Great British Baking Show, part II – Gluten-free Praline and White Chocolate Mirror-glaze Cake

Great British Baking Show, part II – Gluten-free Praline and White Chocolate Mirror-glaze Cake

And the obsession continues. This Praline and White Chocolate Mirror-glaze Cake was created by Benjamina on the season following Nadiya Hussein’s, and it’s such a delicate and delicious dessert: two layers of vanilla genoise sponge, sandwiched by and coated with a salted praline flavored buttercream and topped with a glamorous mirror glaze made with white chocolate.

This was my first mirror glaze, and if you have the chance to purchase gelatin and glucose syrup, I encourage you to try to make it. It gives an incredible satisfaction to create such a wonderful finished look! In Italy we use fish gelatin sheets, but it was hard to find here. So I purchased fish powder gelatin instead. Every time, after it blooms in water, I warm it up to make sure it melts completely, before adding it. Please, by all means, use the gelatin you are most familiar with – sheet or powder, beef, pork, fish, or vegetarian based. But, make sure to check the right substitute ratio.

This cake was presented as a showstopper in the show, and a showstopper, it is. It requires a few steps, but it is well worth the extra work. You will need a candy thermometer and, if you aren’t inclined to try and use gelatin and glucose syrup, you can definitely cover the cake in white chocolate ganache.

Once again, since this cake is an adaptation of the original recipe I found in the Great British Bake Off book, it may contain odd volume quantities. As always, I encourage you to use a scale for your ingredients.

ENJOY!

Great British Baking Show, part II – Gluten-free Praline and White Chocolate Mirror-glaze Cake

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Recipe by Simona Gluten-free Course: DessertDifficulty: Difficult
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

1

hour 

Ingredients

  • For the genoise sponge
  • 60 g unsalted butter, softened – 1/4 cup

  • 6 large eggs

  • 2 large yolks

  • 120 g granulated sugar – 5/8 cup

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 Tablespoon glycerin

  • 180 g Simona’s flour mix – 1 cup and 2 Tablespoons

  • pinch salt

  • For the praline paste
  • 120 g hazelnuts – 1 cup

  • 225 g granulated sugar – 1 cup and 2 Tablespoons

  • 4 Tablespoons water

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt flakes

  • 5 large egg whites

  • For the Swiss buttercream
  • 180 g granulated sugar – 7/8 cups

  • 250 g unsalted butter, softened – 1 cup

  • For the vanilla syrup
  • 75 g granulated sugar – 1/3 cup

  • 150 g water 3/4 cup

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • For the mirror glaze*
  • 3 g fish gelatine powder – 1 teaspoon or two gelatine sheets

