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It’s been ages since I’ve blogged. My sincere apologies to all! I have really been busy but the real reason why I haven’t written in a while was because I’ve been really demotivated the last couple of weeks. Before going to Melbourne, I was all fired up and was really excited about the prospect of coming back from my trip and sharing with all of you my many discoveries. However, upon returning, I was thrown straight back into work and have found myself to be tired, moody and moodless all the time. Every time I sat in front of the computer wanting to write something, I find myself closing the window and laying back in bed. On top of it all, I’ve been busy with Ah Koh’s wedding. It’s this Saturday but I feel like I’m so unprepared for it. Planning and managing the entire thing is not an easy task, and in addition to that, I’m making the wedding cake as well. Hence my stress level right now is really high.

Anyway, enough of my whinging. It’s once again the time of the month to disclose May’s DB challenge….round of applause for……L’Opéra!! This month’s challenge was co-hosted by the founders of DB –  Ivonne and Lis – so it’s no wonder that such an exquisite dessert was picked. 

I was really excited when I found out what May’s challenge was to be. A couple of months ago, Ryan brought back this low-sugar dessert recipe book his mum had given him. In it, there was an Opéra cake that looked simply scrumptious. Since then, I’ve been doing a little bit of research on it but didn’t bring myself to try it as it looked really complicated. When May’s challenge was announced, I knew this was my chance! And just in time as well ‘cos Ryan’s birthday was in May! 🙂

Just a bit of history on the cake…L’Opéra is a classic French dessert created by Louis Clichy, who called it the Clichy. However, it was popularized by the Parisian pâtisserie Dalloyau as the Opera cake and is now mostly known by that name.  It is a combination of delicate almond biscuit or joconde, chocolate ganache, coffee buttercream, and chocolate glaze. This month however, in line with the LiveSTRONG theme, the DB-ers were told to go untraditional and make an Opéra Cake that is both light in flavour and colour. 

Hhmm…so what am I going to do? Initially, I wanted to make a pandan or a mango based Opéra. But after some thought, I decided I’ll go traditional and use chocolate..only this time I’ll use white chocolate. I really liked the recipe by Tish Boyle and Timothy Moriarty but decided I’ll try to put my own stamp on it. In the end, I decided I’ll make a White Chocolate Raspberry and Macadamia Opéra. 

You’ll notice that my joconde is a bit browner in colour than most people and this is because I used raw natural almond meal for it. It’s a little bit different from the almond meal you get from the supermarket which are ivory/pale yellow in colour. Now came the part of baking it. As my oven is one of those turbo ovens which are really small, I couldn’t exactly follow the recipe given. Since I didn’t have a jelly-roll pan, and also because I had been busy working and didn’t have time to make the cake in advance, I decided to just put all the batter in an 8″ square tin and risk it. Fingers crossed, hopefully, I’ll still be able to split the cake into 3 layers. The recipe said it should take about 5-9 minutes to bake, but mine took nearly 45 minutes! Oh no…this had better not flop on me as the Ryan’s birthday day was the next day and I didn’t have time to make another cake! And let’s be honest, I wasn’t going to waste another dozen of eggs! God was indeed on my side (and a good thing too)! I decide on a rose essence and when making it, my house was just enveloped in this overwhelming smell of roses. I did encounter a slight problem with the white chocolate ganache. As most people already know, white chocolate ganache due to the fat content of white chocolate is not easy to make (or should I say I’ve never succeeded in making a good white chocolate ganache). As I was beating it with my electric mixer, it started to curdle and went all lumpy. Uh oh…where did I go wrong? Immediately, to the computer I went and straight to the DB forum. Hhmm..anyone else with the same problem? Ah..yes..a fellow DB-er shared that if I continue to beat it, it’ll go back together. I was a bit sceptical. But what choice did I have? It was either that or waste nearly 200gms of white chocolate! Well, the end result was not too bad. It did actually all come together and phew was I relieved! I decided on a simple deco as Ryan is into simplicity and voila..my finish product!

Recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Paris Sweets and Tish Boyle and Timothy Moriarty’s Chocolate Passion.

Joconde

Ingredients:

  • 6 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp. (30 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 cups (225 grams) almond meal
  • 2 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 6 large eggs
  • ½ cup (70 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp. (1½ ounces; 45 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 425◦F. (220◦C).  
  • Line an 8″ square tin with parchment paper and brush with melted butter.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or using a handheld mixer), beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Add the granulated sugar and beat until the peaks are stiff and glossy. If you do not have another mixer bowl, gently scrape the meringue into another bowl and set aside.
  • If you only have one bowl, wash it after removing the egg whites or if you have a second bowl, use that one. Attach the paddle attachment to the stand mixer (or using a handheld mixer again) and beat the almonds, icing sugar and eggs on medium speed until light and voluminous, about 3 minutes. 
  • Add the flour and beat on low speed until the flour is just combined (be very careful not to overmix here!!!). 
  • Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the meringue into the almond mixture and then fold in the melted butter. Pour batter into the tin and spread it evenly to cover the entire surface.
  • Bake the cake lightly browned and just springy to the touch. 
  • Put the tin on a heatproof counter and run a sharp knife along the edges of the cake to loosen it from the tin. Cover with a sheet of parchment or wax paper, turn the tin over, and unmold. 
  • Carefully peel away the parchment, then turn the parchment over and use it to cover the cake. Let the cake cool to room temperature. 

Syrup

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup (125 grams) water
  • ⅓ cup (65 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. of rose essence
Method:
  • Stir all the syrup ingredients together in the saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
Buttercream
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar 
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) water 
  • Seeds of one vanilla bean 
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1¾ sticks (7 ounces; 200 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature 
  • 1 cup raspberry pulp
Method:
  • Combine the sugar, water and vanilla bean seeds or extract in a small saucepan and warm over medium heat just until the sugar dissolves.
  • Continue to cook, without stirring, until the syrup reaches 225◦F (107◦C) 
  • While the syrup is heating, begin whisking the egg and egg yolk at high speed in the bowl of your mixer using the whisk attachment. Whisk them until they are pale and foamy.
  • When the sugar syrup reaches the correct temperature and you remove it from the heat, reduce the mixer speed to low speed and begin slowly (very slowly) pouring the syrup down the side of the bowl being very careful not to splatter the syrup into the path of the whisk attachment. Some of the syrup will spin onto the sides of the bowl but don’t worry about this and don’t try to stir it into the mixture as it will harden! 
  • Raise the speed to medium-high and continue beating until the eggs are thick and satiny and the mixture is cool to the touch (about 5 minutes or so).
  • While the egg mixture is beating, place the softened butter in a bowl and mash it with a spatula until you have a soft creamy mass. 
  • With the mixer on medium speed, begin adding in two-tablespoon chunks. When all the butter has been incorporated, raise the mixer speed to high and beat until the buttercream is thick and shiny. 
  • Beat in raspberry pulp for an additional minute or so.
  • Refrigerate the buttercream, stirring it often, until it’s set enough (firm enough) to spread when topped with a layer of cake (about 20 minutes).

White Chocolate Ganache/Mousse

Ingredients:

