Pake: Part 3 – Pie Hard With A Vengeance!

RECIPE #9 – Part 3 of 3

In our previous nerve rattling episode, I left you staring into the teeth of a calamity:
IMG_4718I’ll bet you’ve had some sleepless nights worrying about how I’m going to dig myself out of this hole, haven’t you?  But you forget, I am no ordinary baker.  I am the Caloriser and for me there are no calamities, only opportunities for more calories…  I call them ‘calortunities’….

We bakers have a not so secret weapon in our arsenal and it is called icing.  Most people think icing is there mainly because it tastes nice and it looks pretty, but those are merely peripheral benefits.  The main function of icing for bakers is to hide our mistakes.  Permit me to demonstrate…

STAGE 1 – THE CREAM CHEESE ICING:

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

Equipment:

  • A large mixing bowl
  • A smaller bowl
  • a Mixing spatula
  • An electric mixer
  • A cake decorating turntable
  • A 12 inch square cake drum
  • A Pallet knife
  • Dough scrapers
  • A turntable

Ingredients:

  • 600 grams of cream cheese at room temperature
  • 400 grams of white chocolate, melted
  • 200 grams of blackcurrant jam
  • The pre-prepared pie cake layers

Gather together your pallet knife and scrapers (one of them should be a patterned one).  You are going to be using them through out the icing process, so keep them close at all times:
IMG_4756Place the cake drum on top of the turntable.  Extract the cooled chocolate pie cake from its tin and place it in the centre of the cake drum:
IMG_4717melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl and then leave it aside to cool slightly:
IMG_4719Place the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and whisk it with the electric mixer.  Add the blackcurrant jam and mix thoroughly:
IMG_4720IMG_4721IMG_4722Pour in the melted chocolate and mix until well combined:
IMG_4723 IMG_4724At this point the mixture will be a bit too soupy from the latent heat of the melted chocolate.  So before we use it we will need to place it in the fridge for about an hour.

When the icing has set remove it from the fridge and commence application.  Behold now and marvel at my genius as I transform a disaster into a blessing.  The sinkhole in the middle of the cake is in fact a reservoir into which a deluge of icing can be poured – much more so than if the cake had been perfectly flat.  You see?  All your fretting was completely unnecessary.  Don’t ever doubt my evil genius again:
IMG_4725Once the hole has been filled pour more icing on top of the cake and spread it to the edges:
IMG_4726Extract the apple/maple pie cake from its tin, but leave the base attached.  This will help maintain stability for the next step.  Carefully turn the apple/maple cake upside down and place it on top of the chocolate cake, sandwiching the icing in between:
IMG_4727Now you can remove the base plate:
IMG_4729Place the all the remainder of the cream cheese icing on top of the cake and spread it evenly with the pallet knife before you smooth it with the straight edged dough scrapers:
IMG_4730 IMG_4731This, believe it or not, is only the base layer of icing – there is a second layer still to come.  For now place the iced cake in the fridge for the icing to set (because all that spreading and smoothing will have softened it up a bit).  And while we’re waiting for that, we can get on with making the decorations…

STAGE 2 – THE PASTRY DECORATIONS:

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

Equipment:

  • A rolling pin
  • Clingfilm
  • Plunger pastry cutters, leaf and flower varieties
  • Baking tray
  • Baking paper
  • A pastry brush
  • Tin foil

Ingredients:

  • Pre-prepared short crust pastry
  • 1 egg whisked to make an egg wash

Preheat the oven to 190˚C/375˚F/Gas Mark 5.

You should still have some pastry left over from making the pies.  Roll it out between two sheets of clingfilm and punch out some leaf shapes with plunger pastry cutters.  This type of pastry cutter typically has a pattern imprint, but for the leaves I advise scoring in the patterns a little deeper with a knife as otherwise the pattern may disappear as the pastry puffs up during baking:
IMG_4735

Lay the cut out pastry leaves onto a baking paper lined baking tray and brush them with egg wash.  Then bake the leaves for between 7 to 12 minutes until golden brown:
IMG_4738Roll out more pastry, and using flower shaped pastry plungers punch out three flower shapes of decreasing sizes.  Place them one inside the other.  Fashion a ring out of rolled up tin foil and place the pastry flower in the middle to give it some shape.  Brush with egg wash and bake for around 7 to 10 minutes until golden brown:
IMG_4739 IMG_4740IMG_4741

STAGE 3 – THE MAPLE SWISS MERINGUE BUTTER CREAM:

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

Equipment:

  • A deep metal bowl
  • A larger, shallower metal bowl
  • A pan
  • A balloon whisk
  • An electric hand mixer

Ingredients:

  • 170 grams egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 140 grams of brown sugar
  • 200 grams of white sugar
  • 500 grams of butter soft at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons of maple syrup

Okay, it’s been a long and arduous journey, but we’re almost there Frodo – we’re standing on the precipice of the Crack of Doom and the eagles are poised to carry us away back to Rivendell.  We’ve just got this one last thing to do.  I should just caution you however that I am not your Sam… I am your Gollum!

Place the egg whites in a metal bowl with the salt and give it a quick whisk until frothy:
IMG_4742 IMG_4743Mix in the sugars:
IMG_4746Place the bowl over a pan of boiling water and whisk with the balloon whisk:
IMG_4747Keep whisking continuously over a medium heat.  We want the eggs to start cooking just enough for them to pasteurise.  Don’t worry, you don’t need to mess about with any thermometers because there is a very simple way to test if the eggs have cooked to a safe temperature.  You see the sugar melts at a slightly higher temperature than it takes the for eggs to pasteurise.  All you need to do is dip your finger into the mixture (it will be hot, but not scaldingly so).  Rub the mixture between your fingers.  If it feels smooth with no sugar grains remaining, then it is ready:
IMG_4748In a larger bowl pour some cold water:
IMG_4749Float the bowl with the egg/sugar mix in the cold water (be sure not to get any water into the mixture) and begin to mix with the electric had whisk on the highest speed until the mixture is cool and turned into a creamy smooth light brown meringue:
IMG_4750 IMG_4751Add the soft butter a couple of small cubes at a time and mix thoroughly between each addition:
IMG_4752 IMG_4753There will come a point when the mixture will start to look like scrambled eggs.  Don’t worry, this is perfectly normal.  Keep adding the butter and keep mixing:
IMG_4754Whisk in the maple syrup:
IMG_4755Apply the icing by scooping the butter cream onto the top of the cake.  Spread it roughly over the top and down the sides in as even a layer as you can with a pallet knife:
IMG_4758 IMG_4759Smooth out the butter cream with straight edged dough scrapers and then apply a pattern with a patterned dough scraper, and finally apply the pastry decorations:
IMG_4761 IMG_4774And there you have it, a two layer pie cake.  Next time I’m going to make a three layer one… because there’s no one around with the guts to stop me….
IMG_4786 IMG_4765The heart of the beast:
IMG_0355

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Tom Baker 1 copy

4 thoughts on “Pake: Part 3 – Pie Hard With A Vengeance!

  1. Pingback: Pake: Part 2 – Pie Harder! | Sad Biscuit

  2. Pingback: Pake: Part 3 – Pie Hard With A Vengeance! | terrificwriter

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