Sunday, April 29, 2012

Caramel Coconut Cream Sponge

A couple of months back I told the story of the caramel cream sponge my dad used to buy us when I was a kid. And I promised I would try and recreate that cake and share it with you. Well this weekend I finally did that. It was a friend’s birthday, so I decided what better occasion to test that recipe and see if it worked.

I found, in the process, that the toasted coconut on the side of the cake was a key player in the overall taste balance. So I've renamed the cake to include the coconut. It was a really fun cake to make and I hope you really enjoy making and eating this blast from the seventies past.

Ingredients
6 large eggs
1 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
½ cup corn flour
½ cup plain flour
½ cup self raising flour
800ml thickened cream
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp sugar
2/3 cup desiccated coconut
2 cans Nestle Top n Fill
12-20 pistachio nuts

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Grease and line a 10 inch cake tin. The lining is very important as it will help the sponge cake to rise.
Beat the eggs with the whisk attachment of your Kitchenaid – use 10th gear.
2. Gradually add the caster sugar, then continue to beat the eggs for 10 minutes. The mixture will become thick and foamy.
3. Combine the three flours in a triple sieve. Sift one third of the flour into the egg mix and gently fold through with a spatula. Repeat two more times or until all the flour is added. Be very gently with the folding, but also be careful to check that all the flour has been incorporated.
4. Pour the sponge mixture into the tin until it is two thirds full.
5. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until the sponge is golden on the top and springs back at the touch.
6. Remove the sponge from the oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes. The sponge will drop a little – don’t worry if this happens.
7. Carefully turn the sponge out of the tin onto a wire rack. Peel the baking paper off the cake and allow to cool completely.

Assembly
1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Line a baking tray with a sheet of baking paper and spread the coconut over the paper.
2. Toast the coconut in the oven for about seven minutes, or until the coconut is golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely before using.
3. Combine the thickened cream, vanilla essence and sugar in the bowl of your kitchen aid and beat to stiff peaks.
4. Empty the two tins of caramel into a medium sized mixing bowl and beat until smooth. I did this with a hand mixer.
3. Split the sponge in half place one half on a decorator’s carousel. Fit two large piping bags with a round piping tube. Fill one bag with the caramel and the other with the whipped cream.
4. Pipe a ring of whipped cream around the perimeter of the cake, then continue in decreasing circles one 1cm apart.
5. Pipe the caramel in the gaps between the cream. Be sure to finish with caramel in the centre as this will give the middle of the cake support.
6. Place the second half of the sponge over the filling and press lightly to join.
7. Palette a thin layer of cream around the edges of the sponge, making sure no cake is visible.
8. Pick up handfuls of the toasted coconut and lightly press it against the side of the sponge. Coat all of the cream but do not get any coconut on the top.
9. Change the cream to a piping bag fitted with a closed star tub and pipe star shapes or fleur de lys shapes around the edge of the top of the Sponge. This is to form a “fence” to retain the caramel. You’ll see in my picture I didn’t do this. When I transported the cake half the caramel ran down the side.
10. Pipe the caramel onto the top of the cake, then carefully use a palette knife to spread it out to meet the cream at the edge.
11. Decorate with 12-20 pistachios to mark cake portions.

Store in the fridge until it’s time to serve. You really should get about 20 serves out of this cake.

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