It Was Time To #BakeBrave

Does anyone remember last year’s World Baking Day, where you had to bake something and photograph it somewhere crazy? I only found out about it the day before I baked the cake, so this year I was better prepared.
This year, there were 100 recipes on the World Baking Day website with #100 being the most complicated recipe and #1 being the simplest.
I – and 230 or so other people, according to the website – decided to try my hand at recipe #91, Miranda’s Chocolate Brownie Meringue Cake (I’ve posted the recipe here too). Berries and nuts in the same recipe!? How could I not try it!

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For the brownie base:
200g good-quality dark chocolate
200g margarine
250g icing sugar
3 medium free-range eggs, at room temperature, beaten
110g plain flour

For the meringue topping:
4 medium free-range egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
200g caster sugar
100g chopped roasted hazelnuts

For the filling:
300ml whipping cream, well chilled
100g icing sugar
300g fresh raspberries

To finish:
200g fresh raspberries
100g toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
100g shelled unsalted pistachios

Prepare 2 x 20.5cm sandwich tins, greased and the bases lined with greaseproof paper
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5.

Roughly chop the chocolate, set 20g aside for later, and put the remaining 180g into a heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a pan of steaming water and leave to melt gently, stirring frequently. Don’t let the base of the bowl touch the water. When melted and smooth, remove the bowl from the pan and leave to cool until needed.

Meanwhile, beat the soft margarine with the icing sugar until very light, creamy and fluffy; you can do this with a wooden spoon or an electric whisk or mixer.
Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition.
Gradually beat in the flour.
When the mixture is very smooth, gradually beat in the cooled, melted chocolate.
When thoroughly combined, stir in the reserved chopped chocolate.
Divide the mixture between the prepared tins and spread it out evenly.
Bake for 8 minutes – the mixture will not be cooked but will have started to form a crust.

While the mixture is baking, whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar in a bowl until stiff peaks form.
Whisk in the sugar in four batches, to make a smooth and glossy, thick meringue.
Fold in the chopped hazelnuts.
Remove the cake tins from the oven and reduce the temperature to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3.
Divide the meringue equally between the two brownie-filled tins, and gently spread it over the still soft mixture to cover evenly.
Smooth and flatten the surface of the meringue in one of the tins and ‘peak’ the meringue in the other using a skewer or the tip of a knife – this will be the top of the cake.
Return the tins to the oven and bake for a further 25 minutes, until the meringue is firm to the touch.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool before unmoulding.

To make the filling, whisk the cream until soft peaks form, then add the icing sugar and 200g of the raspberries.
Whisk briefly, to make a thick, pink cream. Fold in the remaining 100g of raspberries.

Run a round-bladed knife around the inside of each tin to loosen the cakes.
Turn out the flat-topped meringue cake on to a serving plate, meringue-side down.
Spread with the raspberry cream.
Top with the second cake, with the peaked meringue side uppermost.
Decorate with raspberries, hazelnuts and pistachios.

And this was my final result! I would definitely like to do it again. I made a few mistakes and it wasn’t perfect – but it tasted pretty damn good!

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Note – whipped cream can be stabilized by adding a solution of plain, unflavored gelatin to the mixture.
To make this stabilizing agent, dissolving a teaspoon of unflavored gelatin in 2 tablespoons of hot tap water and stir until dissolved.
Let the gelatin mixture cool while preparing the whipped cream. The cooled gelatin mixture can be added after the sugar and vanilla.
Once blended, cover the bowl with clear wrap and store in the refrigerator.
Whipped cream prepared in this way will keep for up to three or four days in the refrigerator.
Check out my price lists here:
Cupcakes ~ Cakes and Cookies ~ 
Sugar Art ~

An Anniversary Cake!

I have officially named this cake “MeeA’s Madness” and it will be listed as such on my pricelist.

When MeeA contacted me last year about a cake worthy of her tenth wedding anniversary,  we had several conversations about what it could be. MeeA wanted to combine some of her favourite flavours in a cake, and she wanted to surprise her guests as well, and so MeeA’s Madness was born.

😛

Its a huge cake! Three layers of red velvet cake and two layers of meringue, filled with cream cheese icing and fresh raspberries. The tartness of the raspberries perfectly compliments the cream cheese icing and the sweetness of the meringue, whilst the contrasts in the texture of the red velvet cake and the meringue make it SO much fun to eat!

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Happy tenth anniversary MeeA and David!

A “Beater Test” Cake!

This was a “spur of the moment” kind of beta test that Gnat_J was very kind to offer to taste for me! I spotted it on Pinterest and my predilection for berries and chocolate made it a must-try for me!

The butter icing and the cake are infused with a raspberry puree that I made myself (and ate what was left over) and with Gina’s permission I cut a slice out of it for tasting and for photography.

I loved it, and judging by her tweets, I think Gina did too: oh my, I think I need a private moment alone with my Raspberry Chocolate cake…. thanks @thecupcake_lady this is divine! 

LOL!

raspberry cake

raspberry cake

Check out the gawjiss photo taken by Gina’s husband Paul Jacobson when I dropped the cake off yesterday!

Raspberry chocolate cake incident-2

Experiments For A Sass Shoot

On Sunday, I had some leftover chocolate and vanilla cupcake batter, and I thought I’d attempt something I had seen in the internet a while ago.

The result was chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, sliced open and alternately stuffed with cream cheese icing and vanilla butter icing, with fresh raspberries and blueberries added before the top of the cupcake was replaced.

They are very yummy, but I will make some changes when I do them again. For one thing, I will not baked them in paper cups, they’ll be a little bigger so that they’re a little more stable, and I think I will put something on top to finish them off a little prettier too.

You can see some more pictures of these cupcakes on Jeanette Verster’s website and her FB page where they were used as a small part of the Sass Designs fashion shoot before they were enjoyed by the models!