Wondercat Detectives: The case of the vanishing sugar

Over the weekend we baked a cake, a hazelnut and honey cake topped with spun sugar…or did we?

So, D & D were coming over for dinner and Wondercat was in charge of dessert.  We had a few ideas in mind, after fingering through a few of the new books than Santa brought us, he Maple and Pecan Cake from the Hummingbird Bakery “Cake Days” caught our eye; As we’ve been wanting to investigate their sponge recipe (it includes less budder more milk) for a while it seamed as good a time as any…(oh yeah, we say “budder” now…sounds tastier)

Hazelnut Honey Cake

we do enjoy a sticky nut

So we used the Hummingbird sponge recipe with a nut change, a maple/honey switcharoo and a splash of vanilla extract

  • 120g soft budder (mmm…budder)
  • 400g caster sugar (yes, this seamed a lot to us too)
  • 360g plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 360ml whole milk
  • 40ml honey
  • 3 large eggs
  • 100g chopped hazelnuts
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (the good shit)
  1. mix budder, sugar, flour, bp and salt until crumby
  2. separately mix milk, honey, vanilla and eggs
  3. stir the two bowls of stuff together
  4. stir through the nutty nut nuts
  5. the book splits the batter into three 8 inch layers at 170ºC for 20-25 minutes…we whacked everything into a deep 8 inch tin and baked at 160ºC for just over an hour (until our cake probulator reached 210ºf (for some reason we always cook in Celsius but set the probe in Fahrenheit, dunno why, it’s a mystery (well not really))) *Wondercat: master of bracket craft* (but we don’t know what these ones [] or {} are all about)

So cake done, time to throw the book down and free style!

We filled the cake with a loose textured budder-cream *giggles* made with this stuff in place of budder (so is it really a budder-cream after all? *still giggling…no one else probably is*), icing sugar and a bit of whipped double cream to lighten.  We don’t have measurements, we just winged it until it tasted and felt right…there was a lot of tasting.

We covered the cake in a honey cream Chantilly which was pretty much just whipped double cream sweetened with honey and a little icing sugar to stabilise.

a cake with stuff on the inside and different stuff on the outside

Right, the basic cake scaffolding was in place, time for a bit of decoration! Some smashed up hazelnuts to cover the top, a flurry of piped cream around the edges and to finish, a nest of spun sugar (with a touch of honey) encasing caramelised hazelnuts…

like angel hair...if angels had sticky grossness on their heads...and were real

The sugar work was easy enough; we made a ridiculous amount of mess in the kitchen and managed to get a few sugar splinters (whoever thought an injury could be sooooo delicious?) and burns, and hot caramel in our ear????!?!?!!! We put the cake in the fridge as we went about the rest of our day (which is code for “play Skyrim”).  A few hours before dinner we realised a few blog pics should be taken…”That’s funny? I’m sure the sugar work was taller and more impressive before?”.  Snappy snap snap, pics taken, but we were puzzled by the shrinking sugar.  Just before dinner we checked again…IT WAS ALL GONE! GONE!  There was no sign of it! Not even a sticky puddle of remains (oh God! We’ve gone to our bad “The Snowman” place again).

see! all gone! and not even a hat, scarf and nose tangerine left behind

It’s not really a mystery, We bet you all know what actually happened to the sugar in the slightly moist fridge atmosphere… That’s right, it was aliens.  Aliens came down from the sky, got in the kitchen window whilst we were playing Skyrim and stole all our sugar…how fucking rude.

Alien abducted sugar aside, the cake was quite nice.  The sponge was lovely and moist (we think we may run a head to head “Vicky Sponge” vs “Hummingbird Milk Sponge” in the next few weeks), the filing and topping worked well, maybe they were a little on the sweet side TBH.  Slight concern with the crushed un-skinned hazelnuts on top giving a slight bitter taste…next time we’ll use blanched nuts.

hazelnut skins...our flavour nemesis...or maybe that was also extraterrestrial

So that’s the mystery of the vanishing sugar…the strands were demonstrably sharp enough to pierce human skin (splinter ouchies), the aliens saw this and decided to steal them for their nefarious human probing experiments…

the big gash wasn't the aliens, that was us

In your face Benedict Cumberbatch…in. your. face.

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Posted on January 17, 2012, in Cake, Desserts, Experimental, Review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Budder! Hehe

  2. I really, really like your style. I love that you’re a fellow gamer and a baker too. And your cake looks freaking amazing!

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