Sunday, 21 October 2012

Get your bake on for the Irish Bake Off final!!!

Two posts in one day since I baked like crazy this weekend..

The final of the Wholesome Ireland Bake Off is upon us, and anyone following on Twitter will know there's been lots of banter, scaremongering, psyching each other out and laughs over the couple of days. In keeping with tradition, the challenge for this week is based on the challenge faced by the contestants on the Great British Bake Off last Tuesday.

So bakers... ready, steady, bake the best chiffon cake you can!

As a total chiffon newbie, a lot of recipes were read before deciding on one suitable for the finale. As I mentioned in my last post, I love all things orange at the moment.... orange chiffon cake it is!!

Let the chiffon war commence!

Anyone tracking the challenge on Twitter will have read that I may have been over zealous in my baking, failed to realise that a combination of self raising flour, baking powder, cream of tartar and 8 egg whites may result in this....

Deflated, just like my confidence.....

Here's a tip.... read the recipe correctly, and use plain flour instead!

Attempt number 2 couldn't get worse right? Lesson the recipe right this time....

I decided at the last minute to change the recipe. If this 'Hell' cake recipe was good enough for John Whaites, then it's good enough for me...

I really took my time with this, given how badly round one went!!

I started by separating the eggs, and whisking the egg whites in the electric mixer. Meanwhile, I mixed all the remaining ingredients in another bowl until just combined.

Once the egg whites are ready, it's time to fold them gently into the chocolate mixture. I would recommend doing this slowly, be patient when you fold them in, or you'll knock out all the air in the egg white and end up with a flat, heavy textured cake. Add the egg whites in 3 or 4 batches, this will make it easier to combine the two mixtures.

When you no longer have trails of egg white in the mixture, you are ready to pour into the lined 11" round cake tin. Tap the tin a couple of times on the counter top, this will knock out any big air bubbles, and prevent large holes in the cake.

Next step... and this is really important, you have to sit by the oven watching the cake for the next 1 1/4 hours or it couldn't possibly turn out right! Thankfully I followed this step, and the end result was a well risen, spongy textured chiffon cake that smells just like a Terry's chocolate orange bar.

Seriously relieved!!
Preparing the icings and decoration for the cake was a little slow....I promise it's worth the effort so stick with me...

Firstly, if you've read my previous post on Fondant Fancies, you'll see how I made the jelly for the filling in the Jaffa Cake inspired cakes. You'll need an 8" round disc of jaffa jelly for this cake. 

The next step is to melt 150g of white chocolate and spread on parchment. Make up a small batch of pink glace icing (2oz icing sugar, drop of pink colouring, rose water, and enough water to make icing thin enough to drizzle over the white chocolate). 

I used the leftover icing from the Fondant Fancies.... yes there is a pink, girly theme emerging to my weekend of baking!

Using a cake wire, slice the cake horizontally into three even layers. 

Now for the orange zesty buttercream... Start by beating 4oz of butter with the zest of one orange, and 2 heaped tbsp of marshmallow fluff. 

Once you have pale, fluffy consistency, beat in the sieved icing sugar. Continue to beat until the icing is smooth and creamy. 

To make the chocolate ganache topping, bring 200ml of cream almost to the boil with 1tbsp of finely grated orange zest. Add 200g of broken Terry's chocolate orange and stir until melted in the cream. Add 2tbsp of sieved icing sugar, and whisk until smooth and glossy. Set aside to cool. Once the white chocolate has set, break into rough shards. 

It's finally time to assemble the cake! 

Start by spreading a generous layer of the orange butter cream on the first two layers of the cake. 

Place the third layer on top. 

Using a palette knife, spread a thick coating of the chocolate ganache 
over the top and sides of the cake. 

Now, taking the disc of jelly, invert onto the top of the cake, taking care when peeling off the parchment. 

Do this slowly, or you will crack the jelly. 

Next, take the white chocolate shards, and press firmly into a mosaic style around the sides of the cake. 

The final step (FINALLY!), is to pipe chocolate ganache rosettes around the disc of jelly. 

And the finished product.....

Piece of cake....

So there you have it, after a weekend of baking, I'm delighted with the end result. I wanted to create a 
centre-piece cake, which paid tribute to the final challenges set in the Great British Bake Off. The bakers were given the challenge of creating a biographical showstopper.. I think I've answered this brief, by combining my childhood favourites; Fondant Fancies and Jaffa Cakes, with my current favourite of chocolate cake... 

The flavours in this cake compliment each other perfectly... a light orange chocolate sponge, orange buttercream, jaffa topping, chocolate ganache, white chocolate shards with rose flavoured icing swirls... and to top it all off, it's adorned with Fondant Fancies.. 

This cake is light and flavourful, and is definitely going to be baked again soon. 

Best of luck to all the other bakers! 

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