Easter cake

2016-03-26 16.50.53

I have been terribly busy, so it’s been 3 months since I last posted. But for this joyous occasion, I decided to pick up my apron again. I find this to be a nice alternative to the very sweet and full of marzipan Simnel cake for Easter. It’s fairly quick to make and the children will most likely love the mini eggs decoration!

Ingredients

Sponge

  • 4 medium eggs
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 125g plain flour
  • 25g unsalted butter

Filling and decoration

  • 400ml milk (full fat or semi skimmed)
  • 3 egg yolks + 1 whole egg
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 70g cornflour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 70g unsalted butter
  • 150ml double cream
  • 100g hazelnut
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 200g granulated sugar
  • bag of mini eggs

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180C (160C fan)
  2. Line the bottom and sides of a 20cm round cake tin with baking paper
  3. Put 4 eggs and 125g caster sugar in a large mixing bowl and use the medium setting of electric whisk and beat for about 5 minutes. Increase the speed to high and whisk until it is pale and have at least tripled in volume (should also leave a trail of ribbon when you take the whisk out). This will take about 10-15 minutes depending on your settings
  4.  While the eggs and sugar are mixing, melt the butter in microwave, just enough to melt it and let it cool on the the side
  5. Add the melted butter and sift 125g flour into the egg mixture
  6. Use a large spoon to gently fold in the flour and butter until completely incorporated
  7. Gently pour the cake batter into the baking tin and bake for 30-35 minutes. The sides of the cake should start to shrink away from the baking parchment and the skewer comes up clean when inserted into the cake
  8. Take the cake out of the oven and let it cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, remove the baking paper and let the cake cool on a wired rack. Rotating the cake every couple of minutes in the 1st 30 minutes to prevent it from sticking to the wire
  9. Once the cake is cold, slice it in half horizontally
  10. Prepare the filling by mixing the egg yolks and whole egg with 120g caster sugar
  11. Beat in the corn flour into the egg/sugar mixture
  12. Put milk in saucepan and put it over medium heat until it starts to simmer
  13. Add a small amount of the hot milk to the egg mix and whisk continuously while adding
  14. Continue adding the hot milk to the egg mix until all the milk has been added. Remember to whisk continuously
  15. Return the whole mixture into the saucepan and put it over medium heat, whisk continuously until it thickens
  16. Add in the vanilla extract and the butter into the pastry cream and take it off the heat
  17. Beat in the butter until it is completely incorporated
  18. Put the pastry cream to the side and let it cool to room temperature
  19. Beat the double cream until it thickens and fold it into the cooled pastry cream
  20. Spread the pastry cream onto 1 slice of cake and place the other slice on top
  21. Cover the rest of the cake with the pastry cream and leave it in the fridge
  22. Put the hazelnuts into a frying pan and add sprinkle icing sugar onto them, heat until the icing sugar has melted and coated the hazelnuts with a light layer of caramel
  23. Take the caramelised hazelnut off the heat and let it cool
  24. Chop the hazelnut into small fragments and use them to decorate the cake (on the side only or all over, it’s up to you)
  25. To make spun sugar, heat 250g granulated sugar in a light colour saucepan until the sugar has melted (I prefer the dry method, i.e. you heat the sugar without water. You are far less likely to get sugar crystals this way, but the caramel will form and burn slightly quicker)
  26. Once the caramel is a light golden colour, switch off the heat, it will continue to brown for a little bit more
  27. Gauge its consistency, when it is too hot and runny, it’s much harder to make spun sugar
  28. Let it cool for a minute in the saucepan and it should start to thicken, once it reaches the consistency at which it runs down the fork slowly, it’s ready
  29. Over a bowl, quickly flick the caramel back and forth to form thin webs of caramel threads and continue until you have enough or the caramel in the saucepan has solidified
  30. Roll the caramel threads into a ball and put it on your cake
  31. Place the mini eggs inside the spun sugar nest
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