Blood orange and mascarpone cake with white chocolate and pink peppercorn ganache, making it up as I go:
As a base I made my favourite sponge cake (whole eggs whipped with sugar over a hot water bath until voluminous and warm to the touch, then over ice water until cooled down, very fluffy and thick; ridiculously little flour sieved over the top and gently folded in; flavoured with a lot of lemon zest and a bit ground pink pepper and baked in a springform pan until puffed up, golden brown and springing back slightly when gently touched). I let it cool completely (over night would be ideal) and cut it into two layers.
I warmed up some blood orange marmalade thinned with fresh blood orange juice and a splash of cointreau and pushed it through a sieve to remove any bits of peel; generously spread about a third of it over the bottom layer of the cake and dissolved some gelatine soaked in cold water in the remainder.
For the filling I whipped an egg yolk with a little sugar until fluffy and pale, and its white, separately, to soft peaks (if you are squeamish about raw egg or uncertain of its origins or freshness, you can do this over a hot water bath; it will also further stabilise the cream); beat in a whole lot of mascarpone, added some lemon zest and blood orange juice to taste, and finally folded in the egg white – basically made a tiramisù style filling light on the eggs. I spread it on top of the prepared bottom cake layer (after having put a cling film lined cake ring around it) and put the second cake layer on top, gently pressing it down. Then I spooned the leftover blood orange jelly on top (if it firmed up too much while cooling down, just gently warm again until pourable), spreading it evenly all over the cake’s top.
While letting the cake set in the fridge I scalded some heavy cream, poured it over chopped white chocolate and stirred until dissolved; gently crushed some more pink peppercorns just so to be able to separate the delicate pink hulls from the dark inner seeds looking more like regular peppercorns and being just a bit too spicy here. So I kept the latter ones for another purpose and only added the pink skins to the white chocolate ganache.
Once the jelly on top of the cake was set, I carefully removed the cake ring and cling film, put the now cooled down and slightly thickened white chocolate ganache into a little ziplock back, snipped a corner and piped it in stripes all over the cake; I put it back into the fridge for a few more hours, so the ganache can set and the flavours come together until it is time to finally slice into it.
#cake #lettherebecake #layercake #mascarponecream #bloodorangejelly