A Trio of Birthdays and an Orange-Almond Cake

Saturday October 13, 2012

Elemental Custard

October = Birthday Month. Are you ready for it?

Thursday was my fathers birthday, TODAY is my birthday (yay) and tomorrow is my mothers birthday. Not to mention my uncles birthday next week. Phew, once this week is done I'm going into baking hibernation. Especially with the amount of food I have consumed with Thanksgiving being last weekend.

We always celebrate all our birthdays on one day- just to cut down on birthday dinners and cake baking. Don't get me wrong, I love baking cakes, but making 3 cakes in 4 days is a bit much to handle. So last night we went out for dinner and celebrated with ONE cake and presents.

Elemental Custard

And then I knocked over the cake.

Elemental Custard

Luckily I was able to fix it and everything was alright. AND I got a new camera! I think it was my dads way of telling my that I am not allowed to steal his camera any more.

Back to the cake- it was delicious- spiced almond and orange cake, with a chai Bavarian cream and caramel frosting decorated with almond brittle and candied orange peel. I love being able to experiment with different flavours on my own birthday!

Recipe: Orange-Almond Spice Cake with Caramel Frosting

Makes 1 4-layer 6-inch cake (can serve ~12)

1 1/4 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup finely ground almonds
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 cup butter at room temp
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
zest of 1 orange
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup yogurt
1/4 cup milk

Filling: Chai Bavarian Cream
1 tbsp powdered gelatin
3 tbsp water
4 egg yolks
3 tbsp sugar
1 cup homogenized milk
3 chai tea bags (I used Tazo)
1 cup heavy cream (cold)

Caramel Whipped Frosting:
2 cups whipping cream
2 tbsp pudding mix (I used caramel)*
1 tbsp vanilla (or any other flavouring)
* The pudding mix stabilizes the whipping cream so that it doesn't break down!

Candied orange peels
Almond Brittle


Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 2 9-inch cake pans. Combine flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt.

In an electric mixer, combine butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time until well combined. Beat in orange zest and vanilla. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients, beat in 1/2 the yogurt, and repeat until all mixed finishing with the dry ingredients.

Separate batter into cake pans and bake for 30-40 minutes or until tester inserted in comes out clean. Let cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn out and let cool completely.

Filling: Heat the milk over medium heat until almost boiling. Place the tea bags in the milk, cover, and let sit to steep for 30 min.

Sprinkle the gelatin over the water in a small bowl and let soften. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and honey until pale. In a medium saucepan over medium-heat, bring the chai-milk to a simmer. Pour the hot milk over the yolks and whisk constantly to prevent curdling. Pour back into the saucepan and cook until it coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and add the softened gelatin and vanilla, stirring until dissolved completely. Let cool to room temperature.

Whip cream in a stand mixer until soft peaks form and fold gently into the cooled custard.

Frosting: Combine all ingredients in electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Whisk on high until the cream holds stiff peaks.

Assembly: Level cakes with long serrated knife (cut each layer into 2 for 4 layers). To fill the cakes, line the cake pans with aluminum foil so that it comes up the sides at least 1 inch. Place the first cake layer on the bottom and spread ~1/2 cup of Bavarian cream evenly on top. Top with the next layer and repeat until you top with the last cake layer (the foil will hold the filling in with the cake layers so that it doesn't spill out). Place the cake in the fridge to set for 2 hours.

Frost the cake with the caramel frosting and decorate with the candied orange peel and almond brittle. Serve and enjoy!


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