Friday, 28 October 2016

Cake Monday - October

We race (electronically) and the loser has to bake a cake to feed the office. 
Why? Because we like cake.
Who? Everyone in the office. No one gets out of it. When? 1st Monday of the month. The rules: you make the cake yourself, without any help. You can't 'repeat' a cake. Your cake will be judged on presentation, difficulty and taste, and marked out of 10 by each colleague. When you have baked 3 cakes, you are out of the competition for 1 year.

‘The Renee’ by Greg.

It was the final countdown for Greg who once again lost the race and had to bake his third and final cake before he is out of the race for a year. He decided to use the same recipe selection method as the previous cakes and go for the next recipe along in the recipe book. It looked quite straight forward so he went with it… not realising it referred to several other pages in the recipe! This cake was not for the faint hearted and Greg had given himself quite the challenge. He realised the recipe gave 2 layers, but he decided (because why not) that he wanted three, so he doubled up the recipe. For the sponge he mixed sugar & butter which took ages because the butter was hard. He then added flour, baking powder, some egg yolks and some whole eggs and whisked with a hand whisk.  The mixes were put into separate tins and went into the oven. For the filling he pulled out all the stops by making Crème Patissiere. For this he mixed milk & caster sugar and brought it to the boil, he then added corn flour, egg yolks, vanilla, caster sugar, mixed it all together, strained it, and then brought it to boil again! Whilst all this was going on the cakes had overflowed, but were nowhere near done. He kept checking and eventually just took them out and left to cool.

But this cake journey does not stop here, next he made the topping; Italian Meringue. He whisked egg whites to soft peaks, and in a separate bowl mixed caster sugar and water. He needed to bring the water/sugar mix to 120 degrees, but with no thermometer he brought it to boil and then left it a bit longer. The next part required a helping hand (usually against the rules, but we let him off because there was no way he could have done this bit single-handedly). The boiling water/sugar mix was poured over the egg whites while they were being whisked (to cook the egg in the meringue). Now, back over to the sponges, they were cut in half and brushed with kirsh liquor. The Crème Patissiere was mixed with raspberries, and a pallet knife was used to spread onto the middle of the cakes. Finally, once assembled, Greg had some fun with a blow torch on the meringue which topped the cake.

The Verdict: 

Wow, Greg certainly went out with a bang! This cake was everything you could want from a cake and more. The meringue was a delicious combination of sweetness and fluffiness, and the Crème Patissiere with fresh raspberries was to die for. The cake itself was a masterpiece and everyone in the office was impressed by Greg’s culinary creation. Never before have so many 10s been given and it was declared a “bloody good cake” by Adam. Callum said that the only improvement that could have been made would have been to add chocolate. No one wanted to follow this level of cake, and it was a nervous wait to find out who it would be…

The Renee Cake Average Score: 9.5

Next time: Callum lost and we fear he may not be joking about a meat cake…

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