Tuesday, 10 October 2017

A Surprisingly Good Birthday Cake

We all love a good before and after-shot, don’t we?
It’s not usually the way I like to capture my cooking, but in this case, it’s a prime example of how icing can hide a multitude of sins.
It’s also a great reminder not to turn your back on a vulnerable cake cooling on the bench, when there are vultures (children) around.
Despite a handful being dug out of this cake, I managed to salvage it and turn it into something special for Mr Everyday Baker’s birthday.
He enjoys a lighter-style birthday cake and loves a citrus and almond combo, so he was chuffed.
The middle lad even got to have a slice, despite what was threatened immediately after he was caught cake-handed.
Smiles all round, eventually.

Flourless Orange, Almond and Mascarpone Layer Cake
Two large oranges (enough to make 300g puree)
9 eggs
375g caster sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
375g almond meal
250g mascarpone
250ml pure cream
50g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
50g flaked almonds, lightly toasted
Berries, for decorating

To create your orange puree, you can boil the oranges in a saucepan filled with hot water for an hour or so until they are soft, before blitzing.
However, you can also just chop and blitz the oranges raw (including the peel) in a processor, it works just as well and adds a nice bitterness to the cake.
 Pre-heat the oven to 150C and line two 22cm cake tins (or three smaller ones) with baking paper.
In a mixer, whisk together the eggs and sugar until light and airy.
Add the orange puree (cooled) and whisk again to mix through, before folding through the baking powder and ground almonds until well combined.
Pour the batter evenly into the tins and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for about 30 minutes until lightly golden and springy to the touch.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool in their tins before removing, to avoid a disaster.
Also make sure they are out of reach of little hands, again, to avoid a disaster.
For the icing, use your mixer to whisk together the mascarpone, cream, sugar and vanilla until smooth.
Assemble the cake by placing one of the cakes on a plate or cake stand and using a palette knife to spread on a good quarter of the icing (depending on how many layers you have).
Place the second cake on top and spread the rest of the icing over the cake, before sprinkling over the toasted almonds.
Adorn with berries.

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