I know I am super duper late for May’s Bakealong Challenge – Berry Blitz Torte, but the redeeming point I hold on to is that it’s better late than never.
In my defense, I was quite busy last May and maybe, just maybe, teensy-weensy lazy. Hehe, that rhymed. I meant to post something for my birthday (I made a cake and some spaghetti with meatballs) but I lost the motivation somewhere along the way. Here’s the cake I made for my birthday though:
Ah, it looks so, so pretty.
I am, by no means, a great cake baker. They’re kinda like my waterloo actually. You can’t tell much (I hope) from the picture above but I suck big time in decorating a cake. Or making the sponge base for the cake. And no, I did not make the gum paste flowers. I bought those from the shop.
Anyway, moving on from my cake hangups, will it come as any surprise that I was reluctant to do the Berry Blitz Torte challenge? But I had an attack on my conscience. Isn’t this challenge all about challenging yourself to bake something you’d never think of making before?
I never thought of baking a blitz torte before. While I’ve come across torte recipes for some time, I always get put off by the thought of the complicated steps involved. A blitz torte, for example, is comprised of a cake layer, a meringue layer, and a cream filling.
I put off making the Berry Blitz Torte until the last minute. I did make the cream the night before, but the cake itself was baked on Sunday morning itself. I figured that it would take me about 3 hours to finish everything so imagine my surprise when I had the cake baked, filled, and decorated in 2 hours. And to top it off, it was much easier than I expected!
I made the sponge layer first. The original recipe says that the batter will be thick and I found that it was so. I used 9-inch round cake pans (King Arthur’s used 8-inch pans) so I had a bit of a hard time to cover the pans with batter. I didn’t think I’d be able to spread the batter and I felt that I had too little of it. Oh well, I had to make do with what I had.
My next concern was with the meringue layer. I know from experience that meringues don’t like humid weather and Singapore was 100% humid that day. The longer the meringue layers stayed unbaked, the greater the chances of failure. But no matter what I tried, I just couldn’t fit in 2 cake pans inside my oven! I had no choice but to bake the layers one by one but I did turn on the AC in my room and left the second layer on my bed.
I prepped the berries while the second layer was baking. I chose to use strawberries and blue berries instead of the raspberries in the original recipe. I washed these carefully and sliced the strawberries in half.
The meringue will puff up in the oven but it will come down once you take it out of the oven and let it rest.
To assemble the cake, you take the first layer and cover it with the cream filling. I spread the filling thickly but not evenly, just enough to fill in the scraggy places. I topped it with the berries. You can brush some simple syrup on the berries if you like but I skipped that part.
Once you’ve covered the first layer with the cream and berries, it’s time to add the second layer. I found it less messy and much easier to do when I inverted the second layer onto a plate. I then re-inverted the cake on top of the berries.
The cake was not tooth achingly sweet, even with the meringue and cream (I thought the cream could do with more sugar actually). I think I’ll stick with strawberries though, since I found the blue berries too tart for my taste. Overall, my taste testers (aka my friends and office mates) gave it their stamp of approval. Maybe I’ll make this Berry Blitz Torte again in the future, who knows?
Up close it looks scrumptious.
Perfect for tea I think.
480 ml (2 cups) milk
110 grams(1/2 cup) sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
37 grams (1/3 cup) cornstarch
3 egg yolks, large
1 egg, large
2 teaspoons vanilla
120 ml (1/2 cup) milk
113 grams (1/2 cup) butter, unsalted
110 grams(1/2 cup) sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks, large
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
120 grams (1 cup) flour
4 egg whites, large
165 grams (3/4 cup) sugar
50 grams almonds, sliced
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon sugar
250 grams berries (ex. strawberries, blue berries)
For the Pastry Cream
- In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together the 2 cups of milk, sugar, and salt until sugar has dissolved.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together cornstarch, egg yolks, egg, and 1 cup milk. Add a few tablespoons of the hot milk mixture and whisk vigorously.
- Combine the egg yolk mixture and the milk mixture. Cook over medium heat while stirring constantly. Remove from heat once the mixture has thickened. Add in the vanilla.
- Transfer to a bowl and cover with a buttered plastic wrap, pressing it closely over the top of the filling to avoid a skin being formed.
For the Cake
- Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Lightly grease 2 8-inch pans.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, salt, and egg yolks until well combined. Beat in the vanilla, milk, baking powder, and flour. The batter will be stiff.
- Divide the batter into 2 and spread over the prepared pans. Set aside.
For the Meringue
- Beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually add sugar and beat until smooth and glossy, but not too stiff.
- Spread the meringue over the cake batter.
- Mix cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle the meringue with almond slices and dust with cinnamon and sugar.
Baking and assembling the cake
- Bake the cakes for 30 minutes. The meringue will puff up in the oven but will settle down once the cakes are removed from the oven.
- Remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool for 15 minutes.
- Loosen the edges of the cake. Place a plate or a large spatula over the top of the cake and carefully invert the cake pan. Flip it again and transfer onto a cooling rack. Cool completely.
- Remove the pastry cream from the fridge and lightly stir. Prepare the berries to be used.
- Transfer one of the cakes to a large plate, meringue side up. Spread the pastry cream filling and top it with the berries. Top it with the second cake layer, meringue side up.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving time.
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