Mama Molloy’s Millionaire Cake

This is unfortunately going to be my last bit of baking this summer as I am set to return to university. The odd post may appear during the course of the year but I won’t be back baking regularly again until next summer. I hope this blog has been interesting/useful to people and thank you for the support from those of you that have regularly liked my posts and commented on them. Try not to miss me too much…

As this is the last one, I felt the need to be a bit extravagant and go all out. This is a long and time consuming recipe with a grand total of 21 different ingredients but it is special and well worth it. I have taken ideas from a number of my bakes and combined them to produce something that was either going to have too much going on and not really work or be amazing. Annoyingly, I had a bit of an off day and made some mistakes; it looks an absolute mess but tastes fantastic which perhaps sums my baking up and is therefore quite appropriate for a final bake.

I’ve split the recipe up into when I made each element of the cake to give you an idea of timings. The “millionaire” in the title refers to the fact that the cake is essentially a very elaborate millionaire’s shortbread (shortbread, caramel, chocolate).

This serves 10-12 people.

Ingredients: (Ounce to Gram Conversion Chart)

400ml Double Cream
5oz Light Brown Sugar
2oz Almonds
5tbsps Honey
11oz Caster Sugar
3oz Plain Flour
6oz Butter (soften in a microwave, full-power for 8-10 seconds)
200ml Oil (vegetable, sunflower, olive etc., whatever you have)
4 Eggs (always crack on a flat surface to avoid getting egg shell in the mix)
200ml Natural Yogurt
8oz Self-Raising Flour
1tsp Ground Cinnamon
12 ½ oz Dark Chocolate (break into small pieces)
3tbsps Golden Syrup
4oz Digestive Biscuits
4oz Dried Cranberries
½ tsp Cornflour
1oz Cocoa Powder
5oz Icing Sugar
8oz Granulated Sugar
1 Can of Condensed Milk (roughly 14oz)

Recipe:

Saturday Evening

In a medium size pan on a medium heat, place the 400ml of double cream and 5oz light brown sugar. Stir together to dissolve the sugar and then leave to reach boiling point.

Once the whole surface of the liquid is bubbling violently, reduce the heat to low and simmer (bubbling gently) for 20mins. Take the pan off the heat and stir in 1oz of butter.

The simmering toffee liquid

The simmering toffee liquid

Pour the liquid into a plastic container and allow to cool before putting in the fridge to set over-night. This will be the toffee filling.

The toffee before it goes into the fridge

The toffee before it goes into the fridge

Sunday Morning

Take a round cake tin (mine is 21cm, 8 ¼ inch in diameter) and place it on a sheet of baking paper. Draw around the cake tin with a pencil and cut out the resulting circle of paper. Rub some butter over the inside base of the tin and use this butter to “glue” down the circle of paper.

The cake tin lined with a circle of paper at the bottom ready for the shortbread

The cake tin lined with a circle of paper at the bottom ready for the shortbread

In a frying pan on a medium heat, place 2oz of almonds and 1tbsp of honey. Stir the almonds to coat them in the honey and then leave to fry, stirring occasionally. Fry the almonds until the honey begins to darken into a brown colour and then transfer the almonds to a sheet of baking paper to cool. Once cool, put the almonds into a food bag.

The caramelised almonds

The caramelised almonds

Tie the bag off and then bash the almonds with a rolling pan until they are reduced to a mixture of fine crumbs and small lumps.

The bashed almonds

The bashed almonds

Pre-heat the oven to 160oC (325oF, Gas Mark 3).

In a medium size bowl, place 1oz of caster sugar. Sieve in 3oz of plain flour. Whisk the ingredients together with a hand whisk to evenly mix them. Take 2oz of the butter and cut it into small cubes. Add the cubes to the flour and rub them in with your fingertips until you are left with fine “breadcrumbs” (no large lumps of butter).

