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Monthly Archives: July 2014

Salted Caramel Meringue Cake Slice

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I have incorporated my love of salted caramel with my new invention “the cake slice”, which I accidentally hit upon when making a slice recently. A cake slice, in my definition, is a traybake or slice in which the base is “cakey” and the topping quite soft and maybe a little bit gooey!

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This Salted Caramel Meringue Cake Slice was inspired by a recipe of my grandmother, “German Biscuit” previously written about in this blog: https://thequirkandthecool.com/2013/06/27/german-biscuits/

That recipe combines a rich shortbread base with an apricot jam and meringue topping – I substituted the jam for a salted caramel filling in my version, plus I tweaked some of the measurements.

Ingredients

Shortbread and Meringue

2 tbls butter
1/2 cup sugar + 1/3 cup for meringue
2 eggs (yolks and whites separated)
Enough self raising flour to make a stiff dough (or plain flour with 1/2 tsp baking powder)

Salted Caramel Filling

I used some Dulce de Leche in a jar – enough to cover the shortbread. I added a tablespoon of butter and also of demerara sugar and blitzed in the food processor to combine to loosen the caramel. I think that the additions may not have been needed as the mixture was a little runny. Add sea salt to taste for the “salted” effect.

Method

Cream butter and sugar in a food  processor. Add beaten egg yolks and a little water. Mix in sifted flour. Roll out to about 1/2 cm thickness and place in a baking tin lined with baking paper and greased. Bake for about 10-15 minutes at 160 degrees C  or until biscuit is cooked and golden.  Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.

Spread the biscuit with the salted caramel to cover.

Beat egg whites until stiff, then add the remaining 1/3 cup sugar, beating mixture until of meringue consistency.

Spoon the meringue over the caramel, creating rough peaks. Bake in a slow oven (130 degrees C) to dry the meringue for about 15 minutes. The meringue should feel firm but spongy.

Remove from oven and when cool, cut into “cakey” slices.

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Cherry Frangipane Tart

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This is a lovely almond filled tart, a traditional French sweet treat. The base is pastry, layered with jam, then topped with a thick almond custard like cream. I added some cherries  to the frangipane for texture and tartness.

“Frangipane is a filling made from or flavoured with almonds.This filling can be used in a variety of ways including cakes, tarts and other assorted pastries…Originally designated as a custard tart flavoured by almonds or pistchios it came later to designate a filling that could be used in a variety of confections and baked goods…It is normally made of butter, sugar eggs and ground almonds.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frangipane

My version uses a shortcake pastry base, to give a little more substance to the base. I cooked the tart in a springform tin. I think it might have better to cook the mixture in a traditional tart mold or tin. My cake tin version was quite deep, resulting in tart that took a long time to cook in the middle and overcooked a little on the base and sides.

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Ingredients

Shortcake Pastry Base
70g unsalted butter
70g castor sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
125g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder

Tart
3 tbls cherry jam*
225g butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla paste
225g caster sugar
5 free range eggs
225g ground almonds
Handful of whole cherries, plus more to decorate

Method
For the shortcake, beat the butter and castor sugar until thick and creamy. Add the egg and mix well. Add the flour, almond meal and baking powder, then stir until combined.

Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly to just bring the mixture together.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C.

On a work surface lightly dusted with flour, roll out the pastry to about 3mm thick. Carefully line a 23cm springform tin with the pastry, pressing the pastry into the edges of the tin.

Spread the jam over the base of the tart, then place in the fridge to rest for 10 minutes.

To make the frangipane, beat the butter, vanilla paste and sugar together in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, until all of the eggs have been fully incorporated into the mixture. Fold in the ground almonds carefully by hand.

Top the pastry base with the almond mixture and smooth to the edges. Placer some halved fresh cherries on top of the mixture, pushing them gently into the mixture. They should still be partially visible.  Bake the tart in the preheated oven for 40 45 minutes, or until the filling has risen, is cooked through and the surface is pale golden brown.

* I made a simple cherry jam by placing 6 or tablespoons of morello bottled cherries with their juices in a saucepan with 3 tablespoons of sugar.  Bring to the boil and cook till the cherries are jammy and the liquid is reduced.

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