Oh how nice indeed! this is one of the few competitions where I have been absolutely on time! Now I’m gonna tell you a little about this initiative held by Genny. The Torta della bontà – Cake of Goodness – is a contest that is a poem, a chance to give free rein to fantasy and desire for good, but above all a way to be better people, because all cakes will be made by Albertone for his Angle of goodness, to raise funds for the Association La vita è un dono, for the research on the propionic acidemia.
The goal is to make a birthday cake. Now, usually at home we blow out candles on a soft sponge cake, stuffed with cream and chocolate, frosted and decorated. But for this initiative I wanted something more, I wanted my OWN birthday cake, a cake that – at first sight – could be defined without any reasonable doubt Giulia’s birthday cake!
I wanted a cake with a bit of the Mediterranean and a bit of England inside, otherwise I wouldn’t be happy! In my mind, in fact, I would celebrate my birthday in British-style – what about an high tea? with a slice of this tart, which contains in itself two very different souls, both alive into myself. Representing my English Miss (I do not measn a beauty queen!) side, a jam of wild strawberries (red scarlet, to call a spade) and a classic of Her Majesty, lemon curd. Featuring the Mediterranean sun, organic lemons from Sorrento, which contributed to make the most delicious lemon curd ever tasted!
Pate Sucrée ingredients – from Michel Roux recipe
- flour, 250 gr – I needed 300 gr of flour, maybe my eggs were large…
- butter, 100 gr diced and softened
- confectioner sugar, 100 gr sifted
- salt, 1 pinch
- eggs, 2 at room temperature
Lemon Curd ingredients – from Carol Tennant’s recipe, Book of Preserves, Women’s Institute
- golden caster sugar, 325 gr
- juice and zest of 4 lemons
- unsalted butter, 125 gr cut into small pieces
- eggs, 4 lightly beaten
- Wild strawberries jam, at least 200 gr – I used an original English jam bought in Rome with my foodies friends
Making sucrée. Pour the flour on a work surface of marble, make a well in the centre and add diced and softend butter, confectioner sugar and salt and work them with your fingertips. Work in the flour slowly, working the dough until it gets a crumbly consistency.
Make a fountain again with flour crumbs and add the eggs, knead with your fingers until the mixture begins to blend and get together. At this point knead the dough as it was bread dough until it becomes smooth.
Make a dough ball, wrap it in cling film and let rest in refrigerator for about 2 hours before using it.
Make lemon curd. Instead of grating the lemon peel, peel it with a sharp knife and then tie lemon peel together with a string to form a bundle. Thus making, the lemon curd remains more velvetyand soft. Put the sugar, juice, butter cut into small pieces and beaten eggs into a large heatproof bowl on top of a pan of simmering water. Add the bunch of lemon peel as well.The bottom of the bowl mustn’t touch the water. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture is thick and coats the back of the spoon. I had to stir for at least 20 minutes. Remove the bunch of lemon peel (do not lick it, it burns!) and let it cool.
Final assembly. Roll out the dough into a sheet of approximately 3 mm thick. I needed only half of my pastry, because I used a rectangular pan, narrow and long (beautiful, can I say it? Beautiful, bought in Rome at Peroni). Grease and flour the mold, then line with the dough and make it adhere to the bottom and edges.
Prick with a fork the sucrée pastry and let it cool again in the fridge for 20 minutes. Cover it with a sheet of baking paper and some weights (I used dried pulses) and bake it in a preheated oven to 180°C for 10 minutes. Remove weights and paper and bake for another 5 minutes.
Spread generously wild strawberries jam on the bottom of the tart, then fill it up with lemon curd. Put in oven for another 20 minutes, then remove it and let it cool completely.
And we end up singing …
A very merry
Unbirthday to you,
To you, A very merry
Unbirthday to you,
It’s great to
Drink to someone ,
And I guess that
You will do,
A very merry
Unbirthday to you!