Hi there! Shahnaaz here. I recently tried out the Cream Tart cake that has been gracing our news feeds during the past few weeks. Despite my hesitance to try it out, I found that it was surprisingly easy! So easy in fact, that I believe anyone with an oven, a wooden spoon and the ability to read this recipe will be able to do it.
I’ve divided up this recipe according to the elements involved so that I could give you hints and tips along the way. There are 2 main elements which make up this glorious cake. One being the ‘’biscuit’’ for which I provide a Pâte sucrée recipe- I chose this as it is a sweet dough that performs brilliantly in desserts and you sound all fancy saying it with an accent. The second, being a Lemon cream cheese frosting that adds a bit of tang to the sweetness of the dough. There are other variations, but I chose to use these.
This recipe has 2 parts:
1) Ingredients and method to each element.
2) How to construct and present the elements for your final product!
I recommend beginner bakers read the entire blog post (it’s a long one!) and intermediate to advanced bakers will do just find reading part one only. Let’s begin!
Pâte sucrée- ”cookie” base
1 ½ cups icing sugar 120g butter (I used mooi river salted butter) ½ cup ground almonds/almond flour (I used ground almonds from Woolworths but you could always make them at home to save moola!) 1 pinch salt 1 Tblspn vanilla essence 1 whole egg 2 egg yolks 2 ½ cups flour
- Sift icing sugar into a bowl.
- Add in butter (at room temperature) and mix into icing sugar – use hands or your fave spoon to mix.
- Before above is completely combined, add in almond and salt and mix until well combined.
- Mix eggs and vanilla together and add to mixture until combined.
- Fold in flour until soft dough forms.
- Keep dough covered in cling wrap and keep in fridge for atleast an hour before use.
- Cut out shape x2 and bake in preheated oven at 170 degrees for 16-20 minutes-until middle is pale and sides are golden brown (read part 2 for more on this).
- Use a steel or glass bowl for mixing. This keeps dough cool and doesn’t stick as easily as plastic.
- I used my hands to incorporate the butter and icing sugar, and then switched to using a wooden spoon for the rest.
- When adding in the flour, I added in 3/4 of the quantity and folded in with a silicone spatula and then sprinkled the rest to my clean counter, placed my dough on and kneaded in the rest by hand.
- The dough should be soft but don’t be alarmed if it is slightly sticky! It’s normal for some bits to still stick to the counter/hands.
- If the dough is still too soft, leave it in the fridge longer and if it is too tough, add 1-2 tablespoons of warm water.
Lemon Cream Cheese
120g butter (room temperature) 250g Cream cheese/ Mascapone cream cheese (room temperature). I used the Mascapone cream cheese from Woolworths 4 Cups sifted icing Sugar (it sounds like a lot, you’re reading right) 2 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice (I used 1.5 T lemon juice and 2 drop of lemon essence) 250ml whipping cream/fresh cream (optional)
- With a hand mixer/cake mixer, cream the butter and cheese together until well combined and soft.
- Add half the sugar until well combined, and then add the second half until well combined.
- Add lemon juice and mix all together.
- Optional: Whip up cream and fold into mixture (I did this to add in a creamier texture and cut the sweetness).
- Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature! I made the mistake of using it cold and it made life slightly more difficult.
- When I creamed mine, I found that it combined but there was a milky looking liquid that escaped from the components (I blame this on the cold cheese, grr!). I simply drained the liquid, creamed again, drained and then used a spatula to ensure my mixture was soft and lump free.
- Throw in pinches of salt when adding in the icing sugar if you are not prepared for a cavity!
- If you are using cream, DO NOT add in without whipping. You need to add it in when it is whipped stiff or else the mixture will be too soft to pipe with.
- Use immediately or store in the fridge. If you find this becoming soft and not a great consistency to pipe with, pop it back into the fridge for a few minutes.
- Prep your stencil. Print out or draw the shape you want for your cake and cut it out. Keep aside.
- Get your station ready! This is where you will be rolling out and cutting your dough. Roll out onto a wax paper for easy transfer; you can place your wax paper straight onto the counter and I`d suggest taping it down so that it doesn’t move. If you have a cutting board, I taped my wax paper onto this so that I was able to move it around.
- Sprinkle flour onto wax paper and rolling pin. Place dough onto the wax paper and roll out. The thickness should be about ½-3/4 cm high.
- Place your stencil over dough and cut out. Repeat this step as you need 2 biscuits.
- Lift up your wax paper from the surface and place onto oven tray and bake away! Once done, remove and allow biscuit to cool on tray.
- Once you’ve decided on your serving tray/plate/board, keep it ready.
- You will need to find the piping tip you wish to use. For the traditional look a round tip is used. If you don’t have one, don’t stress! Use a piping bag or zip lock bag or similar and just cut the tip off for a big enough opening.
- Get your cream cheese frosting! If this was kept in the fridge, make sure it thaws out until workable and smooth. Put this into your piping bag and keep ready.
- Carefully lift up your first biscuit, apply a little frosting to the underneath and adhere to serving base.
- Start piping those little bubble clouds! Make sure your piping bag is not placed onto the biscuit base. It should be slightly lifted when piping.
- Once you’re done, keep this in the freezer for about 5 minutes.
- Remove from freezer, place on the second biscuit and repeat piping! Add on your decorations and store in the fridge until presentation/consumption.
I made a little video so you could check out how to stick your biscuit to your base and how to hold your piping bag above the biscuit.
I know this was long. But I wanted to write it up exactly the way I did it, so that everyone could understand. This recipe is very rich but it’s also different and delicious- smaller portions are suggested for those who aren’t keen on sugar. If you do have any questions, please feel free to contact me via my personal blog page @shahnaaznaby. And don’t forget the check out the @thebrowngirlsociety for future posts!