Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Victoria and Albert Sponge (and edible flags)

what a pavlova (oh, pun!) Note pink lemonade to right, very appropriate
I love rice paper.  You don't seem to get it in the supermarkets anymore, so I ordered a huge amount off the internet.  Once I'd got out an A4 sheet it seemed a shame not to use it all, so I went on a bit of an edible flag binge this month.  Still - the Queen is only the Queen for the 60th year running once...

The 'Albert' in this otherwise typical sponge comes from the German-themed grated apple and cinnamon in the mixture.  This does cause it to densen dramatically but I got no complaints as to taste.  Next time perhaps more sophisticated fruit-layering could be arranged.

Victoria and Albert Sponge
You Will Need: 23cm cake tin, greaseproof paper, scissors, large bowl, wooden spoon, small bowl, teaspoon, scales, whisk, cheesegrater, veg peeler, chopping board and sharp knife, spoon, baking tray, breadknife, serving plate, plate, dinner knife (skewers / cocktail sticks, cotton bud or clean paintbrush)

6 eggs
self-raising flour
2 Bramley apples
3 tsp cinnamon
red berry jam
1 punnet strawberries
250ml double cream
(rice paper, food colouring)

1) Preheat the oven to 180 C.  Line your tin with a circle of greaseproof paper and smear the sides with butter.
2) Weigh 4 of your eggs (reserve the other 2).  Weigh out and beat together 4 eggsworth of butter and sugar.  Beat the 4 eggs together in a small bowl; gradually add and mix them with the butter.
3) Peel the Bramleys and grate them into the mixture.  Mix.  Weigh out 4 eggsworth of flour, add the cinnamon, and gradually fold it into the mixture a little at a time.
4) Pour the mix into the caketin, and make a dent in the centre - then when the centre inevitably rises, your cake will be flatter overall.  Protip.  Bake approximately 45mins - 1 hour, with a tinfoil hat for the last 15 minutes if need be, to clean-skewer stage.
5) When your cake is done, take it out of the oven and whack the oven up to 200 C.  Hardcore.  Allow the cake to cool.  Clean your large bowl.  Separate your remaining two eggs, getting the whites into the large bowl.  Whisk your eggwhites until they are at stiff-peak stage - when you lift the whisk, the points that form should be rigid.  Beat in approximately 6 tablespoons of sugar one spoon at a time, until stiff and glossy.
6) Cut another circle of greaseproof paper the same size as your cake, and lay on a baking tray.  Spoon the meringue out over this circle to almost cover it, forming a 'nest'.  Bake at 200 C for 10 minutes, then turn the oven off.
7) Wait at least 2 hours.  Watch a film, play a game, make lunch, whatever.
8) De-tin your cake.  Place it on the serving plate.  Carefully saw the cake in half, and shift the top half onto a second plate.  De-oven your meringue nest.  Carefully transfer the meringue from the baking tray to the top cake-half, peeling off the greaseproof paper.  It will be quite soft and sticky.
9) Chop 2/3 of a punnet of strawberries, and whip all the cream to soft-peak stage (when the peaks wilt).  Spread jam on the lower half of the cake; follow with half the cream, and strawbs to cover.  Lift the top cake on.  Fill the nest with the rest of the cream, and decorate with the remaining strawbs, leaving small ones whole and un-hulled.
10) If flags desired: Tear a sheet of ricepaper into rectangles.  Make a shallow fold at one of the short ends; wet the edge of this fold and fold across a stick.  Press firmly to glue the paper together around the stick.  Paint designs on with food colouring.

Protip: Rice paper is edible, but not very tasty.  This fact was rediscovered multiple times, often by the same people twice.


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    1. Hi Rio! Glad to hear you like my stuff. I try to post about twice a month, or as often as I have something new to show off.