Sunday, 21 May 2017

Italian mimosa cake (Torta mimosa)

Today's cake is a typical italian festive cake - on 8th march, International Women Day, italian women are being gifted with mimosa flowers. This cake looks exactly like mimosa flower, hence the name. It utilises custard - 'crema pasticcera' and has delicate orange flavor. Hope you enjoy this one:-)


For the cake (pan di spagna) - makes 2 pans 20cm each:
8 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
7 heaped tablespoons plain flour
1 heaped tablespoon cornflour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

First beat eggs with salt and sugar on high, until light and fluffy - it's gonna take at least 10 minutes, so be patient. Add vanilla and sieved flours with baking powder, fold in gently, just enough to mix. Divide mix evenly between 2 pans and bake in 160C for around 50 minutes. If you don't have 2 pans same size, divide ingredients in half and make 2 separate batters - cake has to be baked straight away, otherwise it's not going to raise properly. Set aside to cool.

For custard:
500ml full fat milk
225ml heavy whipping cream
5 egg yolks
5 tablespoons cornflour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 For punch:
130ml water
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
75ml Grand Marnier (or other orange liquor)

Put milk and 125ml of cream in a pan and heat up slowly. In the meantime, mix egg yolks, sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl and whisk a bit to mix all ingredients. When milk is near to the boiling point, take it off the heat, and pour a little bit in the egg yolk mix. Whisk it quickly to mix it well and pour everything in the milk pan. Whisk it until it's smooth and there's no lumps. Put it back on the stove and heat up slowly, until it thickens, stirring continuously. When the custard is ready, pour it in the bowl and cover with cling film touching the surface, to prevent skin from forming. Leave it to cool off completely. Whisk remaining cream. Soften cooled custard, then mix in couple spoonfulls of whipped cream to soften it further. Add remaining cream and fold gently.

To prepare punch, put water and sugar in a pan and heat gently, stiring until sugar dissolves. Mix in the liquor and leave to cool.

Remove browned part of cakes - you can cut it off wth a knife or even easier - rub fine grater on the surface of the cake, remove all crumbs. Thanks to that cake is going to have nice yellowish colour. Slice both cakes horizontally, to get 4 sheets. Place first sheet on a tray, moisten it with some punch. Spread evenly 1/3 of the custard filling. Repeat until you have a stack of 3 - spread remaining custard on top and sides of the cake. Cut remaining slice of cake in cubes around 1cm in size. Use them to cover the cake top and sides. You can sprinkle some icing sugar on top.
Buon apetito :-)

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