Friday, 7 June 2013

# 356 Biscuit cake

This is one of our favourite cakes if not the favourite. The recipe is from one of my mum's old cookery magazines, so old in fact it's pratically falling apart.

This type of cake is very popular in Portugal where you're sure to find one of its many versions in almost any bakery, café, restaurant or patisserie.

Today I'm sharing with you 2 versions of the same cake, one requires some cooking the other doesn't but both are delicious. Also you don't have to but it's best if you keep it in the fridge especially now that the weather is warmer. Oh, and another thing this is a fun cake for the children to have a go at :-)

Biscuit cake

2 packets rich tea biscuits (you can use digestive biscuits if you want but I think rich tea work best)
250g caster sugar
1 teaspoon cornflour
Lemon zest from 1 lemon
4 whole eggs + 4 egg yolks
1/2 tablespoon butter
4 tablespoons cold water
Bowl of strong coffee, unsweetened (approx. 300ml)
Large, flat plate for the cake

In a  stainless steel pan mix the sugar with the cornflour, add the whole eggs plus the egg yolks, butter, lemon zest and cold water. Mix again with a wooden spoon until all ingredients are well combined, then over a low heat keep stirring this mixture until you have a thick spreadable cream. Remove from the heat immediately and beat with a wisk to obtain a smooth cream. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.

This process usually takes 15-20 minutes, the important thing is to never stop stirring as the cream may catch and burn. If at any point it looks like it's getting a little lumpy don't worry and just keep stirring until you have the right consistency and then remove from the heat and wisk energetically to make it smooth.

Dip each biscuit twice in the coffee (this is to make sure the biscuits are well soaked in the coffee but not to the point where they'll fall apart in your hands) and them lay them out as shown below.

Lay out the 2nd layer of biscuits like so. Don't forget to dip each biscuit in the coffee before placing them on the plate.

Carefully spread an even layer of cream over the biscuits, build 2 more layers of biscuits and spread some more cream. Carry on until you have just enough cream to spread on top of the cake. Sprinkle with hundreds and thousands if you want for a more colourful cake.

Instead of the cream made with eggs you can make a caramel buttercream as below.

Caramel buttercream

200g butter at room temperature
200g icing sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons Carnation caramel

Beat the butter and icing sugar with an electric whisk until smooth, then add the caramel and mix until well combined. Spread this cream between the layers of biscuit, finish the cake with a layer of cream and if you want top with crushed biscuits and salted peanuts.



Edited to add: In both these cakes the biscuits need to be dipped in coffee. Alternatively you can use café au lait but personally I prefer to use strong, unsweetened coffee because it helps cut through the sweetness. If you'd like to search for other versions of this cake you can use the Portuguese name which is "Bolo de bolacha" and use Google translate to obtain the recipes.