Today is Whitsunday. For me it was never anything special, except that Whitmonday is a holiday in Germany.
Now it has got another meaning for me. There is a very simple reason for this. We live on one of the 74 Whitsunday Islands. Whitsunday Island itself is the largest island and the centre of the Whitsunday Island Group. Since this island is very close, it is only a few minutes with our flybridge cruiser to get there. I love to have a walk on one of the Island's trails. My favourite is the Whitsunday Peak walk. The trail is 2.2 km one-way. Now, if you think this is a piece of cake, you are sorely mistaken. (I'll talk about a cake later.)
This track is steep and physically demanding. Much of the track is rough and rocky. But the views of the Whitsundays from the island's highest peak at 407 m above sea level are sensational.
As Whitsunday is not only the name of the island, but a special Sunday, baking is the order of the day. When Joel was amazed that @malelover got a cake named after him, I thought, what cake could be named after @JoelR .
I just need to look at JoelR's profile photo and I am aware Joel is an athletic beefcake.
The combination of beef and cake is an Aussie Pie for sure. I haven't tried to bake an Aussie pie yet, because Pat's pies - a shortcrust pastry base, topped with a puff pastry lid and filled with a stew of minced beef, onions, and mushrooms - are just too delicious.
Back to a cake for @JoelR .
It was important to me that the ingredients are available without having to travel around the world. I remembered a cake that I was able to bake quickly in the morning and serve it a few hours later. Something you need when you get a visit at short notice.
I always have the ingredients for this cake in my house - in Germany. I was thinking that I have all the ingredients here in the pantry, but I realized that I do not have enough cream.
The first thought was of course to ask our blokes if I may milk them ... However, I need 600 grams ...
Cream is composed of the higher-fat layer skimmed from the top of milk. When I whip the cream for too long, I get butter (and buttermilk). So I thought, why not simply increase the fat percentage of the milk with butter. So I took 400 g of milk and 200 g of butter, put them in a pot and heated them until the butter had melted. I then put it in the blender and mixed it at high speed until I had a homogeneous, high-fat milk - cream. It is quite a good alternative for the cream and good enough to cook the pudding.
Back to the actual subject again.
Apart from easily available ingredients, a cake named after Joel should be sweet, fruity and juicy.
230 g flour
150 g sugar
100 g butter (cold)
18 g baking powder
1 pinch salt
500 g Canned Apricot Halves (net weight)
For the pudding:
600 g cream
30 g sugar
50 g cornstarch
1 egg yolk
1 vanilla pod
Preheat the oven to 180 °C.
Add the flour, sugar, salt, egg and the lightly cut butter in a bowl. Knead everything quickly by hand into a pastry. As it is a kind of short pastry, please only knead until the dough just sticks together. Place the dough in a round, greased baking pan (diameter 28 cm) and spread it evenly by hand. Side note: Shortcrust pastry normally needs to chill. That's not necessary with this one.
Bake it for 10 minutes at 180 °C top/bottom heat.
Take the pre-baked base out of the oven and cover it with the apricot halves.
Mix the cornstarch, sugar, egg yolk with some of the cream until smooth. Add the remaining cream, vanilla pulp to a saucepan, mix and bring to a boil. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir until the pudding thickens.
Spread the pudding evenly over the cake. Bake it for 45 minutes at 180 °C.
I love to give JoelR err the cake extra bottom heat in the final 5-10 minutes. This caramelises the base slightly and makes it a little crispy. You can also sprinkle some sugar on the surface of the hot cake.
Let the cake cool down and serve with whipped cream.
Now it's up to @JoelR to decide if the cake merits his name. The cake is sweet, fruity, juicy, but also masculine, as the bottom is crispy and the pudding is firm like a muscular guy.