Monday, 25 June 2012

Lime sponge with lime curd and marshmallow topping

The coconut is optional
A while ago, a friend had a birthday. Friends have a way of doing that. And when they do, it's rather fun to bake them a cake. Not just any old cake, but something unusual. So this is what I decided on on this occasion.

Oven temperature

...for the sponge

125g butter
120g caster sugar
2 eggs
120g self-raising flour (or plain flour plus10mls of baking powder)
Grated zest of 2 limes

...for the curd

I have already provided the recipe for this curd, but for the sake of convenience, let's include it here
250ml sugar
2.5ml salt
60ml cornflour
250ml lime juice
Grated zest of two limes
15ml lemon juice
45ml butter

...for the topping
375ml sugar
2 egg whites
pinch salt
80ml water
pinch cream of tartar
5ml vanilla

I would advise you to make the curd first, so that it has time to cool while you bake the cake. That way, they should both be ready for use at about the same time.

...for the curd
  • Place the salt, sugar and cornflour together in a saucepan and gradually stir in the orange juice.
  • Stir over a medium heat until the mixture becomes glossy and thick.
  • Remove from the heat and add the rest of the ingredients. Stir well.
  • Allow to cool completely before spreading on the cake or it will sink in to the sponge rather than forming a filling between your layers.
...for the sponge
  • Cream butter and sugar until soft and light.
  • Stir in grated zest.
  • Beat the eggs well and stir into the egg butter mixture. If it starts to curdle a bit, sprinkle in a bit of the flour to calm it down.
  • Sift and fold in the flour.
  • Divide between two cake pans and bake for about 20 minutes, or until done (test with skewer, or by 'spring-back' method - cake should spring back when gently poked with a forefinger).
  • Allow to cool.
...for the topping
  • Combine the sugar, water, egg whites, cream of tartar and salt in the top of a double boiler. No, I don't have one either, so I use a bowl (which I later place over a saucepan of water). It works.
  •  Beat well.
  • Place over rapidly boiling water and beat constantly until the mixture is able to form stiff peaks. This should take about 7-10 minutes. And I don't need to urge to to exercise caution when using your electric beater near both a hot cooker plate and water, do I?
  • Remove from the heat, and beat in the vanilla.
  • Keep beating until the mixture is cool and of the right consistency for spreading on a cake.
...bringing it all together
  • I like to place the flat (bottom) surfaces of a layer cake together - it sits better that way. So I turn one layer 'upside down'.
  • Spread the curd liberally over the flat side of one layer.
  • Top with the other layer, flat (bottom) side down.
  • Spread the marshmallow topping all over the top and sides of the cake.
  • You can choose to sprinkle with dessicated coconut at this point.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Nutella fudgesicles

Not a great photo, but you get the idea!
So... it's been a long old time, hasn't it? My life has been transformed yet again since my last post and some tough lessons have been learned.

But let's set that aside for now, because I simply have to share with you this delicious and far-easier-than-pie recipe. I came across it on Daily Waffle via Pinterest. The original recipe listed an ingredient I'd never heard of, so I thought I'd try a substitute. It so totally worked. And I think several other things might work, too, so I'll add a list at the end of things you might like to try.

But before we get down to things can I just make one thing very clear? Nutella is not a health food. Okay? It's healthier than many things, but it's crammed full of sugar. I mean, there's even been a class action on the subject. So please don't think that these fudgesicles constitute a healthy snack for your family and then come and sue me when that turns out not to be the case. This is a treat. Okay?


375ml Alpro soya milk - chocolate flavour
125ml Nutella


Whisk the ingredients together and then freeze for at least a couple of hours until set. Literally, that's it.

If you have a set of those popsicle moulds, they're ideal. The recipe is enough for 5 popsicles using my moulds. But you could use an ice cube tray, with or without lolly sticks.

I have used recipes for frozen treats before and they form crystals or granules, which I don't like. This recipe didn't. Not even slightly. The texture was sublime. Sublime I tell you.

So. Now to the alternatives. Instead of the Alpro soya milk, you could try:

  • Flavoured cow's milk
  • Unflavoured cow's milk, and then add a few drops of vanilla/almond/peppermint/whatever essence
  • Almond milk
  • Rice milk
  • Coconut milk... or cream
  • [insert brilliant idea here]