Thursday, November 10, 2011

“Manqué” with Bailey’s Crème au Beurre

          There is a French gateau called “manqué” (“failure”). It was created by a pastry chef who made a mistake while whipping egg whites for his sponge and decided to add almond flour and butter to save the mixture - which ultimately resulted in creating a new cake.

            Once I’ve cooked my “manqué” as well. However, it was not an almond cake. I just decided to name it so because initially I was planning to make another type of gateau as well but, because of some flops, ended up having a completely different dessert on a serving plate.

            It all started with the idea of making a soufflé-stuffed cake. And, as my sponge was already cooling down on the wire rack and my custard was cooked almost to perfection, I was about to proceed to my next step: dissolving gelatin for the cream and – oops! I discovered that there was no gelatin left! Actually it’s not very typical of me to run out of ingredients as I tend to keep an eye on my home pantry and to refill it when it is necessary. Anyway, after rummaging twice through all the cupboards and kitchen shelves I had to admit that I should change my cooking plans. I turned to “Larousse Gastronomique” dictionary in search of an alternative for a soufflé filling of my cake. There were a few nice options of custard-based creams but – they required the use of whipped cream and, unfortunately, this story unfolded in those deplorable times when cream was out of stock in the markets. There was only one option left – crème au beurre, or buttercream. “But I don’t like buttercream!” – I instantly thought. Or I rather tried to convince myself of it because the perspective of having at home a cake loaded with butter was quite intimidating. Anyway, being left with no other choice, I proceeded with making the filling by adding well-aerated butter and whipped to firm peaks Italian meringue. Flavoured with Bailey’s, the gateau had an astonishing aroma and, garnished with dark chocolate, had an appealing look. In order to save myself from this temptation I took the whole creation to the office. The common verdict was that I should make more mistakes in the kitchen if they lead to such fabulous results! Will I make this “failure”- cake again? Only to share it with a big company of pastry lovers as well!


Sponge cake
3 eggs, separated
80 gm sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
½ cup flour
¼ cup cornflour
½ tsp baking powder

Crème au beuree
3 eggs , separated
1 tbsp vanilla sugar
1 tsp cornflour
75 ml milk
250 gm butter, room temperature
30 ml Bailey’s
210 gm sugar
60 ml water

Assembling and decoration
130 gm dark chocolate
60 ml Baileys


  1. For a sponge cake, preheat the oven to 180C. Line and grease 18cm square cake tin. Sift flour together with cornflour and baking powder.
  2. Beat egg whites on medium speed till soft peaks are formed, gradually add 40 gm sugar, 1 tsp at a time, increasing the speed and beating till the mixture is stiff. In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks with vanilla essence and the remaining sugar till pale and creamy. Add the flour mixture and stir briskly to combine. Fold the egg whites, 1/3 at a time. Pour the prepared batter into a tin and bake for about 35 - 40 minutes or until the toothpick inserted in the centre of a cake comes out clean.
  3. For crème au beurre, dissolve cornflour in 1 tbsp of milk. Whisk egg yolks with vanilla sugar till pale and thick, add cornflour mixture. Bring the remaining milk almost to a boil and pour over the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water cook till the mixture thickens. Allow to cool. In a separate bowl, beat butter till light and fluffy, add the custard and Bailey’s and blend well.          
  4. Make an Italian meringue. Put water and sugar in a pan, bring to boil over low heat and cook the syrup till it’s rather thick. Beat the egg whites until stiff and add the boiling sugar syrup in a thin stream, whisking continuously until the meringue is cold. Fold half of the meringue into the cream and reserve the remaining for decoration.
  5. To assemble the cake, cut the sponge into two layers. Line a square tin and put one of the layers at the bottom. Brush with 2 tbsp Baileys and spread half of the cream on top. Cover with the second layer of the sponge cake, brushed with 2 tbsp of Baileys as well, and spread the remaining cream on top of the cake, reserving half a cup for the sides.
  6. To decorate the cake, melt 100 gm chocolate. Cut 4 rectangles out of a baking paper (the size of a side of the cake), place them onto a piece of foil and spread the chocolate in 2-3 mm layer. Wait till it almost sets and, using a palette knife, carefully remove chocolate-covered paper rectangles from the foil (cut some chocolate off the sides, if necessary). Transfer to a board and allow the chocolate to set completely.
  7. Take the cake out of the tin. Spread a layer of reserved crème on the sides. Remove baking paper from your chocolate rectangles and arrange them on the sides of the cake, pressing slightly. Using a piping bag, make decorations on top of the cake with the reserved meringue. Grate the remaining chocolate and sprinkle it on top.

1 comment:

  1. Неужели одному хомяку под силу справиться с таким количеством вкуснятины!??? ;-)


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