Yesterday my baby boy turned 2. So I guess he really isn't a baby boy anymore. I can't believe how fast time flies when you look back (and how slowly it moves when you are up in the middle of the night with a crying infant...). It was also roughly two years ago I began getting interested in pastry. I have always, always! been a foodie, but for many years my interests were mainly in the savoury department. But when Philip was born and I really needed easy entertainment in the middle of the night, Instagram came to my rescue.
I stumbled upon a pastry chef in New York who were doing these insane bonbons. Not only did they look crazy beautiful, but she'd do these flavour combinations that had my mind spinning. And from then on I discovered other pastry chefs, other pastry bloggers and I just fell more and more in love with the possibilities of pastry.
We celebrated Philip with glazed buns for the nursery, and today I celebrated myself with a white chocolate cake and my favourite fruit. Yes, more blood oranges. I'm considering calling myself Bloody Mary soon.
This chocolate cake is made without flour, so the texture is incredibly soft and pillowy. Not unlike a Japanese cotton cheesecake, only with the flavour of a really good blondie. I added burnt cinnamon for a subtle smoky sweetness, but feel free to either sub regular cinnamon or just leave it out. The cake is great either way!
Flourless white chocolate cake with burnt cinnamon
100g unsalted butter, softened
60g icing sugar
½ tsp. burnt cinnamon*
100g white chocolate
2 egg yolks
20g potato starch
2 egg whites
Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 175C/350F. Grease a 20cm cake pan and line bottom with parchment, set aside.
Melt the white chocolate over water bath and meanwhile cream together the butter and icing sugar. Mix together the chocolate and butter mixture until smooth. Whisk in the egg yolks one at a time, then add the potato starch and cinnamon.
In a separate bowl, beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks. Beat in sugar 1 Tbsp. at a time and continue beating until firm peak stage.
Fold the meringue into the white chocolate batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, smooth out and bake for 18-20 minutes. Remove pan from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack for 1-2 hours.
Remove the cake from the pan and peel off the parchment from the bottom.
Place a cinnamon stick directly on a gas burner set to low heat and toast evenly until there are a few burnt spots and the cinnamon stick is fragrant. Alternatively you can toast the cinnamon stick with a crème brulee burner.
Grind the cinnamon stick to fine powder in a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder.
Caramelized blood oranges in hibiscus tequila syrup
4 blood oranges
150g caster sugar
Juice of 1 blood orange
2 Tbsp. tequila
1 tsp. dried hibiscus flowers
1 Tbsp, cilantro leaves
Cut a slice off the top and bottom of each blood orange. Stand the oranges upright on a cutting board and remove the peel and pith with a knife. Slice the oranges into 6 slices and place them in a bowl.
Add sugar, orange juice and hibiscus petals to a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until the sugar caramelizes, remove from heat and carefully mix in the tequila.
Pour the warm tequila caramel over the blood orange slices. Allow to cool to room temperature, sprinkle over the cilantro and serve with the cake.