When it comes to baking, sometimes the simplest things are the hardest to master. Take cakes for example. While baking a humble loaf cake may seem easy as pie (which, trust me, is not so easy), it’s actually a challenge to perfect. Under-bake and you’ll have dense mess, over-bake and it’ll be dry as – well, you can use your imagination here. Add fruit and you’re really asking for problems.
This year, I’ve been dedicating a fair amount of time to perfecting the basics, starting with this Raspberry, Rose and Lychee Cake. I tried several recipes before turning to the master of cakes, Pierre Hermé. His recipes always tend to turn out perfectly and this one was no exception. I did however adapt the recipe slightly to include lychees and I adjusted the quantity of rose water and raspberries. The result was seriously delicious. I also covered my cake in a white chocolate and praline glaze, just to make it a little extra gourmand, however, this step is optional.
Raspberry Rose and Lychee Cake
For the Cake
- 170 g of almond meal
- 165 g of icing sugar
- 80 g of flour
- ½ tsp of baking powder
- 25 g of milk
- 2 tbsp. of rose water
- A drop of pink food colouring
- 165 g of butter at room temperature
- 60 g of egg yolk
- ½ a whole egg
- 90 g of eggwhite
- 35 g of caster sugar
- 100 g of raspberries
- 6 lychees peeled and pitted
For the chocolate glaze
- 360 g of white chocolate
- 40 g of vegetable oil such as sunflower oil
- 120 g of praline
- Preheat oven to 180°C and grease and line a loaf tin with baking paper.
- In a jug, mix together the milk, rose water and colourant.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, almond meal and icing sugar into a large bowl. Add the butter and beat until pale and creamy. Add the egg yolk, whole egg and milk. Whisk again until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggwhites. When they start to become foamy, add the sugar a little at a time while continuing to beat. Once stiff peaks have formed use a spatula to gently fold it into the previously prepared cake mix.
- Add 1/3 of the cake mixture to the loaf tin. Scatter with half the raspberries and lychees then cover with 1/3 more cake mix. Add the rest of the fruit and cover with the remaining cake mix.
- Place in the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 150°C. Bake for 1H30. Allow to cool completely in the fridge before applying the glaze.
- To make the chocolate praline glaze, gently melt the chocolate in a microwave or bain-marie. It’s important that the temperature of the melted chocolate does not exceed 45°C. Add the colourant and oil and whisk until smooth and glossy, then add the praline.
- Cover your bench in foil or plastic wrap and place a cake cooling grill on top. Place the cake on the grill and pour over the glaze. Allow the glaze to drip for several minutes before transferring the cake to a plate. Place the cake in the fridge until the glaze hardens.
- The cake can be stored in the fridge for several days.