Sunday, 15 May 2011

Trifle Catastrophique

Or, How To Rescue Ambitious Cakes Which Fall Over.

I have developed a habit of excessively baking for Dad's friend A, ever since Dad challenged me to make an Arctic-themed birthday cake for him.  This time I'd decided to make an upside-down-double-blueberry cake for our dinner party.  Method as follows:  Grease and line Springform baking tin.  Pour in 1 punnet blueberries.  Spread in 2 large eggs-worth of almond sponge mix.  Bake approx. 30-40 mins.  When cool, remove the outside of the tin.  Turn cake out.  Repeat the process and layer thin cakes together with mascarpone cream filling.

The trouble came at the turning-out stage.  The usual method for turning out a Springformed cake onto a plate is to put the plate on top of the de-tinned cake, grasp the plate and bottom of the tin with both hands, and deftly flip.  You can now remove the bottom of the tin, revealing a lovely smooth surface to ice, and in this case a lot of exploded blueberries.

What actually happened was that my impatience got the better of me as usual.  With a tin-bottom still warm from the oven, I grasped it with oven gloves on and fumbled the whole thing over the gas hob frames.  My delicious cake was fractured into several pieces.  At this point Dad's fiancĂ© N came to the rescue.

'Eton mess it is then,' she says.  'Lucky we have lots of cream eh?'

Trifle Catastrophique
You Will Need: Failcake, large fancy bowl, small bowl, whisk, spoon, knife

half packet of mascarpone
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 tablespoons icing sugar
300ml double cream
Grand Marnier or other brandy-like substance
(extra fruit to decorate)

1) Scoop the failcake into the bottom of the fancy bowl, breaking into smaller pieces if necessary or unavoidable. Chill in the fridge if still warm. Drizzle over the Grand Marnier, as much as you like.
2) Beat together the mascarpone, yolk and sugar with the spoon until smooth.  Pour in half the cream and whisk until very thick, but still pourable.
3)  Pour the mascarpone filling over the cake, and spread flat with a knife.  Whip the rest of the cream and add another layer until all the cake failure is hidden from view.  You may need more cream depending on bowl and failure size (oh noes :-P)
4)  Scatter any remaining fruit, and some flaked almonds if you have them, over the top.  Chill before serving.

N says that this must go down as one of the better Great Unregrettable Mistakes of the world, along with penicillin, as the trifle thus created was probably just as good if not better than the intended cake.  I rather like it because it's the first time I've produced a non-fail trifle (custards for trifle still escape me).  Try it yourselves!

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