  • 7 ounces white chocolate
  • 1 cup plus 3 tbsp. heavy cream (35% cream)
  • 1 tbsp. Amarula liquer
Method:
  • Melt the white chocolate and the 3 tbsp. of heavy cream in a small saucepan.
  • Stir to ensure that it’s smooth and that the chocolate is melted. Add the tablespoon of liqueur to the chocolate and stir. Set aside to cool completely.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream until soft peaks form.
  • Gently fold the whipped cream into the cooled chocolate to form a mousse. 
  • If it’s too thin, refrigerate it for a bit until it’s spreadable.
  • If you’re not going to use it right away, refrigerate until you’re ready to use.
Glaze
Ingredients:
  • 14 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped 
  • ½ cup heavy cream (35% cream)
Method:
  • Melt the white chocolate with the heavy cream. Whisk the mixture gently until smooth. 
  • Let cool for 10 minutes and then pour over the chilled cake.  Using a long metal cake spatula, smooth out into an even layer. 
  • Place the cake into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to set.
Assembling:
  • Divide cake into 3 layers. 
  • Place one layer on the baking sheet and moisten it gently with the flavoured syrup.
  • Spread about three-quarters of the buttercream over this layer.
  • Top with the second layer of cake. Moisten with the flavoured syrup.
  • Spread the remaining buttercream on the cake and then top with the third layer of joconde. Use the remaining syrup to wet the joconde and then refrigerate until very firm (at least half an hour).
  • Prepare the ganache/mousse (if you haven’t already) and then spread it on the top of the last layer of the joconde. Refrigerate for at least two to three hours to give the ganache/mousse the opportunity to firm up.
  • Make the glaze and after it has cooled, pour/spread it over the top of the chilled cake. Refrigerate the cake again to set the glaze.
  • Serve the cake slightly chilled.
Now that I’ve finally made an Opéra, it really isn’t as difficult as it looks. The recipe looks long and complicate but in actual fact it’s sorta like making any other cake. The flavours this time around were quite nice but next time, I’m going to try making a traditional Opéra as I’m sure I’ll love the taste of chocolate and coffee combined even more. 🙂

 

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Hola mis amigos! 🙂 I speak Spanish when I’m excited! Haha! 🙂 Tomorrow I’ll be off for 3 days filled with shopping and eating! Woohoo! I figured in the midst of my frantic life, I should perhaps update my blog or else you guys might think I’ve been kidnapped or something! 🙂

It’s been a couple of busy weeks for me again. I’ve recently embarked on a career change and am at this moment still sorta bumming around, trying a little bit of everything. The last couple of weeks have been packed with interviews after interviews, cake orders, wedding preparations (not mine!) and starting my new casual job. So, as you can see, I’ve had quite a bit on my plate. 

I’ve just completed 2 orders for a green tea cake and 1 for a strawberry sponge cake. Every time I make a green tea cake, I tend to favour the nature theme when decorating. To me, I feel that green tea with its healthy image should match something with natural beauty. This time, since its autumn, I decided on the theme of autumn leaves – bright red, orange and yellow leaves on a greenish background..hhmm…NICE! 🙂

  

I used white chocolate for the leaves and dyed them yellow and red. YQ told me that when she brought it to work, her colleagues were afraid to try them as they weren’t sure what it was made of! Finally, someone was brave enough to pick at one of it only to discover it was white chocolate! Haha! Goes to show that a little courage can bring you great surprises! 🙂

 

Another secret fascination of mine is for sakuras a.k.a cherry blossoms. I’ve always found these flowers really pretty and fascinating due to its short blooming time. Sakura is the Japanese name for cherry trees and its blossoms. It is a common flower in east Asia such as China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. It has different symbolic meanings in different countries. In China, cherry blossoms symbolize feminine beauty, the feminine principle or love in the language of herbs. In Japan, they are believed to represent the transient nature of life. The beauty and extremely short life of the sakura has often been associated with mortality. The Japanese used sakura to motivate nationalism and militarism among its people during World War II. Japanese pilots would paint them on the sides of their planes before embarking on a suicide mission, or even take branches of the trees with them on their missions. A cherry blossom painted on the side of the bomber symbolized the intensity and fragility of life.    

I remember as a kid, whenever I watched a romantic movie or tv series featuring sakuras, I’d often wished I was the actress. In those movies, there is often a scene where a guy and a girl will stand under a sakura tree and it’ll start shedding and the girl will twirl around in delight as the flowers fall all around her. The couple are so in love with each other and joy just radiates from their faces. Like every other girl, I wish I could have such a romance! To be really honest, I still do harbour hopes of one day being able to be like those actresses and live out this secret dream of mine. 

