Recipe: Woman Crush Wednesday

Today is a big day folks!  Well, in fairness, every Wednesday is a big day for me.  It’s my fav day because I get to shower a female chef with some love on my Woman Crush Wednesday series.  But today is in fact the 75th episode and I am tickled pink!  So to celebrate we need cake right? And who better than to show us a new recipe for a delicious cake than the incredible Peggy Porschen!?  Yes her name will defo ring a bell to my London friends. Peggy has a fabulous and famous bakery here. But for the rest of you, buckle your seats, cuz Peggy’s cakes will rock your world

I had the pleasure of meeting Peggy back in July when I did a Foodie Fieldtrip Friday to her lovely bakery.  It is considered one of the most Instagrammable locations in London.  It is pretty and it is pink!  But the best part…the cakes!  And my oh my how amazing. What was even more amazing was the visit to the nearby cooking school, Peggy Porshen Academy.  She was there having just finished teaching a class.  She was so lovely and showed me around and we had a great chat.  I learned that she is originally from Germany.  And she trained at Le Cordon Bleu.  She worked at numerous high profile bakeries before eventually opening the Peggy Porschen bakery with her husband/business partner Bryn Marrow.

Peggy is know for creating amazing bespoke wedding cakes for the rich and famous here in London.  Her attention to detail is amazing!  Elton John hired her to create an edible Faberge Egg!  She has written numerous successful books (such as the Love Layer Cake that Peggy is holding in the pic above) and has a line of bakeware, cookie cutters etc. . But it is the incredible baked goods that fly out the door which I purchased when I was there.  So I have to try this recipe for her Blueberry and Buttermilk Cake.  I will be doing a tutorial live on Snapchat (blissbakery) as I do each week. So if you don’t mind some bad singing and dancing, come on over!

Ingredients
FOR THE BUTTERMILK SPONGE

105g (3.7 oz) butter
275g (10 oz) caster sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
250g (8 oz) plain flour, sifted
a pinch of salt
250g (8.8 oz) buttermilk
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 1¼ teaspoons white wine vinegar
200g (7 oz) blueberries
2 tablespoons plain flour

FOR THE VANILLA SYRUP

150ml (5 oz) water
150g caster sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

FOR THE VANILLA FROSTING

250g (8.8 oz) full-fat cream cheese, softened slightly
250g (8.8 oz) unsalted butter, softened
625g (1 lb 6 oz) icing sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Blueberry jam (for layering)

FOR THE DECORATION

1 tablespoon blueberries
Fresh mint leaves (optional)

METHOD

TO MAKE THE BUTTERMILK SPONGE

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3/325 F. Line three 15cm sandwich tins with oil spray and greaseproof paper.
  2. Place the butter, caster sugar and vanilla in an electric mixer and, using the paddle, beat at medium-high speed until the mixture is pale and fluffy.
  3. Beat the eggs lightly in a separate bowl, then slowly pour into the butter mixture with the paddle beating at medium speed.
  4. Once the butter, sugar and eggs are combined, sift the 250g of flour and salt into a bowl and add a little to the mixture, followed by a little of the buttermilk, beating at low speed. Repeat until all the dry ingredients and buttermilk have been added and are just combined.
  5. Stir the bicarbonate of soda into the vinegar and quickly add to the mixture.
  6. Mix the blueberries with the remaining two tablespoons of flour, then gently fold into the cake batter.
  7. Transfer the batter to the lined tins and carefully spread towards the edges with a step palette knife.
  8. Bake for 20–25 minutes. The sponge is cooked if it springs back when touched and the sides are coming away from the edges of the tin.
  9. While the sponges are baking, make a sugar syrup by placing water and sugar in a saucepan, stir,  and bring to the boil. Allow to cool down then flavour with vanilla extract.
  10. Once the sponges are baked, remove from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Brush the tops of the sponges with vanilla syrup. Remove the sponges and leave to cool completely on a wire rack. Once cool, wrap them in clingfilm and leave to rest overnight at room temperature.

TO MAKE THE VANILLA FROSTING

Method:

  1. Place the cream cheese in a bowl and beat until smooth and creamy using an electric mixer.
  2. Place the butter and a third of the sugar in a separate bowl and cream until very pale and fluffy. Add another third of the sugar and repeat.
  3. Add the remaining sugar and beat again, scraping the sides of the bowl to ensure no lumps remain. Add the cream cheese, a little at a time, and mix at low speed until combined. Add the vanilla extract.
  4. Chill until firm enough to spread or pipe. The frosting will keep for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE

  1. Trim the three sponge layers, soak the tops with more vanilla syrup and sandwich together using the blueberry jam for one layer and some of the vanilla frosting for the other.
  2. Use vanilla frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake. Chill for at least 1 hour.

TO DECORATE

  1. Cover the cake again with a generous layer of vanilla frosting, and use a side scraper with a patterned edge to go around the side of the cake. Chill again until set.
  2. Fill a small piping bag with the remaining vanilla frosting and pipe a loop pattern around the edge of the cake. Decorate the top of the cake with a small cluster of fresh blueberries and mint leaves.

Now that was seriously the best way to celebrate the 75th WCW honoree. Especially a cake recipe from the queen of cakes Peggy Porschen herself. It was the moistest cake ever. Sweet and yet the tangy cream cheese frosting was the perfect compliment. Love the blueberries baked in the cake too they were bursting with flavor! As you can see I had no trouble savoring each bite!


Thank you Peggy for all your inspiration for home bakers and professionals alike!  And thank you for being such a lovely lady!  I hope to see you again.  While I loved the red velvet cupcakes I have a few more  flavors I want to come taste!

Pink LOVE,

YDP

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