Thursday, September 07, 2006

Spiderman’s Face Orange and Marzipan Birthday Cake

(Bolo de aniversário de laranja e massapão com a cara do homem-aranha)

My nephew chooses every year his birthday cake’s theme. Spiders have been around for 2 years…
Why almonds and oranges on a white sponge? Well I usually start discussing the “Cake’s theme” with my nephew 1 or 2 months before his birthday. He always chooses the colour of the cake and the decoration, obviously.
This year he wanted a “white cake inside and outside” (the chocolate versions of previous years didn’t wake him up for chocoholic desires…). So it had to be the classic sponge (“pão-de-ló” in Portuguese) covered in plain marzipan. And what about the filling? Almond goes well with… orange of course. In spite of not being the orange season around this part of the world I managed to buy some real sweet ones on my regular grocery store.
I got back to by rescue library and found the perfect orangerie flavours I was looking for… http://www.amazon.co.uk/Modern-Classics-Book-Biscuits-Cookbooks/dp/0060525894
Be prepared, this takes about a whole day to produce, decoration included!

First thing first… start by making the…
Sponge
6 large eggs
200gr caster sugar
200gr flour mixed with 1 tbs of baking powder
Orange peal from 1 orange

Beat the whole eggs with the sugar and the orange peal until the batter turns white, fluffy and bubbling (this takes quite a while; you’d better use an electric mixer).
Carefully mix small amounts of flour into the batter (do not over mix!) with a big metal spoon.
Pour in a 25cm round buttered mould.
Bake in a pre-heated 180ºC oven for about 30-40min.

while the cake is baking prepare the filling…
Orange Curd
100gr butter
1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
½ cup caster sugar
1 whole egg plus 3 egg yolks

Melt the butter with the orange juice and the sugar until the sugar is dissolved on low heat. Beat the egg and yolks and mix into the butter. Continue mixing on low heat until it thicks. Let the curd get completely cold before using.

and while the curd is thickening make the…
Orange syrup
1 cup caster sugar
½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
½ cup water

Mix everything and put on medium heat. Keep on mixing until the sugar is dissolved and it turns syrupy.

don’t forget to check the oven and start making the…
Marzipan
250gr very finely ground almonds (use a food processor for this)
250gr icing sugar
2 egg whites
1 tsp lemon juice

Mix everything very well and let it dry a little. Cover the cake with the marzipan on his natural cream colour or use some food colouring of your choice.

last but not the least... Draw spiderman's face with melted chocolate and paint it with artificially coloured pineapple jelly. Voilá!

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