black doris plum, eaton mess and jelly cake (as seen on The Great Kiwi Bake Off)
This is the recipe that Peter Gordon and I came up with for the final technical bake in the last episode of The Great Kiwi Bake Off in 2022. It definitely is a bit of a technical recipe, but it can be simplified for the home baker by using store-bought meringues and instant jelly if you want. If you can’t find yuzu just swap it out for lemon or lime, and use fresh plums instead of canned if you prefer. I hope you find as much joy baking this recipe as Peter and I did developing it.
FOR THE CAKE
150g butter, softened
150g caster sugar
3 free-range eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g ground almonds
100g plain all-purpose white flour
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch sea salt
½ cup plain, unsweetened Greek yoghurt
Zest of one fresh yuzu (or lemon or lime)
8 canned black doris plums, stones removed and cut into quarters
FOR THE MERINGUES
3 free-range egg whites
190g caster sugar
1 tbsp cornflour, sifted
2 tsp malt vinegar
FOR THE PLUM JELLY
220ml black doris plum juice (if you don’t get this much juice from the can, or you’re using fresh plums, you can use apple juice instead)
1 tsp yuzu juice (or lemon or lime)
¼ tsp yuzu zest (or lemon or lime)
2/3 tsp (2.5g) powdered agar
FOR THE CREAMY MIXTURE
1 cup double cream
½ cup mascarpone
3 tbsp plain, unsweetened Greek yoghurt
½ tsp vanilla bean paste
- First make the cakes. Preheat the oven to 170C fan bake. Line 2 x 22cm cake pans with baking paper circles.
- In the bowl of your electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla until very pale, light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs one by one.
- Gradually fold in the ground almonds, flour, baking powder and salt and mix until just combined. Next, fold through the yogurt and yuzu zest. Be very careful not to overmix.
- Evenly divide the batter between the 2 cake pans and spread out to the sides. Dot in the plum quarters and press them down lightly into the batter.
- Bake for approximately 30 minutes. The cake is ready when golden in colour, springy to the touch, and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool for about 10 minutes in the pans before turning out onto a cooling rack.
- Meanwhile, prepare to make the meringues. Turn the oven up to 180C and line 2 trays with baking paper.
- In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment beat egg whites until almost stiff.
- With the beater still on, slowly add the sugar, initially 1 tbsp at a time - beating well between each addition. Once half the sugar has been mixed in, add the remainder in a slow stream.
- Continue to beat until all sugar is incorporated and no longer grainy and the meringue is glossy, for about 6-8 minutes. Sprinkle cornflour and vinegar over the top of the meringue and gently fold together. Put in 2 piping bags, and pipe a little on each tray to which you then stick the paper down.
- Pipe 16-20 mini meringues onto one of the trays (that way you can choose your best dozen to top the cake with).
- Pipe the rest on in strips, which you’ll snap for the mess part of the cake.
- Place the trays in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 130C
- Bake for 45 minutes then turn the oven off and leave to cool for another 30-45 minutes before removing from the oven to cool.
- Meanwhile, make the plum jelly. Bring the juices and zest to a rapid simmer, cook 1 minute then strain into a clean pan off the heat.
- Sprinkle the agar on the surface then gently whisk it in.
- Put the pan back on the heat and slowly bring it to the boil, gently whisking the whole time, and cook for 2 minutes over low boil.
- Pour into a 22cm cake tin and leave to set and cool before placing on the cake.
- Meanwhile, make the meringue mess. First, in the bowl of an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the cream to soft peaks. Next, fold in the mascarpone, Greek yoghurt and vanilla bean paste. Take the cooled strips of meringue and crush them up, leaving some chunky pieces. In a bowl, combine the creamy mixture with the crushed meringues and set aside.
- Once the cakes are completely cool, transfer one layer to a serving plate. Place as much of the meringue mess onto the cake as you feel fit, and then place the other cake layer on top.
- Very carefully transfer the plum jelly disc onto the top of the cake.
- Place the remaining 12 meringues onto the jelly layer around the edge of the cake, in a halo shape.
- Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.