I actually have never made a real gateau, with several layers of cake and cream. For my Birthday, this was the perfect occasion to finally try it! I decided to make a pear cake as it is the season for pears and apples in my opinion.
For the cake I made two layers of very fluffy sponge cake with I have drizzled with chopped walnuts just before baking. I have decided to bake the two layers separately rather than one big one which I would have to cut then, as this for me never works that good 😛 I have read an amazing tip at this blogging website to bake cakes with an even height so you wouldn’t end up with a bubbly cake which you would have to cut to make it even. Basically, what it does, it isolates the cake tin equally so that it rises equally, too. Normally the baking tin gets very hot at the edges, but less hot in the midden. That’s when you end up having an unevenly baked cake, which results in bubbles on the surface. I have baked the first layer without this method and second with it, and you could clearly see the difference! But keep in mind that the cake needs more time in the oven! For me it was 25-30 minutes instead of 15-20 minutes.
For the filling I have made a cream filling containing pear mousse, lots of alcohol (in this case white wine and a pear liquor) and gelatin to let it set. Feel free to use Agar-Agar or any other alternative for gelatin. Finally I have folded in whipped cream and using an adjustable cake ring I have assembled the cake. First I have put one layer of the cake on a working surface and adjusted the ring around it, so that it would fit perfectly. I have filled it up with the cream and put the second layer of cake on top and let everything rest in the fridge for 2-3 hours or if you want to even overnight.
When the cake has set, I whipped some cream and cut some walnuts in pieces for decoration. I spread the whipped cream equally on top of the cake and around it. Finally, I cut out a piece of baking paper, a little higher than the cake’s height and the same length as the cake’s. I have melted some white chocolate and using a palette knife I have spread it evenly on the baking paper and let it cool down just a little, so that it is firm enough to lift it up without running away, but still not too firm so it would break. Quickly apply it onto the side of the cake and gently pull away the baking paper. You will end up with a nice thin and crisp layer of white chocolate around the cake 🙂 It actually sounds harder than it really is, believe me. I was pretty terrified first, too, almost certain that I wouldn’t work. The only difficult thing was to get rid of the baking paper, so be very gentle with that, otherwise you will break the chocolate. To finish the cake, spread the chopped walnuts on top and ready to eat! I hope that I could inspire you a little, so have fun with it! 🙂
What I have learned:
Baking really is learning by doing 😀 That’s why I like it so much as I pursue perfection! In the meantime I make many mistakes, most of them stay luckily unnoticed for others, but I learn every time I bake something new. And I always prefer to bake new things, to learn as much possible. One of the reasons why I started this blog is not only to give inspiration, or keep a sort of baking diary but also to share my experiences, not only with you guys but also for me, should I decided to bake something again 😛 So, from now on I will share my What I have learned-part with you, so you won’t make the same mistakes as me, but also that I will remember in the future 🙂 And so that I won’t forget where I have found the recipe I will give a little link, for you and me! Enjoy it and let me know what you think or maybe even have better tips for me 😉 Cheers!
- When making a cream which won’t be heated, never use alcohol higher than 30% 😉 It taste quite heavy, unless you like that! I guess between 20-25% should do it. Preferably sweeter liqueur; unless heated up, than the alcohol will evaporate eventually.
- When using pears be aware that pears in the supermarkets mostly are not ripe, therefore not really tasty! Buy them days in advance or go to a specialized shop where you can buy nice juicy ones! It really makes all the difference.
- When layering cakes, make sure the baked site is up and the unbaked site down. I recognized that the unbaked site up will absorb too much liquid otherwise. This wound’t have happened with the baked site up.
- When baking in a smaller baking tin, make sure you adjust the amount of ingredients as even 2 cm can make all the difference 😛
- Note to myself: I LOVE real vanilla and will never ever use extract again 😛
Found the recipe in the autumn version of Sweet Dreams.