Monday, 23 April 2007

cake on request

Since S so sweetly requested a marbled cake, what else could I do but strap on my apron and start baking? It was the ideal occasion to use the cake mould my granny had given me recently. She had bought it aeons ago (the price label on the box is in Belgian francs – that long ago), only used it once and she knows I love baking so thought I would put it to better use than her.

The recipe I used is my family’s version of the classic quatre quarts, or pound cake, and is a complete doddle to make.

4 eggs (separated, whites whipped)
250g butter (softened)

250g sugar (including some vanilla sugar)

250g flour (self-raising or with baking powder)

Cream the butter with sugar, add egg yolks, fold in egg whites, add flour et voilĂ : basic cake dough. For a marbled cake, take a blob of dough and mix in some cocoa powder, until you’re happy with the cocoa-ness of it. Butter your cake mould, bung in a layer of plain dough, followed by a chocolate layer, another layer of plain dough and bake at 150˚C for about 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

The mould I used was smaller than the one I normally use, leaving me with quite a bit of leftover dough. Which mysteriously diminished every time S paid a visit to the kitchen. But still, there was enough left for me to finally try something with that unopened pack of matcha I’d had sitting in my pantry for so long and never got around to using. So I mixed a bit of matcha in the dough until the whole thing was sufficiently green, and baked it in rectangular mini moulds. The resulting mini cakes were deliciously moist, with a very subtle matcha taste – the bitterness of the tea nicely counterbalanced the sweetness of the cake.

Yummy though it was (even S approved), it did look a bit plain. So, in a vain effort to try and make it look a bit more professional and posh, I played around a bit with the presentation, plating it with strawberries, raspberry coulis and a dusting of icing sugar. The whole thing ended up looking as if the strawberries had been violently slaughtered on the cake, but the tart fruit and coulis nicely complemented the bitter matcha.

And the end result? I was happy I could finally used my ‘new’ baking mould and the matcha powder, and S was a very happy bunny indeed with his marbled cake. if only all happiness was as simple as a nice piece of cake…

No comments: