Mary Berry’s Angel Food Cake with Lemon Curd and Passionfruit drizzle

I love Baking and like to try something new. Sometimes I bake to beat boredom, other times there seems to be so much going on that I have to find time to bake! This was one of those times.

I saw this recipe on Bake Off last year and have wanted to make one ever since but I haven’t have the right tin. For Christmas, my lovely mother in law bought me the tin! Wahoo! So I have been dying to make it ever since. Here is how it went!

WP_20140118_18_54_18_Pro

Recipe
Cake Ingredients
125g Plain Flour
300g Caster Sugar
10 Large Egg Whites, at room temperature
Finely grated zest of 2 large unwaxed lemons
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp Cream of Tartar
1/2 tsp salt

Method
1 – Heat the oven to 170C/Gas 3 and put the oven shelf in the bottom third of the oven

2 – Sift the flour and 100g of the caster sugar into a bowl and set aside. 4

3- Separate the eggs, put the whites into a very large bowl (keep the yolks in a smaller bowl for later) and whisk with an electric mixer on high speed for 1 minute until frothy.

WP_20140118_14_24_40_Pro
4- Add the lemon zest (careful not to zest your thumb too like I did, ouch!) and juice, cream of tarter and salt and continue whisking for 2-3 minutes until soft peaks will form when the whisk is lifted. I think this is how they should look:

5 – Whisking on high speed, add the remaining 200g caster sugar a tbsp at a time and whisk until the whites form firm but not stiff peaks.

6 – Sprinkle a 1/3 of the flour mixture over the whites and gently fold in with a large metal or plastic spoon until combined (I can’t remember why but you shouldn’t use a wooden spoon to fold egg whites, I think it takes the air out). Repeat with the remaining flour mixture, in 2-3 batches, folding gently to keep as much air in as possible.

7 – Transfer the mixture to an un-greased 25cm Angel Food cake Pan with Legs, then gently run a knife through the centre of the mix to dislodge any large pockets of air.

8 – Bake in the oven for 45 -50 mins, I baked mine for 45 minutes and it was definitely done, maybe even a couple of minutes over. It is done when a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

WP_20140118_16_24_26_Pro

 9 – Remove the pan from the oven and immediately turn upside down (hence the    legs), Leave to cool for at least 1 hour.

10- Run a palette knife around the inner and outer edges of the pan to loosen it from the pan, then invert the pan onto a plate and use the palette knife to loosen the cake from the base of                                                                                 the tin. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

 

WP_20140118_14_06_07_ProLemon Curd Ingredients

10 large egg yolks
400g Caster Sugar
Finely grated zest of 2 large unwaxed lemons
Juice of 4 large lemons – about 200ml (I don’t have a posh juicer and the juice I squeezed out of my 4 lemons was about 150ml, so I used a bit of Jif lemon to top it up)
175g unsalted butter, cubed

 

Method
1 – Mix together the egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest and juice in a large pan.

2 – Cook gently over a low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon (make sure to stir the sides and base thoroughly) for 5-7 minutes until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon.

WP_20140118_15_19_14_Pro

3 – Remove from the heat and stir in the butter until melted and smooth.

4 – Strain the lemon curd through a sieve into a large jug (it suddenly starts to resemble lemon curd at this point!)

5- Mary Berry’s recipe says that you should fill two 350g sterilised Jars with curd and seal with a lid. Then use the rest of the curd for the topping. I only seemed to have enough for one 300g jar and there was nearly 200g left which I used for the topping. I’m not sure if we heated it for too long or if I didn’t have enough lemon juice, but there was nowhere near enough for two 350g jars plus some for the topping!

WP_20140118_15_28_13_Pro

 

 

6 – So fill jars with as much lemon curd as you have and then leave some (the recipe is very vague but I kept about 200g and it seemed to work well and taste yummy) in the jug for the topping. Cover this with clingfilm and leave to cool.

Topping Ingredients
300ml whipping cream, well chilled
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 passionfruits

Method

1 – Whip the cream with vanilla extract until it will form soft peaks.

2 – Spoon the cream over the cold cake and smooth down with a palette knife.

3 – Cut the passionfruits in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp. Stir into the reserved cooled lemon curd and drizzle over the angel food cake before serving.

WP_20140118_19_21_38_Pro

It’s not exactly the simplest bake in the world and I certainly didn’t do it perfectly (when I was tipping the mixture into the tin I kept finding pockets of flour and sugar – not quite as well folded as I thought!) but it turned out pretty well actually! It tastes yummy and very light though it’s an interesting texture because of the egg whites.

The sauce is a lovely combination of sharp and sweet and it goes very nicely with the delicate flavour of the cake but I actually think the cake would be nice without such a strong topping too.

I am particularly surprised with how well the lemon curd turned out – it has now set and is exactly how I think of Lemon Curd! Feels really nice to have made it – makes me want to make jams and all sorts now haha – maybe one day!

Happy Baking!

Gallery-logo

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

Link up your recipe of the week

Beating Boredom with Baking Blog 1 – Mary Berry’s Chocolate Fudge Cake

Boredom isn’t quite the right word for it, and Monkey and I keep ourselves very busy, but with the constant routine of mealtimes, playtimes, baby groups, naps, housework, sometimes I feel as if my brain is stagnating with the mundaneness. Sounds all a bit harsh and I am loving being at home with my little man, but I do need pursuits for myself to keep my brain going. Hence the baking!

We are watching Great British Bake-Off so maybe that has something to do with my sudden re-interest in baking, but I had a craving for a nice chocolate cake before that although I’m not sure why. Thanks to my husband’s tutelage I have now mastered the basic baking skills required for making a nice sponge cake, I also make cookies and flapjacks and things, but one thing I had never tried before was a good chocolate cake.

There are many many recipes out there and I was looking for a nice simple one that would give the tastiest chocolate cake possible. We have a few cookbooks in the house but I settled on a Mary Berry one. After a few failed attempts at some of her other recipes in the past (the pinwheel biscuits tasted really dull and we definitely prefer our flapjack recipe to hers) hubby was definitely a bit wary of this recipe book but her Chocolate Fudge Cake sounded too delicious not to try so off I went.

The cake recipe is as follows:

50g cocoa powder (I used Green & Blacks)
6 tbsp boiling water
3 large eggs
50 ml milk
175g self-raising flour
1 heaped tsp baking powder
100g soft butter
275g caster sugar
For Icing and Filling:
150g Plain Chocolate (Approx. 39% cocoa solids DO NOT USE A 70% COCOA SOLIDS CHOCOLATE, see below)
150ml double cream
Method:
 1.Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Grease two eight inch sandwich tins and line the bases with baking parchment.
2. Measure the cocoa into a bowl, add the boiling water and mix until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until smooth.
3. Divide the cake mixture between the prepared tins and level the surface
4. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 25-30 mins until well risen and the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly pressed.
For the Icing and Filling:
1.Measure the chocolate and cream together in a bowl. Stand the bowl in a pan of simmering water and stir until just melted – do not get too hot.
2. Remove the bowl from the heat ad allow to cool until it has nearly set.
3. Spread onto cake as a filling and then the remaining for the icing.

I have to say right off that miraculously the cake baked perfectly first time round! I couldn’t quite believe it! The icing/filling however… not quite so.

Now it does say in the recipe that the chocolate should be 39% cocoa solids. I read this, but in my local shop they had 2 types of plain chocolate, one which didn’t say anything, and one which was 74% cocoa solids. I thought this was probably fine so bought that one. When I got home however I had another look at Mary Berry’s book and in the early pages (which I never normally read) she does explain why it is important not to use a chocolate with too high a percentage of cocoa solids. Something about the fat separating. This concerned for all of ooh, 2 seconds and then I thought, ahh it’lll be fine so went on with my baking.

What I was mindful of though was how bitter it would be using a plain chocolate that dark, so was prepared to add some sugar. when I had melted the chocolate and cream together I tasted it and sure enough it was a little bitter, so I added some sugar and extra cream to sweeten it. It tasted lovely, so all good I thought. Until I left it to cool. Then it started to go a bit gloopy and sure enouuh it separated. Soon there was a deep layer of oil on the surface of the bowl. Boooo! I tried to dab some off with kitchen roll (fail) then drained some of it down the sink. It did still taste nice which, according to hubby, was the most important thing.

I slapped it on the cake and actually it wasn’t too bad, tasted really good actually, I just knew that it wasn’t right.

Look what I made today... Mmmmm...... WP_002259

So a few days later, armed with some chocolate which was 43% cocoa solids (the lowest I could find) I tried again and it was definitely nicer. It was less greasy and it definitely set better as it cooled. Hubby says he liked both but my mum did admit she thought it tasted nicer the second time round.

WP_002306

So the moral of the story is – use the right type of chocolate! It is a seriously lovely cake though and such an easy recipe, so way to go Mary Berry! :)

Oh, one more note, the full recipe also mentions spreading apricot jam onto the cake before putting the icing/filling on, but I know Hubby would not like the apricot jam so I left it out, and it doesn’t feel like we are missing anything! :)

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

Easter Nests fun and crochet chicks

Who can believe that it is Easter but it has been snowing?! Miserable and so so fed up of the cold but hey ho, what can you do? Have lots of fun indoors, that’s what! We’ve also taken the opportunity to do lots of the niggly little DIY jobs around the house that we haven’t got round to so far, but I won’t bore you with those! This post is about making some lovely Easter chocolate nests with a bit of help from the Monkey, and my attempts at making some cute crochet chicks.

P1020764

After making the lovely blue bunny I decided that it couldn’t be that hard to crochet a little chick for Easter. I looked at lots of patterns online but couldn’t find any that matched up to the image I had in my head so I decided to just go for it, using the bunny pattern as a starting point and then going from there. I couldn’t make up my mind whether to make the head and body separate and then sew them together, or whether to try and make it so that it went in, and then out again, kind of like a skittle pin. I tried this first and the body looked ok, very much like a skittle pin, or maybe a yellow penguin! It was ok but where I really went wrong was with the eyes!! I am not very good at this bit and the end result is here – now known in our house as Evil Chick! hehe

P1020766

You see the problem is the knots in the yarn, clearly the eyes need to be a lot smaller if they are to look cute but as I am sewing them on after stuffing them, I don’t know how to hide the knots at each end without them ending up huge, and, well, evil looking! hehe

P1020773

So I decided to try again and as I wasn’t 100% happy with the shape of Evil Chick I thought I would have a bash at making a separate head and body. I also decided this time that I would sew the eyes into the head before I stuffed it, so that the knots could be inside and therefore the eyes much smaller. This ended up looking much better! Much cuter and just a nicer shape all round I think too so yay me :)

P1020770

 

Loving the long weekend with hubby off and wanted to do a few cooking things, including making some chocolate Easter nests, because they are delicious and it’s really the only time of year you can make them! Monkey has dropped his morning nap this week (it’s been fun) and so is awake much more and I am having to find ways of entertaining him more, whilst also getting my jobs done, more on that in another blog, but it also means I have less time to do baking and chores when he sleeps.

I thought making the nests would be a nice thing for our little family to do together, and have this week bought a little sand and water table for him for crafty time and in readiness for the summer, so decided to involve monkey in the crushing of the shredded wheat. He was much more interested in eating it, but as it’s 100% wheat I don’t think there’s too much wrong with that! It was a bit chaotic and it went all over the floor but it was lots of fun too!

P1020697

P1020712

Daddy then melted the chocolate over a pan of boiling water while Monkey and I played. He also did the serious business of mixing up the shredded wheat and chocolate.

P1020736P1020740

P1020744P1020747

Monkey has never really eaten chocolate before now but we thought we can’t keep it from him forever, and as it’s Easter it’s a bit mean not to share. So we gave him a little bit of the much cooled but still soft chocolate and wheat mixture, and he loved it. He loved eating it, smushing it around his tray and generally waving it around and spreading it throughout the living room hehe. All good fun.

P1020755

P1020758

Meanwhile Daddy finished making the nests and filling them with yummy mini eggs.

P1020761

Then we ran out of mini eggs and made some more with minstrels hehe. Slightly less elegant but still good.

 

Yum, yum, yummers :) we have eaten far too many but I have also been handing them out to all the family we have seen to make sure that we don’t eat them all! haha Had a lovely quiche for dinner, another of my mum’s recipes, but this one is a slight adaptation from a Mary Berry recipe, and much easier to follow and tastes delicious. Monkey loves it too which is great so some has gone in the freezer for him later in the week :)

P1020775

 

Making a Bakewell tart for Mothers’ Day – don’t forget the jam!

When I conjure up an image in my head of a stay at home mum, they can almost always bake (maybe they don’t all bake in real life but this is how I imagine them). So in my quest to be a good stay at home mum I would like to be a better baker. As mentioned in my intro I am not the best baker in the world, I have improved since my first attempt but I rely on my husband’s help a lot as he is much more experience than me.  I can’t remember why but for some reason a couple of weeks ago I decided I wanted to make a Bakewell tart, something I have never attempted before. We had invited my mum and brother round for a roast dinner on Mother’s day so decided this would be the perfect occasion to try and make one.

