Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Raspberry Bakewell Cake

Recipe from Poires au Chocolat

Raspberry Bakewell Cake

For the Cake
100g butter
40g light brown sugar
70g caster sugar
2 eggs
100g plain flour
20g ground almonds
1tsp baking powder
½ tsp almond extract
To assemble
3tbsp raspberry jam
raspberries, halved
200ml double cream
1tsp almond extract

additional raspberries
flaked almonds
icing sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/mark 3 and butter and flour two 5-inch cake pans.

2. Cream together the butter and sugars until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, then sift in the flour, almonds and baking powder and mix well. Add in the almond extract.

3. Pour the batter into the cake pans and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cakes comes away clean. Leave to cool before removing from the tins and slicing into layers.

5. Sandwich the layers together with the raspberry jam and raspberry halves.

6. Whip the cream until it holds soft peaks. Mix in the almond extract and, once it holds firm peaks, spread the cream over the cake. Top with the additional raspberries and flaked almonds and dust with icing sugar.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Macaron Cake: Raspberry & Vanilla

Hazza! So I had seen a few photos of macaron cakes and large macarons a few months ago, and, naturally, thought they looked awesome, but too awesome for my macaron-ing skills. However, I felt confident enough to finally try it and venture out of the not-so-comfortable-macaron-comfort-zone. And I'm so glad I did because it worked! I wondered whether perhaps it would be more difficult to go wrong with a large macaron than individuals, considering you don't need it to rise, and the feet can be forgiven for being small. However, it is probably more prone to cracking/bursting etc.

To make this, I just made a batch of macaron batter (enough for 50 little macs) and piped out the mixture, in halves, onto baking paper-lined trays marked with a circle measuring approximately 15cm in diameter. I left the piped batter to rest a little longer than usual (about 75 minutes) and sandwiched the shells together with a chantilly crème patissière (cream and crème patissière).

I tossed on a few mini marshmallows for a little 'ironic whimsy' (as my Dad pointed out) to somewhat juxtapose the general theme of the cake. 

I had leftover chantilly pastry cream (and raspberries), so filled some muffin pan crevices with shortcrust pastry and baked them blind. I then filled the pastry cases with the pastry cream and raspberries, and drizzled them with a sugar syrup. I had just enough ingredients to make 11 tartlettes.


5g dehydrated egg white powder

28g granulated sugar
225g icing sugar
125g ground almonds
100g egg whites

1. Line two baking trays with baking paper and set aside.

2. Measure out the dehydrated egg white powder and granulated sugar into a little bowl and stir to combine, then set aside.

3. Grind the icing sugar and ground almonds together in a food processor and sift into a small-medium bowl.

4. In a large, clean, dry bowl of a freestanding mixer, whisk the egg whites until foamy and then sprinkle in the sugar and egg white powder while continuing to beat. Increase the speed of the mixer and keep whisking until a firm, glossy (but not stiff) meringue forms.

5. Using a soft spatula, fold in the almond-sugar mixture to the meringue in thirds, until fully amalgamated. Be cautious not to over mix, as you want the batter to flow off the spatula in a thick ribbon.

6. Transfer the batter to a piping bag with a plain nozzle (approximately 1cm diameter) and pipe two circles (approximately 15cm diameter) onto the prepared baking trays. Firmly rap the trays against a counter top until the any air bubbles come to the surface- pop, with a cocktail stick, any which don’t burst. Leave the piped macarons for 30-60 minutes before placing into the lower half of a preheated oven (300F/150C/mark 2) for approximately 15 minutes.

7. Allow the macarons to cool on a wire rack before removing from the trays and sandwiching the two shells together with the filling. Refrigerate and allow to mature for at least 24 hours.

Chantilly Crème Patissière Recipe from Martha Stewart

120ml milk
120ml double cream
1 vanilla bean, split/ 1tsp vanilla paste’
3 egg yolks
50g caster sugar
2 ½ tbsp plain flour

250g double cream

1. Place the milk, cream and vanilla in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Remove the vanilla pod, if using.

2. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and caster sugar until pale and creamy. Whisk in the flour. Gradually whisk in the milk mixture, and once combined, pour the mixture back into the saucepan.

3. Bring the mixture to the boil and cook for a further two minutes, whisking continuously. Remove from the heat and pour the pastry cream into a bowl. Leave to cool before covering with cling film (ensure the cling film touches the surface of the crème patissière) and refrigerating until cool.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk the double cream to soft peaks. Add a little of the cream to the crème patissière and mix well to soften. Continue adding the cream in gentle folding motions, being careful not to over-whip or deflate. Refrigerate the chantilly pastry cream for about half an hour.

To assemble, lay a macaron shell bottom-up and pipe or spread the chantilly crème patissière on top. Top with the other shell, top side up and arrange raspberries/raspberry halves between the shells, around the circumference and on top of the cake.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Strawberries & Cream Cheesecake

Recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days

Strawberries & Cream Cheesecake
serves 8-12 

For the base
220g digestives
100g unsalted butter, melted
½ tsp salt
For the filling
200g strawberries, hulled and chopped
180g caster sugar
600g cream cheese
2 eggs
For the topping
100g mascarpone
20g icing sugar
100ml double cream
100-200g strawberries, halved

1. For the base, crush the digestives with a rolling pin or in a food processor and mix in the butter and salt. Once well combined, press into the bottom of a 20cm (8 inch) springform pan.

2. For the filling, heat the strawberries in a saucepan with 80g of the sugar and 30ml water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and cook until the strawberries have softened and the liquid has reduced by a half. Set aside and leave to cool.

3. Preheat the oven to 160C/320F/mark 3. Beat together the cream cheese and remaining 100g sugar. Add in the eggs, one at a time and mix in the strawberries and strawberry syrup.

4. Wrap the pan in two layers of foil and sit the pan in a roasting tin filled with boiling water (the height of the water should not exceed the heat of the foil). Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is firm, but the centre slightly wobbly. Leave to cool, then refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

5. For the topping, whip the cream to soft peaks. In a separate bowl, beat together the mascarpone and icing sugar. Fold in the cream and spread the topping over the cheesecake. Refrigerate for 8 hours, or overnight. Top with the strawberry halves before serving.

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