Monday, 2 January 2012

New Year Tipsy Cake

Recipe Number One Hundred & Forty:  Page 140.

I think you will agree that this cake had to be made to celebrate the start of a new year. Scanning through the list of ingredients, I could quite see how it got its name; a trip to the wine aisle was in order! I have never bought sweet white wine before and I was amazed how hard it was to locate. The long aisle was overflowing with its dry counterpart but it took me ages to find sweet! I also had to make a special trip to a health food shop to buy some potato flour. I had never heard of it before! Mary says to use cornflour if not available. However, I was in luck as there was plenty in stock.

By the time I had finished shopping the heavens had opened and I arrived back at my parents’ house looking like a drowned rat. I had to change my clothes and dry my hair before attempting this rather special cake.

First task was to unpack the box of eggs from a wet shopping bag! Three whole eggs and two yolks went into a mixing bowl. I was quite pleased when I lost some shell into the bowl as it gave me a chance to try out a tip I'd been given on my Facebook page. Apparently I should use the egg shell to scoop out the tiny fragment. I am delighted to announce that it worked! No more chasing it around with a finger or teaspoon - a big thank you for a brilliant tip! Next, I added the caster sugar to the bowl. I had to whisk the mixture over a saucepan of hot water until thick and moussey. The steam which escaped from around the edges of the bowl was VERY hot. This was not a pleasant experience I can assure you! The leftover egg whites did not go to waste as I needed to whisk them into soft peaks and then carefully fold into the steaming hot mixture. As the bowl was by now filled to the rim, it was quite a challenge to fold in the flours and the lemon rind. Once everything was combined I poured the very pale moussey mixture into my prepared tin and placed it in the oven to cook for about forty five minutes.

While my cake cooked I got on with making the syrup which I would later use to soak the cake. I tipped some granulated sugar into a saucepan with a little water. Once the sugar had melted I turned up the heat and boiled it for exactly two minutes. I used my mum's kitchen timer to be sure of accuracy. Thankfully I was paying attention, as the alarm never sounded to let me know the time was up!!!! The sugary syrup needed to cool before I could add the booze, so I took the opportunity to take a peek through the oven door. My jaw dropped when I saw the cake. It had risen to dizzying heights and was at least two inches above the top of the tin. It was enormous! Rather worryingly, after only fifteen minutes in the oven, it was already brown on top. I left it for another fifteen minutes and then placed some foil over the top of the cake. I was amazed and upset that it should be burnt after only half an hour. I wondered if my parents’ oven was playing up! Finally it was time to extract the cake from the oven. I left it in the tin for the suggested ten minutes; I watched it sink with each passing minute!! While the sunken but still huge cake cooled on a wire rack I reached for the elusive bottle of sweet wine. I poured a quarter of a pint into the sugar syrup and then measured in a tablespoon of brandy. As I had made Christmas cakes a few months earlier I didn't need to buy a whole bottle for such a tiny amount. The fumes nearly knocked my head off – goodness knows what the finished cake would taste like!

A circular piece of sponge had to be cut from the centre of the cold cake. I was very worried about this as the cake was so fragile. I called to Neil and asked for help. He took pity on his wimpy wife and carefully and painstakingly cut away a lid of sponge. I poured two thirds of the potent syrup over the cake. Next, I peeled lots of oranges and filled the dip in the cake with juicy segments. I noticed that one segment contained a pip, so this meant that I had to check every single one! At this point the cake was looking reasonably healthy. This was until I piled whipped double cream on top of the oranges. There is no chance of my losing my post Christmas bulge! I placed the lid of sponge on top of the filling and then soaked the cake with yet more boozy syrup. The cake wasn't looking too pretty at this point but this was solved by covering the cake in yet more whipped cream – my poor heart! For decoration I sliced up an orange and placed the slices over the top of the cream covered cake. I felt exhausted - this cake had used up what little energy I had left.

The cut cake did look rather special as it reveals the surprise filling - my family were suitably surprised! The first thing that hit me when I took a bite was BRANDY! My goodness the taste was overpowering and I'd only used a tablespoon of the stuff! I liked the orange and cream centre. That really was very yummy. The sponge was light as a feather and almost melted in the mouth. My family enjoyed it but we all agreed that it isn't the sort of cake we would want to eat more than once a year!
Not the most attractive cake in the World!!

What a surprise!
I thought I would take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy New Year. I also want to thank you all very much for taking the time to read about my challenge. I really love to read your comments be it on here, via Facebook or Twitter. Your support means a lot to me and is very much appreciated. Have a fantastic 2012!

1 comment:

  1. That does sound a rather boozy cake perfect for New Year. I tried a chamapgne cake and although it had 1 whole bottle in it I would not have said it was overpowering so I guess that's what happens when you use spirits. What are you going to do when the challenge is over I dare ask. Happy 2012