“While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats.”

Strawberries always improve the mood

Looking good, no?

Living in Ireland of all places, one would think having red hair would be somewhat more forgiven than elsewhere. Sadly not. “Ginge“, “Ginger“, “run away bonfire” (I found that one particularly creative) are regular descriptors thrown my way. When I point out I’m not a redhead, but a strawberry blonde it falls on deaf ears.  Being lumped in with the more pronounced shades of my pale-complexioned kind has led to some interesting events; “Kick a ginger day” in college taught me I’ve got some very compassionate friends – one told me she “deliberately wore soft shoes“.  Having no soul has provided me with a suitable excuse to get away with all sorts of things unpunished such as permanently fake tanning someone as bright an orange as my hair is supposed to be. Or perhaps fear of my fiery temperament has left such acts unreprimanded. On top of all that, I’ve got people like Mark Twain on my side!  So (bias aside of course), I think it’s clear: strawberries have more fun. And what better way to celebrate this fun than with a deliciously rich, Chocolate Mousse, Caramel Biscuit and Strawberry Cake? The strawberries, of course, being on top.

google search results

Seriously, Google?!

What You’ll Need:

  • 5 Egg whites
  • 250g Digestive biscuit
  • 90g Butter
  • 250g Dark chocolate
  • Granulated brown sugar
  • Strawberries

For the Dairy-Free Caramel (yes, I’m ginger and lactose intolerant – talk about a bum deal)

  • 200g Golden granulated sugar
  • 40g Golden syrup
  • 60ml Coconut milk
  • 60ml Water
  • 2 tsp Butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • Cornflour, as required
  • For those of you who don’t need this alteration, 200g of caramel or dulche de leche will do.

I adapted this recipe from my favourite cookbook, Gorgeous Cakes. Let’s start with the easy part: Line a cake tin with a removable base with baking parchment. Blend the biscuits into fine crumbs. Melt the butter. Mix one with the other and then press it firmly to the bottom of the tin. Place it into the fridge and then move on to making your caramel.

delicious biscuit base

Crunchy and delicious looking – something it has in common with a lot of gingers

The  dairy-free caramel will take some time – easily about 30mins. In a small pot, place the sugar, water and syrup together.  Put on a medium heat until it all merges into one another (the societal dream of any ginger). Once this has happened, turn on to a low heat and stir until the liquid has turned a dark amber colour. When it’s reached this point, take it off the heat and chuck in the coconut milk, butter and salt. The caramel will be very liquidy – this is not what you want. Sieve cornflour into it while continuously stirring until it becomes quite viscous. You’ll need a lot more than you think you’ll need. Stop to taste every so often. Once the desired consistency has been achieved, pour it onto your biscuit base.

Caramel being poured onto a lovely biscuit base

Think this looks tasty now? Just wait!

Put the cake tin back in the fridge and turn your attention to the eggs. Whisk them into firm peaks. Then place them aside and melt the chocolate in a bowl over some simmering water. Gently fold the liquid chocolate into the egg whites.

Chocolate being mixed with egg whites

This isn’t as tasty as it looks – I learnt that the hard way…

I added a little bit of cornflour into the mixture at this point to ensure the eggs held together – this isn’t necessary but it can save you a lot of mess! Doing this will change the consistency of the whole thing so don’t panic when this happens. Now, tip the mixture on top of the other layers in your cake tin and leave to rest for about an hour. After that, slice up some strawberries and cover the top with them. Leave it in the fridge for at least another two hours and then enjoy.

The finished piece

Not a bad looking redhead!

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11 thoughts on ““While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats.”

  1. That looks serious good …. me even if chef … are not made for baking. So … I will sit here and dribble over this cake. Beautiful!

  2. Thought I was already a subscriber… I am now. But I think just looking at this- it indeed might go straight to my hips.
    Procrastibaker – loved that in the last post.
    And I’m totally curious about this dairy free caramel. How would you say it tastes in comparison to traditional caramel. I really want to check this out. Despite no real dairy issues other than a stuffy nose the morning after a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Mint Oreo, I love trying out alternatives for myself and friends in need.

    • Thanks Wendy! I’m far too fond of the procrastibaking recipe myself, especially now during the middle of my finals! It’s been years since I’ve actually had real caramel – one thing that’s a pain with the substitute is that is is VERY liquidy. I’ve to add a lot of cornflour (and even a bit of gelatine) to stiffen it up. I think it’s probably a fair bit sweeter than real caramel too but that can be fixed with the right balance of salt. Great to see you’re so considerate of your “friends in need”. I’m always really touched when one of mine goes through the extra effort so I can enjoy whatever tastiness everyone else is having as well.

  3. Pingback: When it’s always raining, you’ve to find Summer elsewhere. | Decidedly Delicious

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