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Member recipe

Tarta San Marcos

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Servings

Serves 20

Spanish sponge typically eaten on celebrations. Originally on St Mark's Day.

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Ingredients

  • For The Sponge
  • 7 Eggs
  • 350g Caster Sugar
  • 350g Plain Flour
  • For The Yema (Cream of Yolks)
  • 8 beaten egg yolks
  • 400g Caster Sugar
  • 30g Cornstarch
  • 125ml water
  • Spoon of vanilla oil / essence
  • For The Syrup
  • 500ml Water
  • 500ml Caster Sugar
  • 3 tbsp of liqueur (Licor 43, Grand Marnier or Cointreau)
  • For The Cream Filiing
  • 900ml Whipping or double cream
  • 150g Caster Sugar
  • 3 tsp of good quality cocoa powder
  • 4 teaspoon cocoa

Method

    1. Prepare 2 large rectangular Genoese Sponges Tarta San Marcos is based on a Genoese Sponge. This has no leavening agents and rises solely through the air incorporated when whisking the eggs and sugar. It will not rise a great deal, and may sink back a little once cooked. The secret is to get the whisking correct, and then to add flour quickly and gently, and get it into the oven before you lose the air in the mix. Cutting corners on either will leave you with a heavy, thin sponge. We are going to drizzle syrup on sponge, so dryness is not too much of a concern. Pre-heat oven to 180C / 160C fan Sift the flour from a height into a try or pan for later. Grease 2 large rectabgular tins on side and bottom and place baking paper on bottom of each tin.
    2. Pour a small amount of hot water into a large saucepan and bring to boil. This will be used to heat bowl where batter is mixed. Turn heat right down to simmer. Place the eggs in a large bowl with sugar. Whisk gently for initial mix of eggs and sugar. Then place bowl with mixture on simmering saucepan. The bowl should not touch the water as you want the steam to heat up the sugar in the mix gently, to allow the sugar to start to melt. Beat eggs and sugar mixture in the bowl with electric whisk for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes the mixture should be almost white, about triple original volume and should hold the whisk pattern on surface for a few seconds. After 10 minutes, remove from heat and whisk for further 3 minutes.
    3. Working very quickly, but gently, fold in half of the sifted flour, until just incorporated with no dry spots. You will lose a little volume. This is okay, but be quick. Add remainder of flour and repeat, just enough until you have a smooth mix with no clumps of flour. Add the sifted flour gradually, mixing well. Pour half of the mix evenly into each tin. Give each pan a quick shake to flatten/even out. Get the pans into the oven quickly. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden. Test with skewer when done. Let the sponge cool for 5 minutes in tin, then turn out on to wire rack. Allow to cool fully. The sponge should be room temperature, and will keep for a day easily, if covered.
    4. Prepare the Cream of Yolks (Yema) Beat eggs thoroughly (10-20 seconds with electric whisk), mix with water and pass through a sieve twice. Mix the sugar with the cornstarch. Fold the dry and wet mixtures together and place in a saucepan. Bring to boil gently, stirring continuously to prevent sticking to the bottom. Once the mixture starts to boil, it will thicken almost immediately. Turn heat off after a few seconds and pour through a sieve into a cold bowl to prevent oxidization. Cover with cling-film and place in fridge straight away. Keep in fridge until fully chilled and stiffened. This may take a few hours, so best to complete night before. Reserve in refrigerator until ready to use.
    5. Prepare the Syrup: Place all ingredients in a pan bring to boil. Boil for 3-4 minutes, until it thickens very slightly Allow to cool.
    6. Prepare the Trufa (Chocolate Cream) and Cream for Decoration: Pour the cream and sugar into a large Bowl. Both cream and bowl should be chilled. Whip the mixture until the cream has fully stiffened. Divide into 2 equal portions. In one of the portions, fold in the cocoa fully. Reserve both portions in fridge.
    7. Final Construction Place the first layer of cake on a plate. Prick with skewer and brush in syrup (you need a lot so use a quarter of the syrup you made). Flip the first layer over and repeat the *prick and drizzle* with another quarter of the syrup. Cover the first layer with all the Trufa (chocolate cream). Repeat the prick and drizzle with the second layer on both sides. I find it easier to do this on a second plate and then place the second layer on top of the Trufa. Place the portion of whipped cream in an icing bag and use it decorate sides of the sponges. Cover the top of the cake with the Cream of Yolks (Yema). Use a culinary torch to lightly toast the top of the Yema Decorate as necessary with further cream piping. Place in fridge until ready to serve it should be chilled.

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