How to make a number cake, with a sweet shortcrust pastry, strawberries and diplomat cream (for a cake of about 6 slices)
Shortbread crust :
- 250 g flour - all-purpose
- 80 g powdered sugar
- 40 g almond meal
- 1 pinch of salt
- 125 g cold butter
- 1 egg
- 250 ml semi-skimmed milk
- 1 vanilla pod
- 40 g egg yolks (about 3)
- 60 g granulated sugar
- 20 g cornstarch
- 2 sheets of gelatin
- 250 ml heavy cream - full fat and cold
- In a large bowl place the flour with the powdered sugar, almond meal and pinch of salt.
- Add the cold butter pieces and mix with your fingertips until you have a sandy mixture.
- Then add the egg and gather the mixture until it forms a ball of dough.
- Cover on contact with plastic wrap and let rest for at least 20 minutes in the fridge.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out on 2 sheets of parchment paper to a thickness of 3-4 mm.
- Place the dough disc in the freezer for at least 10 minutes, then peel it off the 2 sheets of baking paper.
- Place the cold disc of dough on a silicone baking mat or a sheet of parchment paper and place the paper pattern in the center, sticking well to the dough.
- Using a knife, cut along the outline of the paper pattern.
- Remove the excess dough, then gently peel off the paper pattern.
- Repeat the last step to cut out the second cake number.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C and bake the 2 dough numbers for about 10-12 minutes, until they are lightly browned on top.
- Let them cool completely.
- Bring the milk to a boil with the vanilla bean, cut in half and scraped out, and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, rehydrate the gelatin leaves in a small bowl of cold water.
- In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar and cornstarch for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Remove the vanilla bean from the milk and pour it into the bowl containing the egg yolks while whisking.
- Transfer the mixture to the saucepan and heat over medium heat while whisking constantly until the cream thickens, at the first boil continue to heat for another 2 minutes and then remove from heat.
- Add the gelatin, previously wrung out, and mix vigorously to incorporate it.
- Pour the pastry cream into a large baking dish and cover with plastic wrap, then place in the refrigerator until cool.
- In a bowl, whip the cold heavy cream with an electric mixer until stiff.
- In another bowl, whip the cold pastry cream with a whisk to loosen it, then gently fold in the whipped cream with a spatula until you have a smooth, firm diplomat cream.
Assembling the number cake
- Place a first layer of shortcrust on a large plate or cake board.
- Using a piping bag filled with diplomat cream, pipe balls of the same diameter to cover the entire cake number.
- Gently pipe the second layer to cover the first one and again pipe diplomat cream with the piping bag.
- Decorate with the strawberry pieces, then the macarons and finish with the small meringue cookies.
- Place the number cake in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Storage: Place the number cake in the refrigerator in a storage box or under cling film for 1-2 days.
- Prep Time: 40 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: dessert, cake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: number cake, lette cake, alphabet cake