Easter Peace Cake

I was inspired to make this cake as a statement of intent for Peace after the bombings in Brussels on March 22nd 2016. Easter and Spring are times of renewed energy and hope.

IMG_3450

 Pecan, maple and coffee combined to make  a  delicate nut gateaux. The cake has a number of component parts but is not difficult to make. Do read through the recipe first so that you don’t miss buying ingredients or preparing something in advance.

Easter Peace Cake

Gateau aux Noix

100g fresh breadcrumbs, oven dried

250g pecan nuts, toasted

200g caster sugar

6 eggs, separated

1 tablespoons strong coffee (liquid)

2 tablespoons dark maple syrup

Method:

Dry the breadcrumbs in the oven for a few minutes until crisp. Set aside to cool. Toast the pecan nuts for about five minutes in a hot oven but take care that they don’t burn. Set these aside to cool.

Butter and base line 2 x 18cm cake tins.

Preheat the oven to 150c/gas 3

Put the egg yolks and sugar into a large mixing bowl and cream together until the mixture is smooth and pale and the sugar is dissolved. Add the coffee and maple syrup and mix well.

Put the cooled nuts into a food processor and pulse until they are chopped. Add the toasted breadcrumbs and pulse once or twice to mix. You can chop the nuts by hand if you don’t have a food processor.   Mix the nuts and breadcrumbs into the creamed egg yolks and sugar. The mixture will be quite stiff.

In another large bowl whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Mix one large spoonful of the whisked whites into the cake mixture and then tip in the remainder and fold in well.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake tins and cook for 30 minutes or until the cake is springy to the touch and browned on the top.

Remove the cooked cakes to a cooling tray and when cool enough to handle tip them from their tins and remove the base lining paper.

Maple Butter Cream

2 eggs

250 g salted butter

4 tablespoons dark maple syrup

Break the eggs into a bowl and lightly whisk to mix. Set the bowl over a saucepan of barley simmering water ensuring that the base of the bowl is not in contact with the water. Add the sugar and whisk until the sugar dissolves.

Remove the bowl from the heat and beat with an electric whisk for about five minutes or until the bowl and the mixture are lukewarm.  Add the butter in about five batches whisking between each. As you get to the final batches the butter cream will thicken. Add the maple syrup mixing well and then leave the butter cream at room temperature until required.

Coffee fondant

½ an egg white

A pinch of cream of tartar

200g icing sugar

4 teaspoons very strong coffee (liquid)

Lightly whisk the egg white and cream of tartare in a bowl and then stir in the icing sugar to form a thick paste. Mix in the coffee. Adjust the consistency – the icing should drop from the spoon and be glossy. If you need to thicken the mixture then add more icing sugar. If you need to loosen the consistency then add a touch of milk.

To complete the cake

100g toasted and chopped pecan nuts

Decoration of your choice – crystallised edible flowers, Easter eggs or fresh strawberries or make your own chocolate run out decorations.

_MG_6237

An Easter Peace Cake: In Sympathy, In Memory and In Hope

To assemble

Chose one of the cakes as the base and the one with the flattest top for the top layer.  Put about a third of the butter cream on to the base layer and spread evenly and over the edges. Top with the second cake. Dollop a further third of the butter cream onto this layer and again spread evenly and over the edges.  Use the last third to cover the side of the cake evenly.

Roughly chop the toasted pecan nuts and press these evenly into the sides of the cake. Put the cake in the fridge to set for about half an hour.

Spoon the coffee fondant into the centre of the top layer and allow it to spread evenly. It should cover the top of the cake and just begin to drip down the sides. If it needs ‘help’ then use a palette knives dipped in hot water to  spread the fondant evenly.  Set the cake a aside to set before decoration.

The Cake has cooked and raw egg in the icings so it should be  kept in a tin in the fridge and used within three days.

Serve at tea time, coffee time or as a dessert with fresh fruit and additional cream.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s