Sunday, 27 May 2012

Visible pink unicorn cake

Sometimes things in the kitchen just don't turn out the way you expect. I've had one of those weekends... Absolutely everything I tried to make has turned out more or less like a disaster. However, in some cases you can just cover it all up prettily, and people will eat it anyways. This is a story of exactly such a cake.

For this cake, I had this brilliant idea of trying to make fudge cake icing. I originally got the idea from this fudge muffin recipe (it's in Finnish). While in the UK I have totally fallen in love with fudge. The best place for fudge, in my opinion, is Fudge Kitchen, which is a chain of fudge stores selling traditional, hand-made fudge. The fudge is different from most fudge I ever had, and turns out it's made with sugar and cream instead of butter which is more commonly used. The fudge is very creamy and soft and absolutely delicious, although it's really sweet, so non-carboholics sometimes aren't as excited as I am. Anyways, the point was that I was going to make a really cool and delicious cake icing by just rolling out the fudge and topping my cake with it. Well, the Fudge Kitchen fudge turned out to be way too soft and gooey to be rolled out, even when I added copious amounts of icing sugar. This is what you get for trying a new thing without making a prototype... Good thing I had bought some back-up sugar paste. Just in case. 

However, turns out the icing on the cake was just... well the icing on the cake. There were other problems as well. The plan was to make a cake with three layers (so two layers of filling). The filling was supposed to be lemon curd in one layer and rhubarb preserve in the other, with a whipped cream - mascarpone - white chocolate mix in both layers. I decided to make the sponge using a somewhat different recipe from my usual one, as this was supposed to result in a more fluffy cake and to be certain to succeed every time. In this recipe, you first make a soft whipped white cream from sugar and eggs, then you add boiling water and keep on whipping, and this is supposed to make the batter expand in volume. Then you add the flour, and bake. I was starting to get slightly worried when I added the water and the volume of the batter stayed pretty much the same. Then, in the oven, the cake didn't rise very much. So there was no way I would be able to cut the cake into three parts, and had to settle for one layer of filling. Also, I had planned to add some grated lemon zest to the cake for added flavour, but when the cake was in the oven, I realised I had totally forgotten about the zest. 

I will still give the sponge cake recipe another try at some other time, as it had so many positive comments. I'm sure something just went wrong when I prepared my cake. Maybe the air was too humid, the moon was in the wrong phase, or I was wearing the wrong coloured socks (ok, to be honest, I wasn't wearing any socks at all, as all clothing have been kept to the bare minimum which is required for decency during the heat wave we have been experiencing). Check out the original recipe as it has very good pictures describing the steps during preparation.

For the sponge cake (recipes for 24(26)28 cm cake tins):

3(3.75)4.5 dl wheat flour (corresponds to approximately 195(244)293 grams)
1-2(2)2-3 tsp baking powder
4(5)6 eggs at room temperature
2(2.5)3 dl sugar (corresponds to approximately 170(213)255 grams)
100(125)150 ml boiling water

For the filling:
200g lemon curd
200g mascarpone
250ml double cream
200g white chocolate

250 ml milk
2 tbsp Whittard lemon meringue hot chocolate
1tsp lemon extract

The howto:
For the cake, line a baking tin with butter and breadcrumbs and pre-heat oven to 200 degrees C. Boil water. Mix flour and baking powder. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until white and fluffy. Add the boiling water about a tablespoon at a time, while whipping. The volume of the batter will expand during this phase, so make sure you have a big enough bowl. Fold in the flour and baking powder mix, pour into the prepared tin, and bake in 200 degrees for 30 minutes. If the cake turns too dark, cover with tin foil. After baking, let the cake cool on a wire rack.

For the filling, start by melting the white chocolate. Whip cream until soft and fluffy, and mix with mascarpone and melted chocolate.

Cut your cake into two or three layers. Mix milk, hot chocolate and lemon extract, and using a spoon or brush, moisten the cake, particularly around the edges. Add lemon curd onto each layer, and then the cream - mascarpone - white chocolate mix, but leave about 1/3 of the mix. Use the remaining mix to cover the cake. This is ideally done already a day in advance, so you can leave your cake to moisten in the fridge over night. 

The next day, roll out the icing and cover the cake. 

One serving contains so many calories that if you are counting, you should probably skip the cake altogether...

The verdict:
Like I said before, this cake went from disaster to disaster. However, my guests very graciously ate it, and some even went back for seconds. I have to say, I'm a bit worried about myself, as I usually don't find a cake worth the effort unless it has chocolate in it, but I really liked this one. Well, to be fair, it did have white chocolate. I love the combination of cream, mascarpone and white choc, the choc gives the mix a nice structure and it makes the mix a bit more solid. The lemon curd felt nice and refreshing, but I was really regretting that I forgot the lemon zest from the sponge cake, as I'm sure it would have added some nice freshness to the cake. But sum total is, as long as you put some flowers on your cake, people will be impressed and eat it without complaining. I should have learned my lesson never to try a new idea without making a trial run, but to be honest, I will be baking some untested cakes for my friend's party next weekend, so I predict next Sunday there will be a blog post describing many things that can go wrong with cheesecake. In between, I'll try to summarise my experiences with macarons. I don't want to give away too much, but expect some major troubleshooting...

1 comment:

  1. Kyllä on kaunista katseltavaa! Onnenpekat ne , jotka pääsivät maistamaan.