Thursday, October 02, 2014

Great British Bake Off Technical Bake (5.9)

I have to admit being a little disappointed with this cake. I was expecting something akin to Kueh Lapis Legit (Spekkoek,) which is a moist, dense, delicious, spiced cake traditionally served at Chinese New Year.

Schichtorte is no Kueh Lapis. It is much more dry, and not as sweet. It tries to make up for this by being coated in apricot jam and chocolate, but sadly fails.

In fact, it was so unlike Kueh Lapis that I initially thought, despite following the recipe exactly, that I'd done something wrong. Thankfully, the episode of Extra Slice, where the panel tastes a Schichtorte quickly confirmed that I had made it right, it just was not a Kueh Lapis. Pity.

However, it is probably not as bad as I appear to have made out. The Fair Physiologist went back for a second slice, without any prompting, and despite there being other snacks available.

Of note, the amount of vanilla glaze specified is FAR too much, it is only for drizzling. Half or even a quarter of the published recipe would be better. This profligacy and the dryness of the cake slightly surprised me, especially considering this is Paul Hollywood's recipe - I thought it would have been much better, but there we go. Maybe they'll make Kueh Lapis next year instead!

Without the time pressure of the tent, this is quite an easy bake, but does tie you to the oven for a couple of hours. Next time I'd make a Kueh Lapis to make it worthwhile.

Recipe (from BBC Food)
For the cake
10 large free-range eggs, separated
100g/3½oz unsalted butter
150g/5½oz caster sugar
1 large lemon, zest only
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (I used extract, it was fine. I am still hopeful about a donation of vanilla bean paste/vanilla beans from a nice vanilla company)
150g/5½oz plain flour, sifted
65g/2¼oz cornflour, sifted
oil, for greasing
6 tbsp apricot jam

1. Whisk the egg yolks in the bowl of a freestanding mixer on a high speed for five minutes, until pale, thick and creamy (this takes the whole five minutes. I actually put a timer on, so that I didn't try to give up too soon).
2. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. Add the lemon zest and vanilla paste and mix well. Add the whisked egg yolks and beat well. Add the flour and cornflour and mix.
3. In a clean, grease-free bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed.
Stir one-third of the egg whites into the batter to loosen the consistency. Then gently fold the remaining egg whites into the egg yolk mixture.
4. Preheat the grill to high. Grease a 20cm/8in round springform tin (I only had a 7+1/2 inch loose bottom, and it worked fine - loose bottom is essential, springform is not) with oil and line the base with parchment paper.
5. Spoon some (around two tablespoonsful) of the batter into the base of the cake tin and spread evenly across the bottom. Give the tin a gentle side-to-side shake to even out the top of the batter. Place on a shelf 10cm/4in below the grill and cook for two minutes, or until light golden-brown.
6. Remove from the grill, add another spoonful of batter, spread out with a pastry brush, and place under the grill for three minutes, or until dark golden-brown. Continue layering and grilling until you have 20 layers alternating in colour from light golden-brown to dark golden-brown. (Or continue until you have used all the
7. Remove from the grill and leave to cool in the tin for five minutes. Carefully release from the tin and turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
8. Melt the apricot jam in a small pan over a low heat. Pass through a fine sieve, then brush the top and sides of the cake with jam. This will help the glaze stick to the cake.

For the chocolate glaze
50g/1¾oz unsalted butter
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 tbsp rum
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (I used extract again)
75g/2½oz plain chocolate (36% cocoa solids), finely chopped (36% is very small in my opinion. I used the 70% stuff and it was lovely)

1. For the chocolate glaze, melt the butter in a small pan with the golden syrup, rum and vanilla paste and bring to the boil.
2. Remove from the heat, allow to cool for five minutes. Stir in the chocolate until melted. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool to a coating consistency (this is near to room temperature, and takes about 10 minutes, the glaze should coat the back of a spoon).
3. Place a large piece of greaseproof paper under the wire rack holding the cake (personally I had the greaseproof in situ before the jam went on, because that drips too). Pour the glaze evenly over the cake to cover completely. Any excess glaze will be caught on the greaseproof paper and can be reused to fill in any unglazed areas of the cake. (Give the glaze a few moments to slightly set before applying the vanilla glaze, or the weight of the vanilla glaze might pull the chocolate glaze off)

For the vanilla glaze
250g/9oz icing sugar
1 tbsp rum
½ tsp vanilla bean paste (extract. Again)
1-2 tbsp milk
(Better quantities: 125g icing sugar, 1/2 tbsp rum, 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 1/2-1 tbsp milk)
Preparation method
For the vanilla glaze, sieve the icing sugar into a bowl. Add the rum, vanilla paste and milk, stirring until completely smooth. Drizzle over the chocolate glaze.

As usual I am entering this into Supergolden Bakes #GBBO Bake Along and Mummy Mishaps Great Bloggers Bake Off

GBBO badge (1)

Maybe I should have dipped my slice in the rum, rather than putting it in the glaze?


The Foggy Knitter said...

It does look very complicated, just sorry it was disappointing after all that.

Maybe make sacher-torte to go under your chocolate glaze and apricot jam next time?

Will be looking your Chinese new year cake up, sounds interesting

Unknown said...

I admire your patience making this cake. Although I have been intrigued about Baumkuchen for a long time for once I haven't been tempted to actually bake anything like it. Your cake looks amazing - thanks for linking to #GBBO #BakeAlong on Supergolden Bakes

Beckie said...

It is time consuming but less complicated than I feared.

I think a sacher-torte would be wonderful under the glaze!

Kueh Lapis is amazing! If I make it, I'll try to send you a slice :-)

Beckie said...

I think you should make a spit-roasted cake! However, having seen your tweets about not enough hours in the day, I'm not sure it would be the best use of your time!

I'm quite proud of how the cake looks, I must admit. Thank you.

bluebirdsunshine said...

Looks so neat! I admire your patience too.

Beckie said...

Thank you! It is as quite fun to make, and I got into a bit of a rhythm!

Cat | Curly's Cooking said...

This looks amazing! Better than the ones on GBBO! Such a shame that after all that hard work the cake wasn't great

Beckie said...

Aw, thanks! I have slightly overstated it - the cake has disappeared pretty quickly, it's just a much drier texture than I expected.

Gill said...

I thought it was quite fun doing the grilling bit, but you're's very dry. The glaze is soooo good though. I probably "tidied up" more of it that I should. Your layers are much more even than mine. I was too busy chatting to my parents!

Beckie said...

Oh yes, the glaze is fantastic. Once it was covered, all the run-off became my personal property!!

My parents are surprisingly used to the phrase, "well, I'm afraid I've got to go, I've got some baking to do."

Jenny said...

well done you managed a very impressive height with your cake. i too was a little dissapointed by the dull factor of this cake once i ate a slice, seemes a lot of effort for not a lot of flavour or moistness!
thank you for linking up x

Beckie said...

Thanks! That's pretty much what I thought about the cake, in general, however.