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Archive for October 29, 2016

TIP OF THE DAY: Easy Party Cake (Actually, A Torte)

You probably have favorite easy-to-make party recipes that save you time and energy while treating your guests.

Today, we suggest one for dessert, from King Arthur Flour. It’s actually a torte, shorter than a layer cake. Here’s the difference between a cake and a torte.

A tart is something different entirely, with a shortbread crust made in a fluted pan with a removable bottom. Unlike a pie, the shortbread crust enables the tart to stand on its own, without a pan, for a beautiful presentation.

This fancy-looking recipe is from Becky Sue, the baker, photographer and recipe developer of Baking The Goods. Two layers of dense yellow cake are topped with meringue, cinnamon, and nuts; and filled with rich, pastry cream studded with fresh berries.

It really is easy to make; even a novice baker will have no problems. There’s no frosting involved.

Thanks to King Arthur Flour for sending us the recipe.

It makes a nice impression at parties and dinner parties. Add candles for a birthday cake.
 
RECIPE: BERRY BLITZ TORTE

Prep time is 30 minutes, bake time is 30 minutes, plus assembly (total 90 minutes). The cake makes 8 to 10 servings.

Shortcuts: Use preserves instead of fresh fruit; substitute instant vanilla pudding for the pastry cream.

Here are step by step photos from Baking The Goods.
 
Ingredients

For The Cake

  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large egg yolks (save the whites for the topping)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/4 teaspoon fiori di sicilia
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  •  
    For The Topping

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup superfine sugar* or granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup sliced, blanched almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Garnish: mixed berries, other fruit of choice, chocolate curls
  •  
    ________________
    *Also called caster sugar and baker’s special sugar, superfine sugar is screened to the finest granulation. Popular in our home because it dissolves easily in cold drinks (iced tea, cocktails, etc.), it also dissolves easily into butter. This creates a fine crumb and a more elegant cake. YOU CAN MAKE YOUR OWN: Superfine sugar is simply table sugar that is ground into smaller grains. Pulse table sugar in a food processor until it’s very fine. Keep the superfine sugar in a separate sugar bowl to bring out when you’re serving iced coffee and tea or making lemonade.
    ________________
     
    For The Filling

  • Pastry cream/crème pâtissière recipe
  •  

    Making The Torte

    Berry Blitz Torte

    Berry Torte Recipe

    fiori-di-sicilia-therosetable-230jpg

    [1] Making the torte. [2] Close-up (photos #1 and #2 courtesy King Arthur Flour). [3] Garnished and ready for prime time (photo courtesy BakingTheGoods.com. [4] Fiori (or fior) di Sicilia—flower of Sicily—is used by bakers to provide an elegant floral-citrus flavor to cake and other foods. Here’s more about it (photo courtesy The Rose Table).

  • Fresh fruit of choice: blackberries, blueberries, raspberries or sliced strawberries
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two 8″ or 9″ round cake pans. If using parchment, lightly grease the pans, line with parchment rounds, and lightly grease the parchment as well.

    2. BEAT the butter, sugar, salt, and egg yolks in a medium-sized mixing bowl until creamy. Beat in the vanilla/fiori, milk, baking powder and flour. Spread the mixture in the prepared pans (the batter will barely cover the bottom of the pans).

    3. BEAT the egg whites until light. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the meringue is smooth, glossy, and somewhat stiff (but not stiff enough to form stand-up peaks).

    4. SPREAD the meringue atop the cake batter, and sprinkle with the almonds, cinnamon and sugar. (Note: If you’re using fiori di sicilia, omit the cinnamon.) Bake the cakes for 30 minutes, until lightly browned.

    5. REMOVE the cakes from the oven, allow them to cool for 15 minutes, then loosen the edges and gently turn them out onto a rack to cool completely. If some of the almonds fall off during this process, just sprinkle them back on top.

    6. ASSEMBLE: Place one of the cake layers, meringue side up, on a serving plate. Spread with the pastry cream. Add a layer of fresh berries. Top with the second cake layer, meringue-side up. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until serving time.

     
    THE DIFFERENT CAKE TYPES

    Check out our beautiful Cake Glossary, featuring all types of cake.

      

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