The Great ‘not so British’ Bake Off!

On Sunday my friend Tarryn and her mom Jenny had a crazy bake off and made about a million cakes then invited me so I got to stuff my face with cake! 

Majority of the recipes were from a book called “Cakes to celebrate love and life”, which Tarryn had bought for her mom for mothers day. I think they should have one of these every Sunday! Below are a few recipes of my favourites  from the bake off. 

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Mojito Cupcakes with Meringue Icing

Cupcakes

1/2 cup mint leaves
Zest of 2 limes
3/4 cup hot milk
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarb soda
1/4 tsp salt
125 g butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs – at room temp
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsp rum

Preheat oven to 180 C.

1. Add the mint leaves to the hot milk and let them steep for 15 minutes. Remove mint and let the milk cool slightly.

2. Sift together flour, baking powder, bicarb, and salt.

3. Put butter into stand mixer bowl and beat until creamy. Add the sugar and continue beating until mixture is light and fluffy

4. Add the eggs, one at a time. Then slowly mix in lemon zest, rum, and Vanilla Essence.

5. Lower the speed of the mixer and slowly start adding warm milk and flour.

6. Fill muffin liners half full and bake for about 20 minutes.

7. Let these cool and get started on the meringue icing.

Meringue Icing

4 egg whites at room temp

1 cup sugar
a pinch of salt

1. In a heatproof bowl combine the egg whites, salt, and sugar.
2. Set over a pan of simmering water and whisk continuously for 3 to 5 minutes until sugar has

dissolved and mixture is hot to the touch.
3. Attach the bowl to your stand mixer, with the whisk attachment.
4. Beat on low for two minutes and then switch to high for five minutes until mixture has cooled and stiff peaks form. Use immediately.

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Chocolate cake (Death by chocolate)

Cake

2 cups (400 g) sugar

1¾ cups (245 g) cake flour

¾ cup (90 g) cocoa powder

1½ tsp (7.5 ml) baking powder

1½ tsp (7.5 ml) bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp (5 ml) salt

2 eggs, at room temperature

1 cup (250 ml) milk

½ cup (125 ml) vegetable oil

2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla essence

1 cup (250 ml) boiling water

Ganache

300 g dark chocolate

1 cup (250 ml) fresh cream

 

Mousse

150 ml milk

3½ slabs (315 g) dark chocolate, grated

150 g butter, cubed

2½ cups (625 ml) fresh cream

Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Grease and line three cake tins of 21 cm in diameter.

Cake

In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, mix the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt together. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla essence. Beat for 2

minutes on medium speed. Stir in the boiling water –the batter should be runny. Divide the batter equally between the three prepared pans and bake for 20–25 minutes or until the centres of the cakes spring back when lightly pressed. Allow to cool in the pans before turning out.

Ganache

Over a double boiler, melt the chocolate and cream together. Stir until smooth. Leave to cool to room temperature – it should thicken slightly but still have a pouring consistency.

Mousse

Bring the milk to the boil, then pour it over the chocolate and butter in a mixing bowl. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Leave to cool to room temperature. Whip the cream until stiff peaks form, then fold into the chocolate mixture.

Trim the ‘dome’ sides of two of the cakes. This helps to flatten the cakes while leaving you with cake to crumb for decoration.

To assemble

Spread half of the mousse onto the first ‘flattened’ layer, top with the second ‘flattened’ layer and spread the rest of the mousse on top of this layer. Finally top with the remaining cake. Pour the ganache over the top and sides of the cake. Crumb the trimmed cake pieces and stick cake crumbs all around the cake.

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Mary Berry’s Tarte au Citron

 Pastry
– 175g plain flour
– 100g cold butter cut into small pieces
– 25g icing sugar
– 1 free-range egg yolk
– 1 tbsp cold water

Filling
– 5 free-range eggs
– 125ml double cream
– 225g caster sugar
– 4 lemons zested
– 150ml of lemon juice
– Icing sugar, for dusting

You will also need a 23cm loose-bottomed, fluted tart tin.

For the pastry, place the flour, butter and icing sugar into a food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Next, add the egg yolk and water. Pulse again until the mixture comes together into one big clump. Knead the pastry for just two or three times to make it smooth. At this point I wrapped the pastry in some Clingfilm and chilled for 15 minutes, as I find it easier to work with pastry that has rested.

Meanwhile you can prepare the tin. Mary gives some great instructions on how to line the tin in the book. Lay a piece of parchment paper on the work surface. Remove the base from the tart tin and lay it on the paper. Using a pencil, draw a circle onto the paper 4cm bigger than the tin base. Dust the base of the tin with flour.

Take the pastry out of the fridge and remove the Clingfilm wrapping. Place the pastry ball in the centre of the tin base and flatten it out slightly. Roll out the pastry, still on the base, until it meets the circle mark. As you are rolling out, turn the pastry by turning the paper. Gently fold the pastry surrounding the tin base in towards the centre. Carefully lift the tin base off the work surface, drop it into the tin, then ease the pastry into the corners and up the sides of the tin, pressing the overhang lightly over the rim. If the pastry has cracked at all, simply press it together to seal. Press the pastry into the flutes of the tin then lightly prick the base with a fork, but not quite all the way through. Place the pastry-lined tin in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200C. Once cooled, line the pastry case with a rough circle of parchment paper and fill with baking beads. Bake blind for 12-15 minutes, until the pastry is set, then lift out the paper and beans. Mine only took 11 minutes, so do keep a close eye on it when it’s baking blind.

Carefully trim the excess pastry from the sides using a sharp knife, holding the knife at an angle and slicing away from you. Remove the excess pastry from the sheet. Return the empty pastry case to the oven for another 10-12 minutes. It should be pale golden and completely dry. Leave aside to cool as you make the filling. Reduce the oven temperature to 170C.

To make the filling, break the eggs into a large bowl and whisk together with a wire whisk. Next, add in the rest of the filling ingredients and whisk again until all well combined. Pour the filling mixture into a jug, then pour nearly all of the filling into the cooled baked pastry case. To prevent it spilling top up with the rest of the filling to completely fill it only once it’s safely on the oven shelf.  Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until just set but with a slight wobble in the centre.

Leave to cool slightly for a bit. Once the the pastry comes away from the sides of the tin, remove the tart from the tin. The easiest way to do this is to place the base of the tin on an upturned bowl and let the outer ring fall to the work surface. Place the tart on a serving plate and serve warm or cold.  To create a nice finish, dust the top of the tart with sifted icing sugar.

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