Your favourite children’s party food in the form of a cake. You’ll have trouble deciding between a whole cake or baking it as a slice in a loaf tin. Spread with white chocolate ganache and topped with hundreds and thousands. Note that you will need to cook the cakes the day before icing them.
- 450 g (1 lb) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 450 g (1 lb) white chocolate (28%), chopped or buttons
- 450 g (1 lb/3 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 225 g (8 oz/1½ cups) self-raising flour
- 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
- 5 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) hundreds and thousands (nonpareils)
- 16 assorted medium macarons
WHITE CHOCOLATE GANACHE
- 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) white chocolate (28%), chopped or buttons
- 300 ml (10½ fl oz) pure (pouring) cream (35% fat)
- 50 g (1¾ oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Prepare three 18 cm (7 inch) diameter round springform cake tins by spraying the sides with cooking oil and lining the bases and sides with baking paper. Ensure the collar of the paper extends 2 cm (¾ inch) above the tin.
Put the butter and 400 ml (14 fl oz) of water into a large saucepan and stir over medium heat until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat, add the white chocolate and stir until completely melted and combined. Set aside to cool.
Combine the plain and self-raising flours, sugar and a generous pinch of salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until combined, then pour in the chocolate mixture. Continue to beat while you add the eggs and vanilla paste. Beat well.
Divide the mixture between the three prepared cake tins, then smooth the top with a palette knife. Bake for 1 hour or until the cakes are golden brown and a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Cool completely in the tin, on a wire rack, then carefully remove the cakes from the tins. Wrap each cake in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
To make the white chocolate ganache, put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set aside.
Bring the cream to the boil over medium heat and pour the hot cream over the chocolate.
Use a handheld blender to combine and create the ganache. Cover the surface with plastic food wrap and allow to cool to 40°C (105°F).
When the ganache has cooled, add the butter and use the handheld blender to mix. Pour the ganache into a clean deep tray and cover the surface with plastic wrap until ready to use. (If making the ganache at the same time as the
cakes, store overnight at room temperature.)
When ready to assemble, take the 3 cakes out of the refrigerator and use a knife and ruler to trim the top flat so that each cake is 4.5 cm (1¾ inches) high. Place one of the cakes on a serving plate, using a little of the ganache to secure it in place.
Using a piping (icing) bag fitted with a size 13 plain nozzle, pipe a thick layer of the ganache onto the top of the cake and then place the second cake on top. Press the cake down gently to make sure the cake is even.
Pipe another layer of ganache onto the cake and place the final cake on top. Press down gently to make sure that the top is level and flat.
Use a palette knife to smooth out any ganache that has come out from between the layers of the cake and then apply the remaining white chocolate ganache to the outside of the cake.
Pour the hundreds and thousands into a small bowl and sprinkle over the cake, covering it completely. It may help to carefully pick the cake up.
To finish, use toothpicks to attach the macarons to the top and side of the cake. Make sure to remove the toothpicks when serving.
Make the cakes ahead of time and freeze for up to 2 weeks. If you have leftover cake and ganache you can layer them in jars for a deconstructed cake treat.