Fire and ice cake

James Martin creates a spectacular cake, filled with fresh cream, kirsh and raspberries, piled high with tuile biscuit flames and flowers
By James Martin
Fire and ice cake
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6-8
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 10 minutes plus chilling
  • Effort: hard

Ingredients

For the cakes

  • 8 eggs
  • 525 g caster sugar
  • 525 g plain flour
  • 100 g butter, melted

For the tuile biscuits

  • 6 egg whites
  • 230 g butter
  • 280 g icing sugar
  • 230 g plain flour

For the filling

  • 50 ml sugar syrup, see cook's tips
  • 50 ml kirsch
  • 50 g raspberries
  • 1 large litre double cream, whipped

For the butter cream frosting

  • 350 g icing sugar
  • 1 kg unsalted butter, softened

For the sugar decorations (optional):

  • 100 g caster sugar

Tips and Suggestions

To make sugar syrup, mix 3 parts water to 1 part sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer until all the sugar has dissolved and the liquid is clear.

Method

1. For the cakes: preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Whisk the eggs and sugar until pale and thick - you will need to do this in 2 batches and it will take 8-10 minutes with an electric whisk. It is ready when you can draw a figure of eight in the mixture with the whisk head or a large spoon.

2. Gently fold in the flour and melted butter. Split the mixture between a 25cm cake tin and a 20cm cake tin. Bake for 30 minutes then allow to cool.

3. For the tuile biscuits: combine the egg whites, butter, sugar and flour. Mix thoroughly and chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours.

4. Cut 2 different-sized triangles out of 2 pieces of plastic, such as lids from ice cream tubs, to use as stencils. Use a spatula or spoon to spread the mixture through the stencils 3-4 times. Bake in the oven for 3-4 minutes until golden brown. To give the biscuits a wavey edge, lay the biscuit over two wooden spoons with a gap in the middle.

5. Slice the cooled cakes in half and brush with sugar syrup mixed with kirsch and fill with the cream and raspberries. Place the 20cm cake on top of the 25cm cake.

6. For the butter cream frosting: whip the butter and combine with the sugar. Cover both cakes with the frosting.

7. Decorate the edges by sticking the tuile biscuits to the frosting and make a flower arrangement using bird of paradise flowers.

8. For the sugar decorations: Warm a saucepan over a medium heat and add the sugar. When three quarters of the sugar has dissolved, stir until it turns a dark gold. Take a spoon and carefully pour a string of sugar around a rolling pin and leave to set for 1-2 minutes then slide off and decorate your cake with it. Repeat until you're happy with your masterpiece and serve.

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