I do this every month. I announce these ace themes for cake club, then worry about what I will make later! The theme for July's club was the brainchild of my friend Lucie. Sweets for My Sweet asked members to take inspiration from their favourite sweet shop goodies.
I decided to do a pear drops cake for two reasons; I loved them as a child and I thought the colours would look fantastic in a cake! I got the idea when wandering round Marks and Spencer's one lunchtime. They have a fantastic range of retro 'pops' in glass bottles... one of them being pear drops! The taste is perfect! I decided to test my hair-brained idea earlier this week, and use my work buddies as guinea pigs! I wanted a double layered cake in pink and yellow, but I wanted the batters to marble slightly. It had to be bright too! However, because this was for cake club it had to taste amazing and have good texture too.
On Tuesday I set about the test cake. I had no idea if it would work, or even taste right. My aim was to have a hint of the pear drops taste rather than something that overpowered the entire thing. It worked a bloody treat. Here's what I did:
- 225g unsalted butter at room temperature
- 100g solid vegetable fat at room temperature (Trex or Cookeen would be perfect)
- 650g golden caster sugar
- 5 large eggs
- 460g plain flour, sifted
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 250ml M&S Pear Drops fizzy pop
- Pink and Yellow food gels
- Grease and flour a large bundt tin (about 10 inches in diameter).
- Preheat your oven to Gas 3/160 C.
- Beat the butter and vegetable fat together until creamy.
- Add in the sugar and beat on a medium speed for about 5 minutes.
- Add the eggs one by one on a slow speed.
- Add the flour and salt to a separate bowl.
- Add 1/3 of the flour to the batter and fold in.
- Add 1/2 of the fizzy pop.
- Alternate with flour and pop until it is all incorporated. It may look a little curdled. Worry not bundt fans! It's the pop being a bugger. Yes, that is a very technical culinary term.
- Give it a whizz for about 10 seconds on a medium speed.
- Split the mixture into two bowls - roughly half in each.
- Add a pea sized amount of pink food gel to one, yellow to the other. Mix well until the colour is evenly spread throughout the mix. Take care not to overmix.
- You are left with two vivaciously vibrant batters.
- Spread one of the mixes into your prepared bundt and smooth out.
- Repeat with the other.
- Using a skewer or spoon handle, make a wiggly pattern through the two batters. This will create your marble effect.
- Pop the cake in the middle of a preheated oven for about 1 hour 30 minutes. If it's not shrinking away from the sides of the tin, leave it in for another 10-15 minutes. This is a big cake so will need to be cooked for a long time on a low heat. Long and low is the way to go. Don't worry if the crust looks brown. It should be. That's the caramelised sugar and tastes fantastic!
- Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
- When the cake has cooled decorate however you please. I made a simple runny glace icing using about 200g of icing sugar mixed with a little of the fizzy pop and some pink food gel!
- Cut into your cake amid many 'oohs' and 'ahhs'!
|Layer it up...|
|Can you see what it is yet...?|
The finished product is a wonderfully moist cake with a subtle pear drops flavour. Let's hope the cake clubbers like it!
Post Cake Club Update...
So today was cake club! I amended the frosting slightly so there was more of it and therefore the cake had a stronger 'pear drops' flavour. Seemed to go down well and the glaze looked nice and shiny!