartar ( I didn’t have this so substituted 1 tsp white wine vinegar)
¼ cup  cocoa (optional and not traditional)
1 cup chopped, toasted almonds coarsely chopped (for topping)

1 cup almond meal or finely crushed almonds.

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to moderate 160°C
2. Line cake pan bottoms with parchment paper and butter and flour the sides  well, it sticks!.
3. In a large clean, dry glass or metal mixing bowl, beat egg whites until foamy (2 mins.). Sprinkle with cream of tartar or vinegar. Gradually add sugar, a couple of tablespoons at a time, continuing to beat now at high speed until stiff shiny peaks form. (about 7-10 mins.)

4. Fold in finely crushed  nuts, reserving enough to use for decoration.

5.Divide meringue into four equal parts. Spread in pans, evenly to edges.

6. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the meringue from the baking pans while still hot; allow to cool slightly. Peel off the parchment paper while it is still warm, it is difficult to remove sometimes when they have completely cooled.

7. When cool, trim edges so that all 4 meringue layers are uniformly shaped. Set aside.

French Buttercream: ( quantities are for 1 1/2 times original recipe to give plenty to cover and fill cake)

Ingredients
8 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
3/4cup water
2 cup  unsalted butter, room temperature

50g dark chocolate melted to flavour

1 tsp vanilla essence to flavour
Directions:

1. Put the egg yolks in a mixing bowl. Beat at high speed until the yolks have doubled in volume and are a lemon yellow.
2. Put the sugar and water in a heavy pan and cook over medium heat, stirring the sides down only until all the sugar is dissolved and the syrup reaches 112°C (or thread stage).
3. With the mixer on high, very slowly pour the syrup down the sides of the bowl, until all has been added. Be careful!

4.Continue beating on high until the mixture is ROOM TEMPERATURE (about 15 mins).

5. Still on high, beat in the soft, room temperature butter a tablespoon at a time.

6. Divide in half and add melted chocolate to one half and vanilla essence to the other half.

7.  Refrigerate the buttercream for at least an hour, and whip it smooth just before you use it.
Assembly:
Set bottom meringue on cake board with a dab of butter cream to hold it in place. Spread a thin layer of buttercream and then place another meringue on top. Repeat with a thin layer of buttercream, meringue, thin layer of buttercream, meringue, and finally buttercream the top and sides. Decorate with coarse nuts and chocolate shards if you’re a little untidy!

Refrigerate until ready to serve, as this makes it much easier to cut.  May freeze.