An interview with the Great British Bake Off team that a friend posted on Facebook gave me a kick into the kitchen today. As Terri is writing an essay at my house I thought it would be nice to provide a sweet treat as well. I have often used recipes from Sue Lawrence’s Book of Baking and have found them to be absolutely fantastic. I adapted this recipe today and had an attempt at individual cakes rather than the standard sandwich cake. I made the mixtures for the Chocolate Lemon Meringue cake as usual, but added six Terry’s Chocolate Orange segments roughly chopped into chips. I also ran 15g short of cocoa and left out a little milk to compensate. I didn’t make the mixtures one after the other, but made the cake mix up to the point of adding the flour, then made the meringue and quickly finished off the cake.
I didn’t want to lose any of the action of the raising agents in the self-raising flour by setting them off too early – I was making my meringue by hand so it took a while to whisk up the eggs. I put the cake mix into the muffin cases and pushed down the mixture, spreading it as evenly as I could.
The cake doesn’t usually spread or rise a great deal, so it’s important to get it roughly level so that it cooks through evenly. Next came the meringue tops, which looked absolutely huge in comparison to the tiny spoons of cake!
They went into the oven for 20 minutes. As I write this post they’re still in the oven, so the verdict has yet to be reached!
After 20 minutes at 170 fan, the meringue tops were browned and hardened, but the cakes had risen a lot more than I had expected and were still quite wobbly! I tented the tray with foil to keep the direct heat off the meringue tops and stop them catching, and lowered the oven temperature to 150 fan.
After 10 more minutes they came out, and the cakes were done. The balancing act with times hadn’t quite gone right, as the meringues weren’t cooked through, but we ate them anyway. Overall, the experiment was fairly successful – we ended up with edible cakes. However, a lot more tweaking is necessary to get the balance right. In this case, both the cakes and the meringue were much deeper in the cake cases than they are when they are in sandwich tins, so the cooking time definitely needs to increase, but at the same time, I don’t want to burn my meringues into oblivion – burnt sugar does not taste good! I think cooking for a longer period at a cooler temperature would be the key – either that or just make the sandwich cake because you can fill that with whipped cream and raspberries.