RECIPE: When I’m fantasising about attempting recipes in a more complicated cookbook, I always start with one of the more simple options so I can build confidence. I used the recipes from Zumbo for the cake, honeycomb, crème pâtissiére and buttercream, but didn’t make the glaze. More on that later.
COMPONENTS: First step is the honeycomb. I’ve tried making honeycomb once before and took the caramel too far, leaving the honeycomb with too dark a flavour and colour. This time I monitored the temperature closely and took the caramel off the heat at exactly the right time. Setting the honeycomb aside, I made the crème pâtissiére, which I’ve tried a few times here and seem to have got the hang of it now. The crème pâtissiére is added to the buttercream along with almond meal and some crushed honeycomb – giving you a fairly stiff cream. There wasn’t much in the way of crunch in the final product as the honeycomb breaks down fairly quickly, so I assume it’s added for the caramelised honey flavour. The cake mix is simple and works every time – it’s the assembly that challenges me.
ASSEMBLY: I put out a tea towel and dusted desiccated coconut over it before laying the cake on the towel. Zumbo recommends at this point that you leave the cake to cool, so I did. Once cool you are instructed to roll the cake, then unroll it and fill it. Well, it cracked. I have tried swiss rolls before and never succeeded in rolling a cake without it cracking. I was so disappointed that I decided it wasn’t worth making the glaze and finishing it as Zumbo had suggested. Instead, I spread the cracked cake with the buttercream, rolled it back up, and then spread the outside with the same buttercream, before sprinkling it with chunks of honeycomb and blowing some metallic dust over the finished cake.
IMPRESSION: This rolled cake was sweet! Great if you are a huge fan of honey, but I’m only a liker of honey, not a lover, and found it a bit much. The honey cake itself is perfectly light and balanced in flavour. My honeycomb also worked really well and had just the right amount of caramelisation, but I would only add it to the cake just before serving as it disintegrates quickly. I suspect it was the honeycomb / crème pâtissiére / buttercream combination that pushed the sweetness over the edge…
Recipe from Zumbo by Adriano Zumbo