"Breadcrumbs"

“Breadcrumbs”

Stir in the crushed almonds and then press the “breadcrumbs” together in your hands until a dough is formed.

The shortbread dough

The shortbread dough

Press the dough into the prepared cake tin with your fingertips and get it as flat as possible.

The shortbread before it goes into the oven

The shortbread before it goes into the oven

Bake the dough for 20mins and then take out of the oven and allow to cool (keep the oven on). This is the shortbread base of the cake. Once the tin has cooled, remove the shortbread and set aside. Re-line the tin the way you would for a normal sponge cake (see Mama Molloy’s – The home of home-baking).

The cake tin lined and ready for the sponge cake mixture

The cake tin lined and ready for the sponge cake mixture

In a large mixing bowl, place 6oz of caster sugar and 200ml of oil. Whisk the two together with an electric whisk until combined. Gradually whisk in 2 whole eggs then 200ml of natural yogurt and then 3tbsps of honey until everything is fully combined and smooth.

Sieve in 8oz of self-raising flour and 1tsp of ground cinnamon, holding the sieve about neck height to achieve better separation of the flour particles. Fold the flour in with a wooden spoon by dragging the spoon around the edge of the mixture in one complete circle and then pushing through the middle of the mixture from one side to the other whilst twisting the spoon to “fold” the mixture back on itself. Repeat until the flour has all been incorporated.

The sponge cake mixture

The sponge cake mixture

Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 60mins, covering the tin with foil after 35mins to stop the top burning. Take the cake out of the oven and allow to cool. Once the tin is cool enough, take the cake out and transfer it to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

The baked sponge cake

The baked sponge cake

Once the cake is cool, cut it in half horizontally. If you have a pastry brush, gently brush the crumbs off the surface of the bottom half of the cake. These two halves will form the sponge cake filling along with the toffee.

Sunday Afternoon

Take the same cake tin that you used for the shortbread and sponge and line it with Clingfilm.

The cake tin lined with clingfilm

The cake tin lined with clingfilm

Place the shortbread round inside the tin. Take half of the toffee and spread it evenly over the shortbread and smooth off. Gently place the bottom half of the sponge on top of the toffee and lightly press down to secure it in place. Spread the remaining toffee over the sponge and smooth off. Place the other half of the sponge on top and lightly press it down.

The shortbread, toffee and sponge layered on top of each other in the cake tin

The shortbread, toffee and sponge layered on top of each other in the cake tin

Place a medium size glass bowl over a pan of water on a low heat.

Improvised double-boiler

Improvised double-boiler

Into the bowl, put 9oz of the dark chocolate, 2oz of butter (cut into cubes) and 3tbsps of golden syrup. Stir regularly and heat until all the chocolate has melted and then remove the bowl from the pan.

Note that you have to heat the chocolate, butter and golden syrup together; do not add the golden syrup after the chocolate has begun to melt as you will end up with a congealed mess.

Put 4oz of digestive biscuits into a plastic food bag, tie off and bash with a rolling pin to produce fine crumbs. Pour the biscuit crumbs and 4oz of dried cranberries into the chocolate mixture and stir until everything has been fully coated by the chocolate mixture. This is the tiffin mixture.

The tiffin mixture

The tiffin mixture

Spread the tiffin mixture over the sponge in the prepared cake tin and smooth off. Try to get the tiffin as smooth as possible.

The cake before it goes into the fridge to set

The cake before it goes into the fridge to set

Place the cake tin in the fridge for 2 hours to set the tiffin.

Take a piece of baking paper the size of a baking tray and draw 10 circles onto it. These circles will be the templates for the meringues that will go on top of the cake. For a 21cm cake tin, the circles should be 4cm in diameter. If you have a different size cake tin and have no friends like me, you can work out what size the circles need to be to form a complete ring on top of the cake. Alternatively, you can just guess and the smaller the meringues the more likely that you will be able to arrange them so that there are no gaps in the ring.

“Glue” the paper to a baking tray with some butter.

