Thursday, June 9, 2011

Ferrari cake

On the occasion of the third birthday of my little child, this year I prepared the Ferrari cake. The idea originates from the fact that He is only 3 years old (He has just turned three), but when he sees a Ferrari his eyes are open wide just like two reflectors. He has got a lots of toys, all of them packed away in the basket, except for the Ferrari toy cars (model cars) that his father, the real big fan of the red Ferrari, gave him.
He just can’t let go of those once, He never leaves home without his Ferrari toy cars;
He does not fall asleep if he is not clutching a toy car Ferrari;

By now He can recognize them by the model name and if someone asks him, "are you playing with the toy cars?" He promptly replies: "No! This is a Ferrari Fiorano "(or a Ferrari 612 Scaglietti, or even a Ferrari F1 etc..)
Speaking of Formula 1 ... You’ll never believe what He does at each F1 grand prix starting!

Well ... happy birthday to my little baby! Go Ferrari!
And, for those who would like to try it, here's the recipe:

For the sponge cake
Eggs 8
Flour 340 g (12 oz)
Sugar 320 g (11.29 oz)
A pinch of salt
1 Grated lemon peel
1 vanillin sachet
2 teaspoons of baking powder

To sprinkle the sponge cake
Water 600 ml (20 fl oz)
Sugar 260 g (9.17 oz)
2 liqueur glass of Strega liqueur (or other preferred liqueur such as Cointreau, limoncello etc.)
1 lemon peel

For the filling
Ricotta cheese 1 kg (2.20 pounds)
Icing sugar 500 g (17.64 oz)
Chocolate chips 200 g (7.05 oz)
2 tablespoons of dry liqueur
1 teaspoon of cinnamon

For the sugar paste
Icing sugar 500 g (17.64 oz)
1 egg white
4 tablespoons of glucose
Black and red food colouring
500 ml (17 fl oz) of whipping cream to decorate
Prepare the filling: Put the ricotta cheese in a mixing bowl, sift in the icing sugar and stir well with a spoon. DO NOT use the mixer in order to speed up the operation because that would spoil everything. Let rest in the refrigerator for about 7-8 hours (in the meantime, prepare the sponge cake and the liqueur syrup) then sieve it (picture 1) and mix in the chocolate chips (picture 2), the liqueur and the cinnamon. Mix well and put it in the fridge until use (picture 3).

Prepare the sponge cake: In a bowl beat the eggs with a pinch of salt until they became creamy, add the sugar, the grated lemon rind, vanillin and beat until it became creamy and puffy. Then gradually work in the flour sifted with the baking powder. Pour the mixture into two, preferably, square baking tray with sides of 27 cm (10.63 in) covered with baking paper. Bake in preheated oven at 170°C (338°F) for about 30 minutes. Take the cakes out of the oven and let them cool.

Prepare the liqueur syrup: Put the water, the sugar and the lemon rind in a small saucepan and put it on the burner (picture 4), stir and bring it to the boil, remove from heat and add the chosen liqueur. Leave it to cool (picture 5).
(If the cake must be eaten by children, let it simmer for 5 more minutes after having added the liqueur, in order to let the alcohol evaporate).

Prepare the sugar paste: heat the glucose in a bain-marie. Sift the icing sugar, put it in the kneader with the glucose and the egg white. Knead well until you get a ball. Divide the obtained paste into three parts, then colour 1/3 with red food colouring, 1/3 with black food colouring (I did not find the black coluring so I used the cocoa powder), and leave 1/3 white. Wrap each ball into a clingfilm and put in a cool place.

Assemble the cake: Whip the cream. Cut one sponge cake in two lengthwise. Put the bottom on a cake tray and sprinkle with the prepared syrup. Spread with ¾ of the filling and even it out with a paddle, close it with the sponge cake top (picture 6), sprinkle with the liqueur syrup and spread the cake with the whipped cream. Take the other sponge cake, mould it in order to obtain the car shape, then cut it in two lengthwise. Put the bottom on the cake (picture 7), sprinkle with the liqueur syrup, spread with the remaining filling (preserving some for the wheels) (picture 8), cover with the sponge top and sprinkle with more syrup. Spread with little whipped cream. Make the four-wheels by using the left over sponge cake and proceed as you have done for the car.
Take the red-coloured sugar paste (picture 9), roll it out and cover the car, keep aside the exceeding paste, it will be used to decorate the wings.
With the black-coloured paste cover the wheels (picture 10), draw the driver compartment (picture 11)and, wrapping a piece of the exceeding sponge cake, make the support for the rear wing.
Now take the white sugar paste and draw the wings, make a small ball and place it in the passenger compartment, that will be the Formula one driver (pictures 12-13) ... complete by decorating the cake with whipped cream tufts (picture 14).
Bon appetit!

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