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the MONTAGUE tree™ Plum Cake by Kirsten Tibballs

  • Servings

    20

INGREDIENTS

  • Vanilla Cake
  • 250 grams egg yolks
  • 460 grams caster sugar
  • 30 grams honey
  • 30 grams vanilla bean paste
  • 480 grams egg whites
  • pinch of cream of tartar
  • 480 grams plain flour, sieved
  • Roasted Plum Compote
  • 880 grams the MONTAGUE tree™ plums, pitted and cut into 8ths
  • 100 grams honey
  • 3 star anise
  • 10 grams cornflour
  • Plum Syrup
  • 100ml water
  • 150 grams caster sugar
  • 200 grams roasted plums, from above
  • Vanilla Custard
  • 345ml full cream milk
  • 5 grams vanilla bean paste
  • 70 grams egg yolks
  • 90 grams caster sugar
  • 30 grams cornflour
  • 80 grams unsalted butter, cubed
  • White Chocolate Buttercream
  • 215 grams egg whites
  • 130ml water
  • 500 grams caster sugar
  • 20 grams vanilla bean paste
  • 680 grams unsalted butter, cubed
  • 60 grams good quality white chocolate, melted
  • Chocolate Glaze
  • 1200 grams good quality white chocolate
  • 120 grams grapeseed oil
  • Finishing
  • Block of good quality white chocolate
  • 1 gram red oil-soluble colour powder
  • 2 grams purple oil-soluble colour powder
  • 15 grams grapeseed oil
  • 4 the MONTAGUE tree™ plums
  • gold leaf, to garnish

METHOD

Vanilla Cake

  • Heat the oven to 160°C, fan forced.
  • Grease and line 4 round cake tins, 200mm in diameter.
  • Place the egg yolks, caster sugar, honey and vanilla into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whip on high speed for 10 minutes, then set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites together with the cream of tartar on medium speed until it reaches medium peaks.
  • Fold half of the egg whites through the yolk mixture, then fold in the sieved flour followed by the remaining egg whites.
  • Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared cake tins and bake in the pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the cake springs back when gently pressed.
  • Allow to cool at room temperature, then place into the freezer for a minimum of 4 hours.

Roasted Plum Compote

  • Heat the oven to 180°C, fan forced.
  • Place all the ingredients into a baking dish and mix to combine.
  • Bake in the oven for approximately 15 minutes. Halfway through baking, quickly give the ingredients another mix.
  • Allow to cool at room temperature before storing in the refrigerator.

Plum Syrup

  • Place the water and sugar into a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  • Add the plums, then blitz with a stick blender.
  • Pass the mixture through a sieve to create a soaking syrup for the cake.

Vanilla Custard

  • Place the milk and vanilla into a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  • Meanwhile, place the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour into a bowl and whisk by hand to create a paste.
  • Pour the boiled milk over the paste while whisking.
  • Transfer the mixture back into the saucepan and continuously whisk over medium heat until it begins to boil.
  • Pour the custard into a clean bowl. Add the butter, a piece at a time, whisking until completely incorporated after each addition.
  • Cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the custard and place into the refrigerator for 2 hours to set.

White Chocolate Buttercream

  • Place the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and begin to whisk.
  • Meanwhile, place the water, sugar and vanilla into a saucepan and heat until it reaches 120°C.
  • When the egg whites reach a medium peak and the syrup has reached temperature, pour the syrup over the egg whites while continuously whisking to create a meringue.
  • Whisk on high speed until the meringue has doubled in volume.
  • While the meringue is still hot, add the butter, a piece at a time, and continue whisking until completely incorporated.
  • Pour in the melted chocolate and whisk to combine.
  • Set aside at room temperature until applied to the cake. The buttercream may need to be whisked again prior to use.

Assembly

  • Trim the top off each of the frozen vanilla cakes.
  • Place one cake onto a cake board, 200mm in diameter, and return the other 3 cakes to the freezer.
  • Brush the surface of the cake with the prepared plum soaking syrup.
  • Transfer the prepared buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a 14mm round piping nozzle, then pipe a ring of buttercream around the edge of the cake.
  • Transfer the prepared custard into a piping bag fitted with a 14mm round piping nozzle and pipe a ring of custard inside the buttercream ring.
  • Spoon the roasted plum compote onto the cake, forming it into a ring inside the custard.
  • Repeat with another ring of each filling to cover the entire surface of the cake.
  • Repeat this process with another 2 layers of cake, syrup and fillings.
  • Place the final layer of cake on top and brush with plum syrup.
  • Cover the entire cake with a thin, even layer of buttercream. This is best done by placing the cake onto a turntable.
  • Place into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to firm.
  • Return the cake to the turntable and cover with a second layer of buttercream, using a scraper or palette knife to spread it into an even, smooth finish.
  • Place into the refrigerator until ready to glaze.

Chocolate Glaze

  • Temper the white chocolate by placing it into a microwave-safe plastic bowl and heating in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until it is half liquid and half solids. Stir vigorously until the chocolate has completely melted.
  • Add the grapeseed oil to the tempered chocolate and mix to combine.
  • Place the cake onto an overturned bowl on top of a tray with sides.
  • Pour the chocolate glaze over the cake, ensuring all surfaces are coated.
  • Immediately use a palette knife to swipe off any excess glaze from the top of the cake.
  • Allow to set, then use a small knife to cut any drips away from the base of the cake.
  • Transfer the cake onto a serving plate.

Finishing

  • Heat the block of white chocolate for 10-15 seconds in the microwave to soften slightly, then use a vegetable peeler down the length of the bar to create chocolate curls. Set aside until required.
  • Combine the red and purple oil-soluble colour powders together with the grapeseed oil.
  • With a fine paintbrush, brush thin lines over the set cake glaze to create a marble pattern.
  • Prior to serving, cut the plums into wedges.
  • Using double sided toothpicks, arrange the plum wedges so that they are centred on top and cascading down the side.
  • Garnish with the white chocolate curls and a touch of gold leaf.

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