There are trends I don’t want to follow… And there are those which I can’t resist! The Number cakes madness is of one the latter!
It is true that this kind of cake can really be stunning. But what I like most is that you can do whatever you want, you can let go your creativity… And this is why I say “yes”!! Let’s bake my Number Cake!
The opportunity came along when I was to attend one of my friends’ birthday party, and I wanted to make a special and personal gift. Hence the idea of this “32”. Then the toppings were quite easy to pick: the red fruits season is on! I couldn’t miss it!!
Today’s recipe is yet fully adjustable and for more ideas take a look at Jessica’s Number Cakes.
You can basically use any kind of base : hazelnut shortbread pastry as I suggest it here, almond shortbread pastry, sugar pastry, sponge cake, yoghurt cake , etc. The only tricky part with mixtures like yoghurt cake is that you will need a mold to get the right shape. For the other options, you will make your own templates.
For the ganache or cream, I baked a white chocolate and vanilla ganache. But you can make a chocolate one, a lemon curd (with some more gelatine to have the right texture), a mascarpone chantilly, a fruit mousse…
And as far asdecoration is concerned, I’m pretty sure that you’ll have a thousand more ideas than I do! Do not hesitate to share them as a comment on this recipe! Fruits, macarons, meringues, candies, chocolates, edible flowers, etc.
Let’s get started wth the recipe and as many pics as possible to make it as explicit as possible!!
To start with, make (the day before) a hazelnut shortbread pastry (just click 🙂 ).
Spread your pastry with 5 to 6 mm height. This thickness is necessary since the pastry will spread durng baking and also since you need your letters or numbers not to be too fragile when manipulating them. Cover with a clingfilm or baking paper to avoid drying.
Set aside in your fridge.
Make your templates with cardboard. You will find patterns to print here. Once your templates are cut, wrap them up with clingfilm for a hygienic contact between template and pastry.
Preheat your oven at 180 degrees.
Cut your pastry following to your templates. Make two shapes per number or letter: for a “32”, make two “3” and two “2” for instance.
Bake 13 to 15 minutes. Your letters or numbers should get golden.
Set aside at room temperature.
Prepare (the day before or in the morning for an afternoon final step of recipe) a white chocolate and vanilla ganache (click for recipe). The quantity mentionned in the recipe should be enough for 2 numbers or letters of 22 cm height with a small or medium width (such as “1” and “7” for instance, or “I” and “L”). If you have to make larger numbers or letters (8, 5, M, B, etc …) make double of the quantity…
Make some meringues if you wish to put some as a decoration.
Two hours (at least) before eating your number cake, prepare all your decoration items: meringues, fruits, candies, macarons, etc.
You are now ready to make the final step of this recipe: the assembly of your Number Cake.
To avoid any transportation disaster, I strongly recommend to melt a few chocolate chips and use them as “glue” between your presentation tray and your numbers or letters that you will use as the base of your dessert. It will make the whole thing much more stable.
Use a piping bag with a round nozzle to cover your letters or numbers (I use a round nozzle diameter 12 by De Buyer). Set aside each number in your fridge after piping. Once each pastry is covered, place the numbers or letters over another (the 3 on the other 3, the 2 on the other 2).
You can set aside in your fridge for 30 minutes so that everything holds well together.
Finally, add your decoration elements. My advice: start with the bigger parts and finish with the smaller ones.
Set aside in your fridge until tasting. Congratulations! You’ve just baked a Number Cake!!