It was time to clean the refrigerator today. Long over due. You should have seen it. Separated eggs, bits of cake, one bread pudding, milk jam, a half eaten pear… Not pretty. I never throw away anything. I freeze and find ways to reuse but this was getting a little out of hand.
The milk jam that I made last week was almost gone. There were maybe four tablespoons left. The container looked so sad… More than half empty. I also had some sponge cake in the freezer and some unflavored simple syrup I used for the green tea opera cake. So I had all the elements for a cake; a tres leches kind of cake.
Many readers asked me what else I make with milk jam. