Thursday, 9 March 2017

British Pie Week Reci-pie: Cake Pie!

Pie Cake Review Pierate 
Is is a cake? Is it a pie? Why yes, yes it is!

Hooray! British Pie Week is upon us once more - and what better way to celebrate than by baking an enormous, stripy, sugary cake pie? I first made this back in July for a Pierateer celebration, and now I'm going to show you how you can make your very own version. 

Warning: Depending on how many cake tins you have and how big your oven is, you might want to start this recipe early in the morning. I decided to embark on my cake pie when I got in from work one evening and ended up still in the kitchen at 1am waiting for the last cake to be ready... 

The Recipe:

The first thing you need to do is make three cakes - they'll need plenty of time to cool before you assemble the pie! My cake pie was inspired by Neapolitan ice cream, so I made one vanilla, one chocolate and one strawberry - I used my favourite sponge recipe, which is:

175g butter 
175g caster sugar
3 medium eggs
175g self-raising flour

For the vanilla cake - 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

For the strawberry cake - 1-2 teaspoons of strawberry flavouring and some pink gel food colouring (the gel kind is much better for baking than the liquid kind, because it doesn't make your cake mix go all runny)

For the chocolate cake - take out 3 tablespoons of flour and replace it with 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder

Cream the butter and sugar together, then beat in the eggs a little at a time. Fold in the flour, then add the colouring and flavouring. Bake at 180 degrees centigrade for 25 minutes or so, until the cake is cooked through and springy to the touch.

 Baking is a serious business on the Pierate Ship...

Next, you'll need to make the pastry case. I used shortcrust pastry because it's pretty solid and holds its shape well - and this is a pretty big pastry case. I lined my largest cake tin (one with high sides, the kind you'd use for a fruit cake) with pastry, then put a slightly smaller cake tin inside it to keep the pastry from falling in on itself:

 As you can see, this method works pretty well!

I also made a pastry lid by cutting out a circle of pastry the same size as my cakes, then baking it in the oven between two flat baking trays to stop it from puffing up too much. 

The next step is to make the icing - again, I made vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. I used buttercream - 

75g butter
175g icing sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk

For the vanilla - add in vanilla extract
For the strawberry - use more of the strawberry colouring and flavouring
For the chocolate - stir in some cocoa powder and add some more milk if the icing seems too thick

Chocolate icing ready to go in the pie!

At last, you're ready to assemble your cake pie! Now it's all just a matter of layering - I started with cake, then the matching icing, then cake, then the matching icing, then more cake. Finally, I added the last layer of icing and used that to stick the lid on.

One layer of cake and icing

Two layers of cake and icing

All the layers of cake and icing with the lid stuck on - trim any excess pastry to make it look neater
 And there you have it, a cake pie! 
The Pierateers helped me decorate mine with some nautical accessories...
I recommend leaving the cake pie somewhere cool for a few hours before slicing it (I put mine in the fridge for a little while) so that it's nice and solid - and it should come out looking something like this:

Who wouldn't want a slice of delcious, stripy, Neapolitan ice cream flavoured cake pie? 

The Seven Cs:

Colour: A lovely golden brown (and very bright inside!)

Consistency: Surprisingly good - I was worried it might be a bit dry, but it turns out that soft fluffy cake, creamy icing and crispy pastry go very well together.
Capacity:  Full to the brim with cake and icing - I had to squash it a bit to get the lid on!
 Chewiness: No chewiness here - just cake (and icing).

Content: Not only is it a giant pie, not only is it full of cake, but it's stripy and has three different flavours - this one is a real showstopper!

Cheapness: You'll have to buy quite a lot of flour, butter and sugar, but if you've got a well stocked baking cupboard this won't break the bank - you could also make a smaller (and cheaper) version.

Condition: Brilliant, even if I do say so myself. This sliced beautifully and there were genuine gasps of amazement from my fellow Pierateers. Just look at those layers...

This is quite possibly my favourite pie ever, and it might even be one of the best things I've ever baked - it was certainly worth the time and effort it took to make it! If you're looking for a way to celebrate British Pie Week, this is the way to do it!

The Ship's Cook

See what the Pierateers have been up to this British Pie Week in our daily Pie Diary articles:

Day One – Monday 6th March 2017
Day Two – Tuesday 7th March 2017
Day Three – Wednesday 8th March 2017
Day Four - Thursday 9th March 2017
Day Five - Friday 10th March 2017
Day Six - Saturday 11th March 2017
Day Seven - Sunday 12th March 2017

Pierate is a pie review website charting a course to find the ultimate pie. For all the pies we have reviewed have a look at our Pie Rankings or find pies of a particular flavour under Pies: Categorised.

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