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70th Independence Day Cake

 THIS DESSERT is influenced by a dessert that was influenced by a dessert . . . it all started with the modern lemon tart that Shy Golan and I baked on the first season of TV's Bake Off Israel. One of our friends – also a contestant – took the idea and changed it up and started making letters and numbers. It was a huge hit.*

Here is my version of the Letters' Cake. The recipe is enough for a small 20 cm cake. If you want a large cake you should multiply the pastry by 1.5

Short pastry

Ingredients

  • 420 grams cold flour
  • 100 grams sugar
  • 200 grams cold butter, cut in cubes
  • 1 bag (10 grams) baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, beaten

Method

  1. In the mixer using the paddle attachment, mix well the sugar and butter. Add the egg and vanilla and mix for 1 minute. Add half the flour and mix until homogeneous. Add the second half of the flour and mix just until it all comes together. Place plastic wrap on the counter and flatten the dough on it. Close well and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile make your letters or numbers. Using parchment paper, cut out the shapes you like. Heat the oven to 190 degrees. Roll out the dough between 2 parchment papers to about 2 mm thickness. Remove the top parchment and place the stencil you made on the dough. Using a sharp knife cut the shapes carefully and remove the extra dough. Pull the parchment with the letters gently on to an oven pan.
  3. Bake until golden. Cool completely.

Italian Merengue

Ingredients

  • 120 grams egg whites
  • 300 grams sugar
  • 90 grams water

optional flavoring: powdered instant coffee or cinnamon – add 1-2 heaping teaspoons to egg whites. Dried raspberry powder like we used on Bake Off (only at specialty stores) can be added at that point as well but about 3 tablespoons.


The Italian Merengue

Method

1. In the mixer put your egg whites and have the beater attachment ready.

2. In a pot boil the water and sugar to a thick syrup. Use a thermometer to make sure the syrup reaches the heat necessary.

3. When the syrup reaches 109 degrees, begin beating the egg whites. When the syrup reaches 118 degrees, pour the syrup slowly into the working mixer.

4. Let the mixer beat the merengue until the bowl isn't hot to the touch. About 7-8 minutes. The mixture will grow and become a shiny stable merengue.

Assembing

1. Place the first layer of the pastry on the serving plate and using a piping bag and any piping tip you prefer (not too small), pipe a generous layer of the Italian merengue (if you don't like merengue, you can use hipped cream. Just add a bit of vanilla pudding before you whip so it's strong).

2. Place the second layer of pastry carefully on top and gently press down to secure it. Pipe a second layer of merengue.

3. For the topping you can use whatever you like. I used seasonal fruit but you can use chocolate covered fruit or various types of chocolates or any other idea you like.

4. It is important to assemble the cake close to eating so it doesn't become too soggy.

*you can see her amazing cakes and events on Instagram "liorkoka" or contact her manager at The Italian Merengue on 050 335 2286. 

 

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Sunday, 13 June 2021

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