Since I’ve yet to experience my childhood dream, I’ll have to be satisfied with other methods! 🙂 I know I’m in the wrong season (sakuras bloom in spring and I’m in autumn now), but I couldn’t help but deco Ryan’s order with them. It’s my first time doing flowers as a deco and I was pretty nervous. I have to admit this was not one of my best creations but it was enough to satisfy a little girl’s dream of beautiful flowers and handsome princes! 🙂

Just like every little girl had dreams of being swept off by a knight in shining armour, every little boy has dreams of war, fights, and racing through the storms of life. Just today, I completed an order for a strawberry sponge cake for Thomas who was turning 10. It’s been a long time since I was 10 and it was challenging thinking of how to deco the cake. My initial plan was to do an elegant, classic design topped with chocolate, strawberries and marshmallows. But then I thought, would a 10 year old like that? Hhmm….off I went seeking advice from others. Alan, as expected voted for the classic elegant design but Krystal felt I should make a cake that would please a 10 year old and not his parents. She had a point. So what to do? Well, this was what I did…TADA…a racing track!

Due to time constraints, I was unable to make sugarpaste/marzipan cars so had to settle for supermarket jelly cars. They didn’t appear too appetizing to me but who knows what a 10 year old might think. All I can pray is that Thomas enjoyed it and had a great birhday. 🙂 *Fingers crossed*

 

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This is what I had to complete for April’s DB Challenge – Cheesecake Pops. My first reaction when I read April’s challenge was “Are you serious? Cheesecake can actually be presented this way?”. I could feel adrenaline pumping through me as it was exciting to try something different for a change – something I’ve never heard of. Then began my “brain overworking” journey…night after night I would lie in bed thinking how best to present it, how to decorate it, what flavours to use and so on and so forth. 

Alan loves cheesecake but I knew he wouldn’t like this cos he’s such a traditional eater. When it comes to sweets, he will only eat the classic of the most classics – eg: milk chocolate – absolutely hates any flavoured chocs, classic tim tams, vanilla ice cream – you get the picture. I knew he wouldn’t like this because it looked nothing like the traditional cheesecakes. Since my only fan wouldn’t like this, I had to have a reason to make it. The original recipe uses 5 blocks of cream cheese (but I halved my recipe here) – and that’s not exactly cheap. It’d be a waste of money if I were to make it for no reason cos it would just end up in the bin. Aarrgghh!! What am I going to do? Procrastinate…procrastinate….delay…delay….finally – Jess, one of my closest friend in Tassie sent me a text inviting me to her birthday party – and no less a dessert party! 🙂 Coincidentally, it was today – perfect timing! So, you probably can deduce by now, my creation was completed today – challenge posting date. Hehe! 🙂

