This Valentines Day will mark the 1 year anniversary of working with the fabulous food team from The Pretty Blog, Nicola and Tasha. I wrote my first post for TPB exactly one year ago for a dark chocolate tart with fresh berries, and we felt so exhilarated with the results of our very first picture!But more importantly, this year on the 14th of February I’ll also be celebrating my 9th wedding anniversary.
So many great things have happened in my life over the past year, and I am so very thankful for the overwhelming support and love from my family! One year ago, I was still struggling to get to grips with my choice to make a complete career change from the music management industry to the food industry as a writer and recipe developer.
Things weren’t always easy and I (we) had to make a lot of sacrifices. One year later, I am so excited about where I’m heading, with extremely exciting projects lined up for 2013 and 2014. But the biggest thing that I have learnt over the past year, is how important my husband and my little daughter are to me, and how very lucky I am to have them both in my life.If there was ever an angel, it is my husband, Schalk.
We have been together for 13 years, and he has been my absolute rock. These days it is very rare to find a love that is so complete and so full of joy, friendship and adventure. I love him even more today than the day we got married.
In a large mixing bowl, sift flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, salt and cornflour.
In another large mixing bowl, beat/whisk egg whites until foamy, then gradually add the caster sugar while whisking continuously, until you reach medium peak stage (between soft peaks and stiff peaks). Add the almond essence and whisk for a few seconds.
Add dry ingredients to egg whites, then fold in gently with a metal spoon until the mixture is smooth. Pour into an ungreased 24 cm loose bottomed angel cake pan or ring pan (I used a normal loose bottomed cake pan and placed a drinking glass in the middle to create the distinctive angel cake hole).
Bake for 35-40 minutes until done, then remove from the oven and leave in the pan to cool for 5-10 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack. Cool completely.
For the chocolate ganache:
Break chocolate into small blocks into a glass mixing bowl.
On the stove top in a small sauce pan, bring the cream to a boil, then quickly remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate.
Leave to melt for 2-3 minutes, then stir gently until the mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool to the desired consistency while filling the cake with the banana cream (I love a slightly more spreadable ganache, but you can also drizzle it over the cake white it is still a bit warm and slightly runny).
For the banana cream:
In a mixing bowl, add the cream, sugar and vanilla. Whip the mixture with a whisk or electric beaters, until it is stiff enough to hold shape (don’t over-beat!)
Add the mashed banana, then fold it into the cream. Use a sharp knife to cut the cake horizontally in 2 layers, then fill generously with the banana cream and carefully put the top layer back in place. Then spread/drizzle the top with the white chocolate ganache.
While the Northern Hemisphere is stashing away thick coats and umbrellas, swopping hot chocolate for ice lollies as it gets ready for Spring time, over in South Africa we are also celebrating the concept of new life over Easter.