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Maple crème brûlée cake

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There’s always a reason to celebrate, especially the season. In summer, I can’t get enough of stone fruit and berries. But in winter, it’s all about citrus, and the more unusual the better. A kumquat never ceases to surprise me when its sweet nectar bursts into a sharp tang that finishes with a bite of bitterness – the perfect partner to a sweet, creamy dessert. I also love experimenting with sweet alternatives. There was a time when I thought the taste of maple syrup would overpower a dessert, but it’s a flavour that disappears into something like a cake, leaving you with a beautifully natural, balanced sweetness. What I loved about this cake was how interactive it ended up being, perfect for when you invite one of your more serious foodie friends over for coffee. We ended up brûlée-ing each slice after dishing it onto the plate! Maple Crème Brûlée Cake 

MAPLE CRÈME Brûlée CAKE

TIME: 1 hour (cake) 4 hours (to set the brûlée) | SERVES: 10

INGREDIENTS

for the cake

312g (560ml) cake flour

175ml Forage & Feast 100% Pure Authentic Canadian Maple Syrup 

7.5ml bicarbonate of soda

2.5ml fine salt

360ml almond milk (recommend the barista blend)

60ml canola oil

60ml olive oil

2,5ml vanilla essence

1 orange (zest only)

for the orange syrup

200ml water

100ml orange juice (freshly squeezed)

1tsp orange zest

200ml Forage & Feast 100% Pure Authentic Canadian Maple Syrup 

2 whole star anise

300g kumquats (sliced thinly, lengthways)

for the brûlée 

400g (386ml) vegan yogurt

100ml orange juice (freshly squeezed)

400ml almond milk, barista blend

1 aniseed, whole

5ml orange zest

50ml orange syrup

6g (22ml) agar – agar

extra sugar (for brûlée)

METHOD

for the cake

Preheat the oven to 180 °C.  Line the base of a 20 cm springform pan with baking paper. Spray the tin with edible food spray. In a large mixing bowl combine the maple syrup almond milk, oil, vanilla essence, and orange zest and whisk until combined. Sieve in all the dry ingredients and fold into the mixture until incorporated. Make sure not to overwork the cake batter. Pour the cake batter into the springform pan. Bake for 40min.  

Let the cake cool in the tin for 20 minutes before carefully turning it out. Once the cake is cooled, pour 150ml of lukewarm syrup over the cake, and layer with thinly sliced kumquats. Maple Crème Brûlée Cake 

for the syrup:

Combine all the ingredients together in a medium saucepan and cook over a medium heat, allowing the liquid to simmer for about 20min, remove the kumquats from the syrup and allow to cool down. Reduce the liquid until half its volume and a thick syrup forms over a low heat.

for the brûlée:

Combine all the ingredients in a large pot and whisk together. Allow the mixture to sit for 2 minutes before cooking over a medium heat, making sure to whisk the mixture occasionally. Once the mixture starts to boil, lower the temperature, and cook for another 2 minutes. Strain the liquid into a measuring jug and allow to cool down slightly. Pour the mixture over the cooled-down cake (whilst in the springform tin), place in the fridge for 1 hour or until the mixture is firmly set. Portion the cake for serving, dust lightly with sugar and use a blow torch to create a brûlée effect.

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