        
I had heaps of fun making these cheesecake pops. It was a real sticky, messy affair. I initially wanted to make a flower basket but sadly was unable to get any small, cute baskets from the discount shop. Lucky for me, I found this cute little metal flower pot. I had this splendid idea of using my flower mould to stamp out flower shapes. But…as we all know…things don’t often go as plan. The cheesecake was not “stampable” as it was too soft even after refrigerating it. In the end, I could only opt to mould it into various odd looking shapes with my hands. I actually made 3 different looking shapes but after coating them they all look like they are of the same shape! Haha! 🙂 At the end of it all, I felt as if I’s eaten a whole cheesecake by myself – thanks to the constant licking of the leftovers on my palm and fingers from the moulding of these little darlings. *Big grin* I was meant to use lollipop sticks for them but I couldn’t find them from the shops here hence decided on skewers. Plus, skewers were easier as they’d be long enough to be stuck through the floral foam and the height could be adjusted easily. I knew all along that I was not gifted in floral arrangement, and this pot here proved me right! Haha! 🙂
Ingredients:
  • 5 8-oz. packages cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • Boiling water as needed
  • Thirty to forty 8-inch lollipop sticks
  • 1 pound chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • Assorted decorations
Method:
  • Position oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Set some water to boil.
  • In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and salt until smooth. If using a mixer, mix on low speed. Add the whole eggs and the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well (but still at low speed) after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and cream.
  • Grease a 10-inch cake pan (not a springform pan), and pour the batter into the cake pan. Place the pan in a larger roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with the boiling water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Bake until the cheesecake is firm and slightly golden on top, 35 to 45 minutes.
  • Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and cool to room temperature. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold, at least 3 hours or up to overnight.
  • When the cheesecake is cold and very firm, scoop the cheesecake into 2-ounce balls and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Carefully insert a lollipop stick into each cheesecake ball. Freeze the cheesecake pops, uncovered, until very hard, at least 1 – 2 hours.
  • When the cheesecake pops are frozen and ready for dipping, prepare the chocolate. In the top of a double boiler, set over simmering water, or in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, heat half the chocolate and half the shortening, stirring often, until chocolate is melted and chocolate and shortening are combined. Stir until completely smooth. Do not heat the chocolate too much or your chocolate will lose it’s shine after it has dried. Save the rest of the chocolate and shortening for later dipping, or use another type of chocolate for variety.
  • Alternately, you can microwave the same amount of chocolate coating pieces on high at 30 second intervals, stirring until smooth.
  • Quickly dip a frozen cheesecake pop in the melted chocolate, swirling quickly to coat it completely. Shake off any excess into the melted chocolate. If you like, you can now roll the pops quickly in optional decorations. You can also drizzle them with a contrasting color of melted chocolate (dark chocolate drizzled over milk chocolate or white chocolate over dark chocolate, etc.) Place the pop on a clean parchment paper-lined baking sheet to set. Repeat with remaining pops, melting more chocolate and shortening (or confectionary chocolate pieces) as needed.
  • Refrigerate the pops for up to 24 hours, until ready to serve.

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Phew! Finally, my first daring baker(DB) challenge is over and completed! During one of my blog surfing last month, I came across the DB-ers and thought it was really cool to be part of a group of people who enjoys baking. Hence, began my journey as a DB-er. I was really nervous about the first challenge as I didn’t know what it’s be. When the topic came out and it was “The Perfect Party Cake”, I couldn’t ask for a better first challenge! I thought: “Great! This should be a piece of cake!” Boy! Was I wrong! Everything that could go wrong with this cake went wrong!
 
Guess it was ’cause I’ve been busy with classes, then graduation, cake orders and last week acted as tour guide as well. I purposely left this cake to the last as a good friend’s birthday is tomorrow and I decided to use him as my guinea pig! 🙂 I wasn’t really in the mood to bake on Friday so it sorta affected my performance. In addition, I’ve frequently been reading the various comments of other fellow DB-ers on the blog hence was a bit apprehensive my cake wouldn’t turn out on my first try. I used buttermilk (lemon juice + milk, left to stand for awhile) and all-purpose flour as I’ve not seen cake flour in hobart. Everything looked like I was heading down the right track and into the oven the cake tin went. From here on, everything just went wrong. While placing the cake tin into the oven, I accidentally tipped more than half the batter into the bottom of my oven. Oh no!! I had to be at work in less than 2 hours and had to shower and time was running really low. So I hastily cleaned up and started on my second cake. While beating the batter with the mixer, my plastic cake spatula got caught on the whisk and “snap” it broke into half! Great! Just what I need! Finally, it was ready to go into the tin once again but after searching high and low, I was unable to find the base of my 8 inch cake tin. Darn! Choiceless, 9 inch it’ll have to be. Due to time and resource constraints, I didn’t split it into 2 cake tins but instead baked it all in one go. 
 
When I removed it from the oven, the cake looked alright but a bit flat. I was afraid I won’t be able to split it into more than 2 layers. After it cooled, it was still moist and with my fingers crossed, I removed it from the tin. It certainly didn’t rise too much unlike how my sponge cakes normally do. Hhhmmm….but I just might be able to split it into 3 layers. I decided on strawberries as I’m really quite broke and strawberries were probably the cheapest but most elegant fruit I’m able to afford. I was (and still am) very doubtful about the buttercream. Krys, Alan, CY and I are not big cream fans and I knew buttercream wouldn’t go down well with them. Oh well, I’ll still give it a go. Lucky for me, it didn’t curdle and the result was a smooth, velvety textured buttercream. Krystal dipped her finger in and absolutely loved it! It reminded us of the cream buns we get back home. I used to enjoy those cream stuffed buns especially when I was sick and unable to consume anything. Anyway, I had fun doing the piping. I called this  “A Basketful of Strawberries” ’cause I wanted to pipe something that looked like a basket and pile the top with strawberries. Sadly, I ran out of buttercream so had to settle for a basket with no handles.
 

