Remember last week I blogged about World Baking Day, and the mysterious Box that I received? Remember, I told you what would come of it all? Well, here we go! Finally my post on World Baking Day is up and as you can see, I pretty much dominated! I decided to spend this glorious day in the kitchen with my younger sister, Georgia. She is only 13 and seems to spend her life at school, so this was a perfect opportunity for us girls to spend some much needed quality time together in the Kitchen. I was asked to bake a Level 45 cake – a glorious, Milk Tart Cake, complete with layers of Milk Tart custard, soft vanilla sponge and a ridiculously fussy chocolate ganache outfit which gave me a whole lot of admin! I think I made things a little harder for myself because Georgia and I each wanted to decorate our own mini cakes, so we made big sponge cakes and then punched out smaller cake disks using a cookie cutter. This made stacking the cakes and applying the ganache very tricky as they were not at all sturdy! Either way, we prevailed (with help from kebab skewers to keep our cakes in an upright position) and the cake was absolutely delish. I do not recommend doing the mini cake version, I spent a lot of the time swearing at my pretty cake while Georgia laughed at how someone who makes a living baking Macarons could not assemble a simple stack of sponge! In the end, we both came out smiling and covered in Custard, not the worst way to end a great way in the kitchen.
Below are some piccies of the baking steps and my thoughts on their recipe. If you take anything away from this, let it be the custard, mine barely made it into the cake. You will see their recipe below, I have added my thoughts and tips underneath each step.
1. Preheat a conventional oven to 160′ C. Line two 20 cm-cake tins with baking paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Assemble your ingredients.
3. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and add the sugar, softened margarine and eggs. Mix for 30 seconds with an electric mixer on medium speed.
– Tip: Beat your Margarine and sugar together first until you have a light and fluffy texture, then add the eggs, one by one and continue to beat for another minute or so until you have a light, fluffy, smooth mixture. Add the flour and beat until the mixture is smooth. I do’t like to chuck everything in at once as it gives your cake a very stodgy texture.
4. Add the milk and vanilla essence and beat for another 1 minute and 30 seconds or until the mixture looks light and fluffy.
5. Spoon equal amounts of batter into the lined cake tins and bake for about 50 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
6. While the cake is baking, make the ‘milk tart’ filling and ganache coating.
7. To make the ‘milk tart’ filling, heat together the milk, margarine and condensed milk in a pot on the stove at medium heat until the margarine has melted.
8. Whisk the egg, cornflour and vanilla essence in a bowl and while whisking, pour some of the heated milk mixture onto the egg mixture.
9. Pour the milk and egg mixture back into the pot and heat it on medium heat on the stove while stirring continuously for about 3 minutes, or until the mixture thickens.
– Tip: Use a whisk to stir the pot, as the mixture will thicken up pretty quickly and the whisk will help with avoiding lumpy custard.
10. As soon as the mixture starts to boil, remove from the heat.
11. Pour the thickened mixture into a bowl, place cling wrap over the surface to prevent a skin forming and place it in the refrigerator until cool, preferably overnight.
12. To make the ganache coating, gently heat the cream with the cinnamon stick in a pot on the stove. Bring the cream to just below boiling point.
13. Remove the pot from the heat and leave the cream to cool for the cinnamon stick to infuse the cream with its subtle flavour.
14. Place the chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl.
15. Remove the cinnamon stick from the cream and pour the cream over the chopped chocolate.
16. Heat the chocolate and cream mixture in a microwave oven at 20% power or at the Defrost setting. Stir at 2-minute intervals until the mixture is melted and smooth.
17. Leave the ganache in the refrigerator to set for a few hours or overnight.
18. When the cakes have finished baking, leave them in the tins, preferably overnight.
19. Turn the cakes out of the tins and tear off the baking paper.
20. Divide each cake into two layers. Sewing thread or unflavoured dental floss does an excellent job of slicing through a cake neatly.
21. Spread three of the layers with ‘milk tart’ filling; sprinkle powdered cinnamon between the layers and stack the layers on top of one another.
22. Melt the ganache coating in a microwave oven at 20% power or on the Defrost setting until it has the consistency of peanut butter and cover the top and sides of the cake with a thin layer of ganache coating.
23. Measure the height and circumference of the cake and cut a piece of greaseproof paper to this size.
24. Pour 50 g melted chocolate into a zip-lock bag, snip off a small piece at one corner of the bag to make a piping bag and pipe swirls on the greaseproof paper.
25. Before the chocolate sets, lift the paper off your workbench and fold it around the cake with the decorations on the inside.
26. Peel the paper off the chocolate to reveal a lace pattern on the cake.
27. Decorate the top of the cake with powdered cinnamon, cinnamon sticks or chocolate curls.
A huge thank you should be given to Stork for putting together such a wonderful challenge. Your Mystery Boxes were beautiful and so thoughtfully packed. You certainly taught me a thing or two, but most of all, you gave me a wonderful day in the Kitchen with my little sister, something that does not happen very often. Next year I encourage everyone to try and get involved in World Baking Day, it really is pretty rad.