My mum makes a lovely Bakewell tart, so I thought I’d ask her for the recipe, seemed a good idea, but, well it turns out she has lost her recipe book with the Bakewell tart recipe in (I only found this out afterwards) so I got a very vague description, that you use the recipe for a Victoria sponge but halve the flour and use the rest of ground almonds. Ummmm how do you make a Victoria sponge? 4444 apparently. I’m sure that means a lot to some people but to me it was like telling me in Russian. According to mum this is 4oz caster sugar, 4oz butter, 4 eggs and 4oz self-raising flour – which for a bakewell tart you halve and then use 2oz ground almonds.

This sounds simple but I am a bit of a planner and wanted more detail, so I turned to my trusty friend Google to find a recipe that backed mum up (none of our cookbooks at home seem to have a bakewell tart recipe in randomly). But none did, although I did find an article on Waitrose that said there doesn’t seem to be much consensus on what the correct ingredients are. Great! Helpful! I relooked through our cookbooks and a Mary Berry one did have one for Bakewell slices, which did seem to slightly correspond to mum’s version of the recipe, with the addition of baking powder so I though ah well let’s just give it a go!

It is worth mentioning at this point that Monkey is poorly (yes, again!) with a terrible tummy bug, won’t go into too many details but he really hasn’t been well so the routine has been a bit shot and both Daddy and I have been covered in output from one end or the other. Yesterday (Saturday) we popped to my lovely in-laws for lunch to see Granny for mothers’ day, but well I ended up eating lunch in Granny’s dressing gown and socks as my clothes were a bit vomit covered.

So it was that Saturday afternoon with Monkey asleep earlier than usual, hubby and I decided to have a bash at the Bakewell tart. I measured the ingredients and we mixed it up, though it definitely seemed a bit sloppy. Hubby then asked “Is there no sugar in this recipe” my reply, “err yes, oops”. Yep great start, I had forgotten to add sugar to the recipe. I blame the fact that my mind was on the monkey at the time. Seemed a bit thicker but still quite gloopy but what do I know, maybe it is meant to look like that?

P1020586

 

I very nearly handed over the reins to hubby at this point to roll the pastry (No, we didn’t make our own, Hubby’s business partner went on a pastry course a while ago and the master chefs there advised that for all the effort it takes to make good pastry, it won’t be better than bought, so just buy it. Good enough for me!) mainly because I have had disastrous attempts at rolling icing and pastry in the past and it has ended up stuck to the worktop etc. But no, this is my tart, I am going to do it. To avoid previous mistakes I put quite a bit of flour on the worktop, ok, well, loads, which hubby found very amusing, but voila the pastry came out alright :)

P1020590P1020596

We added the mixture to the pastry, very proud of ourselves, but d’oh! We didn’t put the jam in. What kind of Bakewell tart is it without Jam??? A rubbish one. We discussed putting the jam on top of the sponge, before we ice it, but that feels wrong. I suggested tipping out the mixture so we can put the jam where it should be and my husband found this hilarious, what a silly idea. Then all of a sudden he was on board. He had come up with a plan, it’s all about the tool, we need a flexible tool. So with a flexible plastic spatula we tipped/gently scraped out the mixture. We then put the jam in and the mixture back on top. What a palaver!

P1020610P1020611P1020613 P1020609

It seemed to cook ok (thanks to mum’s vague directions we guestimated temperature and cooking time, not recommended when baking!) and looked pretty good when it came out of the oven.  By this point monkey was awake so daddy fed him while I iced it. In hindsight I think the icing was a bit too runny as it drifted off to the sides, but that’s all appearance right? It needs the taste test but that had to wait until today.

 

We had a terrible night with our poorly monkey, have been up since about 4/430 with a fever and horribleness and spoke to the GP out of hours at one point but thankfully by about 7am he managed a little bit of food and started to feel much better. Phew! Had a lovely roast lunch planned, with Cider braised ham (one of our faves) with my mum and older brother coming round. We briefly debated calling it off but decided what’s the point in that? These things happen and we are knackered but more people means more hands to help entertain the little one so while he was down for a very early nap we cracked on with the days plans.

To cut a long story short we had a lovely yummy Mothers’ Day lunch and the Bakewell tart, while it wouldn’t win any beauty contests, did taste pretty darn lovely  :) I may be being hard on myself but I thought it tasted a bit soggy and maybe too spongy so maybe 4 large eggs was too many? Anyway everyone else was full of praise (hopefully not just being polite!) and one of brother in laws came round later in the afternoon to help entertain the monkey (mummy & daddy are definitely flagging now!) and it definitely got his seal of approval.

P1020637

P1020636

Definitely room for improvement but not bad for a first try!