A major achievement these days, considering when Miss Le Coiffure was at High School most kids parents were divorced, we were a rarity still being married.
Our table set for tea
So what did we do for our Anniversary, I cooked a French inspired tea, I even attempted my nemesis the Gateau Helene that I tried to make as a teenager and failed when I dropped it into the dish water.
I did succeed this time except for one minor problem I didn't read the size of the springform tin needed and used mine which is 12" instead of 2 that are 8". so instead of 3 layers of filling we only got 2.
Now this cake isn't sweet, quite the opposite it has very little flour, but does have crushed unsalted nuts and almond meal.
I also cooked a quite simple chicken and potato dish made in the oven, I did alter it and use the butter and cooking juices to make a lemon and caper sauce. I also served a bean salad with it. Both were very nice and will be made again.
Gateau Helene - Recipe by Greta Anna from Her Book - The Greta Anna Recipes
Cake - 250 gm unsalted butter, softened. 1 1/3 cup caster sugar, 4 eggs separated, 1 cup sr flour, 5 tbs crushed unsalted nuts, 5 tbsps almond meal, grated rind and juice of 2 small oranges, 2 1/2 tbsps milk, 2 tsps vanilla extract/essence, 1 tsp baking powder
Fillings from the book - A 600ml bottle of cream is sufficient for all the fillings plus the piping on the top of the cake.
1- Add to beaten cream 6 tsps icing sugar, 2 tsps instant coffee, 4 teaspoons finely chopped almonds
2- Add to beaten cream 2 tsps icing sugar, 4 tsps drinking chocolate, 3 tsps finely chopped walnuts
3 - enough red current jam to spread across the cake, drizzle with 1 1/2 tbsps brandy, sprinkle across 3 tbsps finely chopped glace fruit.
My fillings were
1 - Add to beaten cream 1 dessertspoon drinking chocolate and 2 tbsps shaved dark chocolate
2 - Add to beaten cream chopped glace fruit - I used 1 pear. 1 slice pineapple and 2 apricots
Chocolate Icing - from the recipe
2 cups icing sugar, 2 tbsps cocoa, 4 tbsps butter. Add enough boiling water start with 2 tsps, to form a thick icing. This makes a lot of icing.
I only used 1 cup icing sugar 2 tsps butter, 1 dessertspoon cocoa.
Grease and line base of 2 x 20cm springform pans, if you don't have springform pans using normal tins but line both base and sides as this cake is quite sticky when baked.
Preheat oven 180.c
In a mixer beat together butter and sugar till light and fluffy 5 - 10 minutes. Add egg yolks mix in. add nuts, almond meal, flour, zest and juice, milk and vanilla. Mix till combined, about 2 minutes.
Beat egg whites till stiff peaks. Add 1 1/3 to mix stir in, then carefully fold remaining whites in, when nearly folded in add the baking powder.
Divide mixture between the 2 tins and bake for approx 45 minutes. Now mine were cooked in 30 because I used wider tins. The cake is cooked when a skewer comes out clean. Remove from oven leave 5 minutes then remove from tins and leave to cool on the cake rake.
Now as I have said before this is a sticky cake so it is best if you peel the paper as soon as possible, taking care that the cake doesn't break. Leave to cool completely before assembling.
Slice the cakes in half then fill each layer with your choice of filling. Top with chocolate icing. Then pipe cream around the edge if you wish.
Picture of the cake from the recipe book
My cake note square and round shapes, lesson learnt read recipe first.
Never mind the cake tasted just as good.