  • 180 g white chocolate – 1 cup and one Tablespoon

  • 130 g heavy cream – 1/2 cup and 2 teaspoons

  • 100 g glucose syrup – 3/4 cup and 2 teaspoons

  • 20 g granulated sugar – 2 Tablespoons

  • 2 Tablespoons water

Directions

  • For the genoise sponge
  • Heat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Line the bottom of two 8u0022 cake pans with parchment paper and grease generously.
  • Melt the butter, then pour into a medium bowl and set aside to cool. Put the eggs, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla into the heatproof bowl of a stand mixer and whisk with a hand wire whisk until combined. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water (the base of the bowl should not touch the water) and whisk. Using the hand whisk for a couple of minutes, just until the mixture feels warm when you dip in your little finger. and the sugar has dissolved – you shouldn’t feel any gritty grains of sugar. Remove the bowl from the pan and put the bowl in place in the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on high speed until the mixture is thick and mousse-like and it has reached the ribbon stage.
  • Whisk the flour and salt into another bowl. Once the egg mixture is at ribbon stage, add the glycerin. Scoop out a cupful and stir it into the cooled butter; set aside. Add a third of the flour mixture on to the rest of the egg mixture and gently fold in. Repeat twice to mix in the rest of the flour, then fold in the butter mixture.
  • Divide the batter equally between the prepared pans, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the sponges are well risen and golden, and they spring back slightly when touched.
  • Run a knife around the inside of each pan, and leave to cool on a cooling rack.
  • For the praline paste
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 325° Fahrenheit. Place the hazelnut onto a baking sheet and roast until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Let them cool, then chop roughly and spread onto a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper that was previously greased.
  • Put the sugar and water into a medium pan and heat gently, until the sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat and bring the syrup to the boil, until it turns a rich chestnut-colored caramel. Immediately pour it over the nuts on the baking sheet, covering them.
  • Quickly sprinkle the sea salt then leave until cold. Once set, break the praline into shards. Save a few of the best looking shard for the decoration, and grind the rest in a food processor to make a paste.
  • For the Swiss buttercream
  • Place the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk until well combined.
  • Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water (the base of the bowl should not touch the water) and whisk constantly until the mixture reaches the temperature of 150 degrees Fahrenheit on a sugar thermometer.
  • Remove the bowl from the pan and put it in place on the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. ons.Whisk on high speed to make a thick white meringue. Keep whisking until the meringue has cooled to room temperature, then start adding the butter by the tablespoon, until it’s all incorporated and the buttercream is smooth and silky..
  • Fold 6 to 8 tablespoons of praline paste into the buttercream – according to your taste, the rest of the praline will be used for the decorations. Set aside.
  • For the vanilla syrup
  • Put the sugar, water, and vanilla in a small pan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil then simmer for a minute. Remove from the heat.
  • Assemble the cake
  • Use a cake board and place one sponge layer on top, crust side down. Brush generously with the vanilla syrup. Leave to soak for 10 minutes.
  • Transfer 1/4 cup of the buttercream to a small bowl for the piped decorations, cover and set aside. Spoon about a quarter of the remaining buttercream on top of the layer, and spread evenly.
  • Set the other sponge on top of the first layer, crust side up, and brush with the rest of the syrup. Leave for 10 minutes, then use half of the remaining buttercream to evenly coat the top and sides of the cake. Chill until firm.
  • Repeat to cover the cake with the rest of the buttercream ( except for that reserved for decoration) – make sure this coating is completely smooth so the mirror-glaze doesn’t have bumps. Now give the cake a thorough chilling in the fridge for about 30 minutes ( or freezer if time is short).
  • For the mirror glaze
  • Put the gelatin in a microwave safe bowl with two tablespoons of cold water to bloom, for about 5 minutes. Place the chocolate into a heatproof bowl.
  • Gently heat the cream, glucose, sugar and water in a medium pan, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth, then bring to the boil. Pour over the chocolate in a thin, steady stream, stirring gently until smooth.
  • Warm the gelatin in the microwave until it completely dissolves, then add to
    the chocolate cream mixture and stir in until melted. Blitz with a hand blender to make sure the mixture is completely smooth – take care not
    to introduce froth or bubbles. Leave until cool and thickened but still fluid, stirring frequently.
  • Finish assembling the cake
  • Remove the cake from the fridge and place on a rack set over a tray to catch the drips. Carefully pour the white chocolate mirror-glaze over the cake to completely and evenly cover the top and sides. Leave to set before transferring to a cake stand.
    To decorate the cake, spoon the reserved buttercream into a piping bag and pipe small ‘dots’ on to the top of the cake in a slightly diagonal line. Add the shards of praline and a little of the praline paste to this line and around the bottom.

Notes

  • *If you’d rather skip the mirror glaze and use white chocolate ganache, please use 225 g of heavy cream  (1 cup) and 12 ounces white chocolate (2 cups; 340g), roughly chopped. Warm the cream over medium heat until steaming-hot. Meanwhile, place the white chocolate in a medium bowl. When the cream begins to bubble around the edges, remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Let stand 30 seconds, then whisk gently to combine. Let stand at room temperature, about 30 minutes, stirring from time to time to ensure it cools evenly. Glaze your cake.

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