Saturday, February 05, 2011

Practice; spice cake, merinque frosting, bavarian cream

IMG_3411Good? Tastewise, mwah. Good frosting-technical wise? I think yes.

I was going to bake bread, but when the doughs were made and set to proof I felt like baking cake. Not any cake but a cake with as we say in this house: “the works”. Which means layers, a filling and something on top. Something I still think of as a Daring Bakers cake.

Since I was in a cleaning mood I looked through my file of  cakes to try. Yes well maybe I should have spent those hours on the house instead of cleaning the starred items in my reader…..

Found a kind of spice cake where beer was one of the liquids used, the beer brought to  a boil together with molasses (I used treacle since I can’t stand the flavour of molasses) and off the heat baking soda was added. I asked my friends of Facebook what the purpose of this could be. To react with the acid, yes, but also since it was piping hot would it still do its work?

I tempered the spices quite a bit, the recipe called for a massive amount of ginger –fresh ├índ ground- plus the usual suspects; nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon.
Baked two 9” cakes with a batter that was quite thin, not at all what I expected from a spice cake but all went well.IMG_3409

The layers came out beautifully and I started on the bavarian cream and the meringue frosting. Italian meringue where you cook a sugar syrup and pour it in a small trickle to the whipped egg whites while beating.
A candy thermometer comes in handy here, and a stand mixer which helps you keep your hands free to work.
Right. I tried using my thermometer but since the syrup in the pan was too shallow for the thermometer I flunked it aside and decided to just wing it. While I was whisking my egg whites with a hand held mixer.

Wing it.

And it worked! A glorious fluffy shiny white Italian meringue! So happy! Even more because this stupid virus that’s plaguing me for more than a week now was raising it’s ugly head again and I definitely started to feel wobbly. Joints aching, hair hurting, shivering..yuck. (We’re sort of tossing the same virus to each other in this house and I thought I beat it but it’s back again. Gah!) IMG_3401
All in all at that time of day finishing this beast was very welcome.

In the same careless state of mind I yanked out my offset spatula (nothing fancy, just a regular flat metal pancake lifter I bent to fit my offset spatula needs) and started frosting.

I managed a kind of crumb coating and continued to layer on the rest of the fluff on the cake, smoothing….. On hindsight I wish I had left it at that but I decided to comb the sides which was nice but I think I liked the smooth sides better.



As I said mwah, I don’t care for this type of spice cakes, they are a bit too loud for my taste even when toned down. I loved the way the cake came together though and two of the kids and the husband seem to like it but only in small doses. Furthermore I think that the bavarian cream was too heavy, the cake could have used a tangy something in between instead of a rich cream.
All in all I am happy with the outcome if only with the sight of the cake on it’s stand in the kitchen.

Job done!

In the meantime my loaves are out of the oven and filling the house with their wonderful smell. To be honest… I’ll have a slice of fresh baked bread over cake anytime, but I love to be able to say that I CAN do this.

Off to bed now. With a hot water bottle. And coughing syrup. 




  1. Poor you, feeling sick again! You made a wonderful cake, even though you think it's a "mwah", this all tastes very yummy to me.
    Hope you feel better soon, take care!!

  2. Congratulations your cake really looks rocking good!
    I am not a fan of spicy cakes either and agree on the slice of bread over a cake... :o)

  3. oh dang now I forgot: I hope you feel better real soon and no one in your family gets sick again! :)

  4. Nicole Holten5/2/11 10:17 PM

    You still bake pretty cakes, even when sick! Hope you feel better soon...

  5. SO sorry you've got this bug! I picked it up sometime before Christmas and am only just now feeling well enough to be up and about!

    The cake looks wonderful, even if you don't care for how it came together. You have some mad skills in the kitchen!

  6. When you're capable of baking such a wonderful looking cake when you're sick................
    I hope you'll recover soon.

  7. I hope you're feeling better soon!

    High fives to you for getting that beautiful frosting by "winging it!" The cake looks gorgeous.

  8. I do hope you are feeling better. Your cake would be amazing at any time but to make something so beautiful when you are not feeling well is close to heroic. I'm new to your blog and have just spent time browsing through your earlier entries. I really like the food and recipes you share with your readers and I'll definitely be back for more. I hope you have a great weekend. Blessings...Mary.

  9. Thank you Mary and welcome! I hope you enjoy reading and a great weekend to you too!


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