Monday, 3 August 2015

Benares Cassata

So on Wednesday evening the Great British Bake Off will once again grace our screens. To celebrate it's return and get us in the mood my little sister and I attempted to make the Benares Cassata at the weekend. Cassata is a traditional Italian dessert of neopolitan ice cream with dried fruit and nuts, it can also consist of a sponge cake moistened with fruit juices or alcohol. The Benares Indian equivalent takes everything into consideration.

You must start by making an orange and cardamon spiced sponge cake. The actual cake is pretty simple and only requires butter, caster sugar, eggs, self raising flour, baking powder, ground cardamon and orange zest. The cake bakes on a low heat of 160 degrees for 35 mins. Once cooked leave to cool and whip up a syrup using caster sugar, water, rose syrup or water and some more cardamon, which you pour onto the sponge and then place into the fridge to cool for a minimum of two hours.

This will give you a chance to clean up the kitchen and start making your three flavored ice creams. Start by whipping the double cream, then whisk the egg white using electric beaters and slowly add the icing sugar; at the same time whisk egg yolk and icing sugar. Then fold the two egg mixtures together before splitting into three bowls and adding your ice cream flavors. This recipe uses stem ginger, pistachio and raspberries to flavor the different ice creams. Fill three piping bags with the three flavors and pipe onto the sponge line by line.

Now set your cake aside in the freezer for at least four hours. Next cover your almonds in egg white and then bake in the oven until dry. Add a quarter of a tea spoon of pre made Benares curry powder and coat in melted dark chocolate. Leave the almonds aside to set. Finally whip up a coulis to accompany the cake. This is simply icing sugar, raspberries and lemon juice. The coulis actually made the cake so do not skip this part!

This dessert will take the best part of a day to make. However, bear in mind we are inexperienced bakers working without all the equipment needed in a small kitchen so life could definitely be made easier! Check out the full recipe in this incredible cook book by Atul Kochhar and get baking. The dessert tasted amazing and was so worth all of the effort. We are definitely ready for Wednesday and can now watch the bake off with our pre made treat!!!