The circle templates for the meringue

The circle templates for the meringue

Pre-heat the oven to 120oC (250oF, Gas Mark ½).

In a glass bowl, place 2 egg whites. Separate eggs by cracking the egg on a flat surface and then opening it up into the cupped fingers of your hand. Let the egg white run through your fingers and then discard the egg yolk.

Whisk the egg white with an electric whisk (or hand whisk if you fancy a good work out) until soft peaks form – the egg will be white and form peaks when you draw the whisk out.

The soft peak stage of the meringue

The soft peak stage of the meringue

Gradually whisk in 2oz of caster sugar until stiff peaks form (similar to the soft peak stage but really shiny and you can turn the bowl upside down without the meringue coming out). Sieve in another 2oz of caster sugar, ½ tsp cornflour and ½ oz cocoa powder. Gently fold the ingredients into the egg white with a metal spoon until everything has been combined. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fit with a wide nozzle.

The meringue mixture before it goes into the piping bag

The meringue mixture before it goes into the piping bag

Pipe spirals of the meringue mixture within the confines of your drawn circles on the baking paper. Start in the center of the circle and work outwards and then back in again to give height to the meringues.

The meringues before they go into the oven (I made 12 but only needed 10)

The meringues before they go into the oven (I made 12 but only needed 10)

Bake the meringues in the oven for 40mins and then turn the oven off. Let the meringues cool in the oven for about 2 hours.

Take the cake out of the fridge after its 2 hours and remove it from the cake tin and Clingfilm. Transfer it to a flat surface – presentation plate, baking tray, chopping board, cake stand etc.

In a small glass bowl set over a small pan of water on a low heat, melt 3 ½ oz of dark chocolate and then set aside to cool.

Into a bowl sieve 5oz icing sugar and then add hot water to produce a smooth paste. Make sure the paste isn’t too runny as you need to be able to pipe it. Transfer the icing to a piping bag.

Once the melted chocolate has cooled and is beginning to thicken, spread it over the top of the cake and smooth it off. Place the 10 meringues in a ring around the edge of the cake. Pipe concentric rings of icing on top of the chocolate.

The rings of icing on top of the cake before being "feathered"

The rings of icing on top of the cake before being “feathered”

Use a cocktail stick to feather the icing and chocolate. Start from the middle of the circle and drag the stick through the chocolate and icing to the outside of the ring. Turn the cake 90o and drag the stick from the outside to the inside. Turn another 90o and drag the stick from the inside to the outside and then from the outside to the inside after another 90o.

Split each quarter into three segments with another two lines, making sure that the stick is dragged in the opposite direction to the line before it in the circle, i.e. the lines either side of the original inside to outside line are outside to inside.

The topping after it has been feathered - not perfect it has to be said

The topping after it has been feathered – not perfect it has to be said

Finally, make the frosting. Put 8oz granulated sugar, 1oz butter and 3tbsps of water into a medium size pan on a medium heat. Once the butter has melted, stir to combine and then stir in the can of condensed milk. Heat the liquid to 115oC and then immediately take off the heat and stir in ½ oz of cocoa powder. If you don’t have a thermometer, the heating process takes about 15mins and is done when the mixture is thick and golden.

Allow the frosting to cool a little (it will begin to thicken) and then quickly spread the frosting around the sides of the cake before it sets and smooth off as best you can. I put the frosting on too early here which is why I ended up with an absolute mess of a cake. The heat from the frosting melted the toffee filling causing them to run into each other and collapse.

Mama Molloy's Millionaire Cake

And there is Mama Molloy’s Millionaire Cake – caramelised almond shortbread, toffee, honey and cinnamon sponge, toffee, honey and cinnamon sponge, dark chocolate and cranberry tiffin, dark chocolate and icing flower, ring of cocoa meringues and a chocolate fudge frosting. A lot of effort, a lot of time, but certainly worth it if you want to impress.

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