Seven minutes to go before this weeks Great British Bake Off and I have just finished putting the last bits of my windtorte together.
A windtorte is made up of two types of meringue French and Swiss. The base, sides and top of the wind torte is made from a tradition French meringue which is egg whites and sugar whisked together and then baked. Then the torte is sealed by using a Swiss meringue. A Swiss meringue is made on the hob by continually whisking together egg whites and sugar.
Creme Brûlée was my first bake this week which I have made before for my blog. As the Bake Off contestants came up with some different flavours I thought I to should also come up with something so I went for a mint infused Creme Brûlée.
My second bake was the showstopper a baked lemon cheesecake wrapped in chocolate. To wrap the chocolate I used bubble wrap after having seen a video that a friend of my mam’s posted (Moyra Sammut). I need to practice doing it a bit more but this technique could make some stunning cakes and puddings in the future.
I’ve really enjoyed this weeks bakes as they were a little bit easier than last week but there were some new techniques to learn at the same time.
I’m now off to to watch episode four of the Great British Bake Off
This year is turning into an amazing year as I found out this week I am going to a Bakery Demonstration at Abergavenny Food Festival with Frances Quinn who won the Great British Bake Off in 2013. I’m so excited to meet her.
Back to my bake. Meringues and ice cream are two of my favourite puddings so when I saw this recipe I got very excited as I was going to be able to have two of my favourite puddings in one go.
This pudding is made up by layering meringue, vanilla ice cream, raspberry sorbet and then another layer of meringue and then covered in cream.
The meringue was made by whisking together egg whites and sugar into stiff peaks and then splitting the mixture into two and spreading each portion into circles on greaseproof paper. The meringue is then baked at a very low temperature for an hour, then the oven is turned off but the meringue is left in the oven until it is needed.
Whilst the meringue was cooking I made the strawberry sorbet by placing chopped strawberries in a bowl with lemon, water and sugar for 15 minutes. The mixture is then put into the liquidiser and pulped to a liquid. The mixture is then sieved to remove all the pips. The sorbet is then put into a freezer container and placed in the freezer. You need to stir the sorbet every couple of hours until it has fully set.
Once everything is made layer the pudding together by placing one of the meringue circles on the base then top with vanilla ice cream (I bought ice cream for the cake which is a bit naughty!). Top the ice-cream with the set sorbet and top off with the second meringue. Whip up cream and cover the pudding with the cream and decorate with strawberries and some torn mint leaves and serve
So this week I made Meringues with Chantilly Cream. I’ve made meringues before although this recipe was slightly different to what I normally make as the ingredients includes icing sugar. Normally the meringues I make just have egg whites and castor sugar.
I decided to try and find out why icing sugar is added and while looking I came across a recipe for microwaved meringues which sounded a bit odd and reminded me of chocolate microwave mug cakes I used to make.. Icing sugar seems to be added as it is finer than sugar and also has starch in it which holds the meringue together. I also think it makes the meringue nice and chewy.
People think meringues are difficult to make but so long as you make sure everything is clean and you cook them slowly on a very low temperature they are very easy to make.
The Chantilly cream is made up of icing sugar, cream and vanilla extract all whisked together and then placed between two meringues.
While I found it easy to make the meringues I still need to practise my piping which is one of my weaknesses.
Baked ALaska is a pudding that has a sponge bottom with an ice-cream filling and then covered with either a pastry crust or meringue. The pudding is then baked at a high temperature for a short time, long enough to cook the outer layer but not long enough to melt the iscecream
It is also known as omelette surprise, Glace au four, Omelette a la Norvegienne or Norwegian omelette.
This bake was full of lessons from making a sponge with no butter to forgetting to put all my egg whites in the bowl and trying to rescue my meringue mix as we had no more eggs.
As for the pudding it was yum!!
Did You Know:- Thomas Jefferson the third American President served ice cream covered in pastry at a banquet in the White House and this is where Baked Alaska is thought to have come from.
The 1st of February in America is Baked Alaska Day.
This weeks blog was really really hard. I decided to bake floating islands which is a poached meringue floating on a bed of Creme anglaise (custard). It is a clever recipe because the meringues use egg whites and the leftover egg yolks are then used for the creme anglaise.
Once I made the meringue mixture I then shaped the meringue into quenelles using two tablespoons. The trick was to keep the spoons wet and clean so that the quenelles were smooth and could easily slip off the spoons and into the poaching liqued which was made up of cream, milk and vanilla bean paste. The quenelles are gently poached for ten minutes and then placed on a cooling rack.
(checking the meringue is stiff enough by turning the bowl upside down – if it’s okay it won’t fall on your head!)
The egg yolks and sugar are then added to the poaching liqued and whisked together to over a hob until it has thickened to make the creme anglaise.
Did you know:-
A Floating island is a French dessert, also known as ile flottante. Crème anglaise is thought to have originated from ancient Rome where eggs were used as thickeners to create custards and creams.