Resurrection of the Cardinal

Last weekend we had to recover the house from the latest onslaught of the builders which left little time for baking.  But our neighbours Annie and Stephen wanted a grand tour of the restored residence and popped round for morning coffee on Sunday.  Coffee of course requires cake (actually in Germany this visit would be called “Kaffee und Kuchen Klatschenzeit” and is so much more than just having a quick coffee) and I had to rustle something up.

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I suddenly remembered the Cardinal Slices in the freezer that I made what feels like  aeons ago (you can read all about the first attempt on my blog post “A Valentines Date with the Cardinal“), and even better I also remembered when I did this I wanted to try the classic Austrian version of this which is a coffee cream filling sandwiched between the sponge/meringue slices.  Now coffee in cakes is not really my thing and did I really want to serve spoonfuls of whipped cream to my guests?  But I couldn’t not serve cake so I set to.

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The coffee filling is actually Chantilly Cream flavoured with instant coffee with a huge wodge of gelatine added for quite a solid set.  You end up with nearly 3 cubic inches of whipped cream between the sponge/meringue slices, something my Cardiologist would be very unhappy about.

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The only decision I had to make was whether to just go with Coffee Cream or whether to add something.  For the last Cardinal Slice I added raspberries, which was very successful.  But coffee is tricky when it comes to flavour partners.  Basically we are talking chocolate or hazelnuts so the choice is somewhat limited. I plumped for hazelnuts, a choice which was validated when I found I needed to buy instant coffee (not a staple in this house) and discovered Douwe Egberts new range of hazelnut flavoured coffee.

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The full Cardinal Slice is a tricky beast as you can see from my original post.  What did I learn from the coffee variant?  Well firstly the gelatine.  40g is a lot of gelatine and there wasn’t much liquid to dissolve it in.  The microwave is needed to get it to dissolve in the minimal liquid and then you need to cool it down slightly before adding to the cream.

The other issue is whipping the cream.  I have a tendency to over whip (no that is not a reference to consensual marital practices).  You need to slightly under whip the cream before adding the sugar and gelatine so there is still space in the whipping process to get the gelatine distributed properly.

Lastly, the set is quite fast because the amount of gelatine.  The advantage is you can build that huge wodge of cream quite easily, the disadvantage is that you need to work quite quickly.

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Was it tasty?  Well for me I preferred the fruit version but that is because I am not that keen on coffee in puddings.  I do however have some coffee fiends at work and they loved it, so I guess if you like Coffee go for it.

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