Oh well, the end result was better than expected. I have to admit that I’ve gotten complacent making sponge cakes. Since most of my cake orders are sponges, it’s become routine to make them and not try them. Most of the time I just rely on feedback from customers and believe that I can’t possibly go wrong with the tastes. This time though, since it wasn’t an order, I gotta try the cake myself and decide if I like it. And yes, I do! 🙂 I wouldn’t use it for ice cream cakes as it’s not soft and fluffy enough, and would be too hard after frozen. However, I’d try it for tiramisu and definitely would use it for future fruit base layered cakes. The cake’s really moist and was a lot easier to divide into layers as compared to sponge cakes. The use of lemon zest was amazing as it gave the cake a fresher taste. Next time, I’m gonna try rhubarb as my layers. The buttercream as expected didn’t go down too well with the others. Don’t get me wrong, it was a really good buttercream but it’s just that those of us who had were not big cream fans. Might be an asian thing (don’t quote me on this!) 🙂 .   

All in all, I had fun with my first challenge. Although nothing went right, the end result was rewarding. At least I got paid with a good massage from the birthday boy! 🙂

 Cake:

  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour (1 cup cake flour = 1 cup all purpose – 2 Tbs)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ cups whole buttermilk
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon pure lemon extract

Buttercream:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Finishing:

  • Strawberries

Method:

Centre a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch round (personally, I’d use an 8-inch) cake pan and line the bottom of each pan with a round of buttered parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.Whisk together the buttermilk and egg whites in a medium bowl.

Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant.

Add the butter and working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light.

Beat in the extract, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the buttermilk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated.

Add the rest of the buttermilk and eggs beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients.

Finally, give the batter a good 2- minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated.

Pour batter into tin and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cakes are well risen and springy to the touch – a thin knife inserted into the centers should come out clean.

Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unfold them and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature, right side up (the cooled cake layers can be wrapped airtight and stored at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to two months).

Buttercream:

Put the sugar and egg whites in a mixer bowl or another large heatproof bowl, fit the bowl over a plan of simmering water and whisk constantly, keeping the mixture over the heat, until it feels hot to the touch, about 3 minutes.

The sugar should be dissolved, and the mixture will look like shiny marshmallow cream. Remove the bowl from the heat.

Working with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, beat the meringue on medium speed until it is cool, about 5 minutes.

Switch to the paddle attachment if you have one, and add the butter a stick at a time, beating until smooth. Once all the butter is in, beat in the buttercream on medium-high speed until it is thick and very smooth, 6-10 minutes. During this time the buttercream may curdle or separate – just keep beating and it will come together again. You should have a shiny smooth, velvety, pristine white buttercream. Press a piece of plastic against the surface of the buttercream and set aside briefly.

Assembling: 

Layer cake into three layers (I believe an 8-inch should yield 4 layers). Spread some butter cream on bottom layer then top with strawberry slices.

Repeat above steps for second and third layer. 

Decorate accordingly. 

Storing:

The cake is best the day it is made, but you can refrigerate it, well covered, for up to two days. Bring it to room temperature before serving. If you want to freeze the cake, slide it into the freezer to set, then wrap it really well – it will keep for up to 2 months in the freezer; defrost it, still wrapped overnight in the refrigerator. 

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The recipe for the cake base is my green tea sponge cake and it’s layered with vanilla ice cream. So get yourself a good tub of ice cream, and create heaps of space in the freezer, and you are good to go! 

 

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Click here for the recipe.

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