Nicaraguan Christmas Cake

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In Baking Partners, Swati’s brainchild,  this Christmas we have delicious cakes, not that they are ever otherwise but this time they were a treat to the eye and mouth.  We had Yule logs and this delicious Nicaraguan Christmas Cake by Pio V.

You can check the original recipe here.

The first  thing you have to remember as Poi V has said is that,” this is a starch-bound custard. Normally, to avoid curdling, custards are heated gently until they thicken. In this recipe, the presence of cornflour creates an exception to the rule: the custard must be brought to a boil, and then boiled for an additional 2 minutes to properly thicken. Ignore this and you will have weepy custard.”

Who am I to ignore the master’s instructions? I followed the recipe word to word so much so that most of my post is a copy of the original.

The only change I have made is in place of gold rum I have used ½ cup orange and ¼ cup Irish liqueur. Only my sequence of making the different things was the custard, cake and the syrup.

 Serves: 12 ,

Active time: 1 hour, 30 minutes,

 Total time: 6 hours, 30 minutes

Ingredients:
 For the Marquesote Cake:
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup fine white cornflour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½  teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
  • ¾  teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½  cups sugar
  • ½  cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the Sopa Borracha Syrup:
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 ½  cups sugar
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • Peel of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup Irish Liqueurs
  • ½  cup raisins
  • 12 prunes
For the Manjar Custard:
  • 4 cups milk
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn flour
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into 4 pieces and chilled
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Method:
For the Marquesote Cake:
  • Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Grease a 13- by 9-inch baking dish with butter. Keep a large bowl and the whisk attachment of the hand mixer in the fridge to chill.
  • In kadhai/wok over medium-low heat, roast/cook corn flour. Stir frequently, until light golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  • In a bowl whisk together corn flour, flour, baking powder, cinnamon and cocoa powder and set aside.
  • In large chilled bowl, beat egg whites and salt with whisk attachment on low speed until whites begin to froth, about 1 minute.
  •  Increase speed to medium and beat whites until soft peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes.
  •  Slowly add sugar, and then continue beating until stiff, glossy peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add egg yolks to egg whites and beat just until combined.
  •  Decrease speed to low and add flour mixture alternating with milk, in 3 additions scraping sides and bottom of bowl as necessary. Add vanilla and beat just until combined.
  • Transfer the batter into prepared baking dish. Bake until tester inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.
  •  Transfer cake to cooling rack and cool in pan completely, 1 to 2 hours.
For the Sopa Borracha Syrup:
  •  Bring water, sugar, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and lemon peel to boil in large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat.
  •  Reduce heat to medium and simmer until reduced to 4 ½  cups, about 30 minutes. Strain and discard solids.
  • Stir in orange juice and liqueur, raisins, and prunes and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Once cooled, strain once again, reserving prunes and raisins.
For the Manjar Custard:
  • Bring milk and cinnamon sticks to boil over medium heat in small saucepan. Remove and reserve cinnamon sticks.
  • In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan whisk together sugar, corn flour, egg yolks, and salt.
  • Whisk vigorously and add ¼ cup of hot milk.
  • Continue whisking and add the  remaining milk in a slow steady stream.
  • Add reserved cinnamon sticks and bring the mixture to boil over medium heat, whisking constantly.
  • Once mixture thickens to the consistency of yogurt, continue to boil for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.
  • Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the custard’s surface and refrigerate until cold, 2 to 3 hours. Otherwise, place the custard bowl over in an ice bath and stir until completely cooled, 10 to 15 minutes.
To Assemble:
  •  Poke cake all over with skewer or fork. Pour sopa borracha over cake. Once absorbed, pour custard over cake, smoothing out surface with rubber spatula. Top with raisins and prunes.
  • Chill cake at least 1 hour prior to serving.

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7 thoughts on “Nicaraguan Christmas Cake

  1. Marisa December 17, 2013 at 3:50 am Reply

    Archana, I confirm that this cake is very original and yours looks perfect. I imagine that it has dissapeared very quickly. Cheers from Spain
    http://thermofan.blogspot.com.es/

  2. Tina-PinayinTexas December 17, 2013 at 7:31 am Reply

    Beautiful, Archana! This cake looks interesting! Hope to try this one of these days!

  3. swathi December 17, 2013 at 9:08 am Reply

    Delicious Archana, I will try it later. If you kids approved then it must be good.

    • themadscientistskitchen December 19, 2013 at 1:55 pm Reply

      Ha ha! Swathi I must tell my kids they are really very critical of what I make. 🙂

  4. Fabida ABdulla December 17, 2013 at 9:12 am Reply

    Oh finally something other than the Yule Log!!! This cake looks really good and deserves a try!

  5. nayana December 17, 2013 at 1:22 pm Reply

    the cake looks yummy, mine is in the fridge yet chilling , I have yet to spread custard on top , but looking at yours I am feeling greatly encouraged….

  6. Namrata December 17, 2013 at 3:59 pm Reply

    You are one hard working dedicated cook! I think I would be so weary to attempt such a beautiful cake(to buy is so much easier 😉 )…. great job Archana.

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