Easter 2016 EHJ.jpg

Easter Cake
ERIK HOULIHAN-JONG
This Easter I was inspired by the humble egg which plays a central role in celebrations all over the world. I created a cake that would embody some of the characteristics of an egg; something that would take pride of place on anyone’s Easter table
Ingredients 
For the cake
  • 140g Whole Almonds
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 130g Plain Flour
  • 8 Egg Yolks
  • 200g Caster Sugar
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 8 Egg Whites
  • 100g Caster Sugar
For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 120g Caster Sugar
  • 250g Unsalted Butter
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
For the Chocolate Ganache
  • 200g Divine 70% Dark Chocolate
  • 200ml Double Cream
Extras
  • 40g Lemon Curd
  • 3 Divine Chocolate Speckled Eggs

Making The Cake

1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Spread out whole almonds on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven for 8-10 minutes, make sure they don’t get too browned.
2. Turn the oven down to 180°C.
3. Prepare two 20cm loose base tins with greaseproof paper.
4. In a food processor whizz the toasted almonds with the salt and flour.
5. In a large mixing bowl combine the egg yolks, 200g of sugar and vanilla extract. Beat with an electric mixer until it is pale and well combined. 
6. In a spotlessly clean medium mixing bowl beat the egg whites until you form soft peaks. Gradually combine the remaining 100g of sugar with the egg whites. 
7. Fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture. 
8. Gradually add the almond and flour mixture being careful to make sure that everything is thoroughly combined.
9. Pour into the two prepared tins and smooth the top, you may wish to weigh them so that they are the same size.
10. Bake in the 180°C oven for 30-35 minutes or until a fork comes out clean.
 

Making The Swiss Meringue Buttercream

1. In a heatproof bowl mix the egg whites and sugar together over a double boiler on low heat.
2. Stir continuously so that the sugar devolves and you are left with smooth egg whites - you can test by rubbing a bit between your fingers.
3. Using an electric mixer bring the egg whites to soft peaks. 
4. Add the butter to the eggs in small chunks, it may look as though it is going to split, but just keep going with the mixer for about 5-7 minutes.
5. Once you have added all of the butter, add the vanilla. 

 

Making The Ganache

1. In a heatproof bowl heat the cream.
2. Chop the chocolate into small pieces.
3. Pour the chocolate into the cream and remove from the heat. Let it sit for 2 minutes before stirring. 
4. Mix together well, returning to the heat if required.
 

Assembling The Cake

1. Slice off the domes of the cakes so that they sit level when upside-down.
2. Place one layer on a cake plate and spread the icing in a donut shape.
3. Fill this central ‘hole’ with the lemon curd to create the ‘yolk’ of the egg.
4. Place the second layer of the cake on top of the first upside-down.
5. Pour the ganache over the cake letting it drip down the sides.
6. Decorate with some Divine Chocolate Speckled Eggs.
 
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