Thursday, October 20, 2011

“Olga” – Inspired Gateau

            There’s a cake with a wonderful female name Olga. It consists of two layers of an apple cake which embrace the filling – cherry jam, marshmallow and whipped cream; the cake is covered with melted chocolate and decorated with cherries. I remembered about it as I rummaged through my home pantry and discovered a box of marshmallows. Yum! I instantly felt like opening it and grabbing a piece of a light and spongy treat. The problem is, if you don’t finish the whole box straight away (which, I figured out, would be an impossible task even if I recruited my husband as an assistant in accomplishing it) the marshmallow pretty soon becomes unpleasant to eat. So, I’ve made a decision to disguise it in a cake and recruit half of the office as assistants for finishing it the same day (believe me, it’s easier to talk people into eating a good-looking cake rather than a box of plain marshmallows). So, the cake was made (with some not-so-little derivations from the original recipe), decorated (to make it more appealing than a carton box of marshmallows) and – eaten the same day. There was only one question left to be sold – how should I name this cake now? Ann? Helene? Or probably Mary?


Apple cake
450 gm apples
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 eggs
100 gm castor sugar
85 gm butter, melted
170 gm plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½  tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp orange zest

100 ml orange juice
2 tbsp Cointreau
3 tbsp orange jam (heated)
200 gm marshmallows
50 gm mascarpone
100 gm cream cheese (room temperature)
150 gm heavy cream
2 tbsp icing sugar

30 gm egg white
30 gm plain flour
30 gm icing sugar
30 gm butter, softened
3 tbsp cocoa powder

Honey waffles
20 gm egg white
25 gm plain flour
50 gm castor sugar
30 gm butter
20 gm honey


  1. For the apple cake, preheat the oven to 180C; line and grease 18 cm square tin. Peel, core and grate the apples; toss with lemon juice. Whisk the eggs with sugar and vanilla until pale and thick; add melted butter and flour, sifted together with baking powder, baking soda and salt. If the batter is thick, add milk. Stir in the grated apples and orange zest. Pour into prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.  
  2. For the filling, combine orange juice and Cointreau (for moistening the cake layers). Beat together mascarpone, cream cheese and heavy cream, gradually add the icing sugar.
  3. To assemble the cake, cut it horizontally into two. Brush one of the halves with ½ of the mixture of orange juice and Cointreau. Spread some orange jam. Arrange an even layer of marshmallows (if necessary, cut them into smaller pieces to fit the form of a cake). Spread 1/3 of the cream, cover with the second half of the cake, brushed with orange juice and liquor as well. Cover the top and the sides of the cake with the remaining cream.
  4. For tuile, make a paste with egg whites, flour, sugar and butter and let the mixture rest for 15 minutes in the fridge. Preheat the oven to 160C. Make a stencil out of a carton by cutting 4 rectangles (the size of a side of a cake) from it. Lightly grease a baking paper, put the prepared stencil over it and spread the tuile mixture with a palette knife. Place ready-made stencils with fancy patterns over the tuile rectangles and sift cocoa powder over them. Carefully remove all the stencils, place the tuiles in the oven and bake for 8 – 10 minutes. Allow to cool before removing from the baking paper. 
  5. For honey waffles, preheat the oven to 180C. Process all the ingredients until smooth, spread a layer of the mixture onto a baking sheet and put in the oven for 10 minutes. While still hot, cut strips of waffles with scissors, make fancy patterns on them with a pattern roller and twist them into desired shapes. Allow to cool completely.
  6. To finish the decoration, place a ready-made stencil on top of a cake and sift some cocoa over it; remove the stencil carefully. Arrange tuille rectangles on the sides of the cake and waffle decorations on the top of it.


  1. Use sharp knife dipped into hot water to cut marshmallow into even-sized pieces easily.
  2. Place all the tuile and waffle decorations on the cake just before serving as they start to soften pretty quickly. You can make them beforehand and store in air-tight containers for a few days.
  3. You can buy ready-made stencils and pattern rollers in the shops selling goods for applied arts and hobby ideas.  

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