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Monday, 27 June 2011

The Masterpiece

Well, I had an image in my head of a beautiful cake looking very professional, but it didn't quite turn out to be that way! I think I still need a bit more practise to get to Peggy Porschen's standards! The cake was moist and the flavours were amazing; the rich dark chocolate with the slightly acidic orange were a very good combination. When the cake was cut the different colours or icing against the cake looked really good. 

The final outcome of the cake wasn't completely what I had hoped for. I found that the sugar paste (which I covered the final layer of the cake with) wasn't as easy to work with as it cracked and broke as I tried to lay it over the cake. I guess next time I need to keep the sugar paste more moist to help prevent the cracking and the icing drying out.

I used Peggy Porschen's basic Victoria sponge cake recipe and add some orange peel to give the orange flavour. I also used Peggy's Porschen's recipe for an English butter cream, which was equal proportions of butter and icing sugar beaten together. I made all the butter cream and the cakes the day before so they had time to infuse with their flavours and were all ready to start icing the next day.

Peggy Porschen's Victoria Sponge
Makes two 20cm round cakes

For Cake:
400g Castor sugar
400g unsalted butter
6 medium eggs
400g self raising flour
Zest of 2 oranges
For Sugar Syrup:
75g sugar
5 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

  1. Preheat the oven to C180. Line and grease two 20cm round cakes tins.
  2. Cream the butter in a bowl of an electric mixer, until softened.
  3. Add the sugar into the butter and cream until light and fluffy and the sugar has dissolved into the butter.
  4. Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk together. Slowly pour the eggs into the butter and sugar mixture a little at a time mixing at a low speed after each addition.
  5. When the mixture is combined add the flour and orange zest. Mix at a low speed until just combined as being careful not to over mix the batter.  
  6. Pour half of the mixture into one tin and half into the other tin. Cook for around 20mins to 30mins.
  7. To make the sugar syrup put the sugar and the orange juice into a pan and bring to the boil and then take off the heat and cool.
  8. Cool the cakes in their tins for 15 minutes before pouring over the sugar syrup. Let the sugar syrup infuse into the cake for about 30 minutes before removing from the tins. Later remove the cakes from their tins and wrap in cling film until they are very to use.
Peggy Porschen's English Butter cream
Makes enough butter cream to cover the cake in orange flavoured butter cream and to ice the middle of a 20cm round cake with chocolate butter cream.

For Chocolate butter cream:
125g dark chocolate
125ml single cream
125g unsalted butter
125g icing sugar
For Orange butter cream:
375g unsalted butter
375g icing sugar
Zest of 1 large orange

  1. For Chocolate Butter cream: Break up the chocolate into small pieces into a bowl. Pour the cream into a pan and bring to the boil. Once it has reached boiling point pour it over the broken chocolate and whisk until smooth. Be careful not the over whisk it as this could cause it to separate. If you ganache separates then read this post: 'Help, my ganache has separated'. Leave the ganache to cool at room temperate, do not put in into the fridge or freezer as this will cause it to separate. Meanwhile beat the butter and icing sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer, until light and fluffy. Pour the cooled ganache in slowly to the butter cream whilst the mixer is on a low speed. When fully combined put the icing into the fridge until it has hardened.
  2. For Orange butter cream: Put the butter, icing sugar and orange zest into a bowl of an electric mixture and beat until light and fluffy.
To Construct the cake:
You will also need 450g sugar paste to cover the outside of the cake and some icing sugar and water to pipe onto the cake.
  1. Cut the top of the cake so that it is straight with a large serrated knife, then cut each cake in half. So you know have 4 different layers of cake.  Choose the flattest and straightest cake to be for the very top layer and a semi straight one for the bottom layer.
  2. Place one layer of cake onto a board and spread one third of the chocolate butter cream onto the layer making sure the icing doesn't go down the sides of the cake. unless the next layer of cake is completely straight try to build up the butter cream along the outer side of the cake so that it is flatter. Place the next layer of the cake on top of the icing. Repeat this process until the all the layers have been used. Place the cake into the fridge for 30 minutes to harden it before icing the outside of the cake.
  3. Remove the cake from the fridge and ice the top and outside of the cake with the orange butter cream.
  4. Place in the fridge to harden for 30 minutes whilst you roll out the sugar paste.
  5. Take the cake out of the fridge and using the rolling pin lay the sugar paste over the cake. Cut off the excess sugar paste at the bottom. I tied 2 ribbons around the bottom of the cake to cover up the un-tidiness!

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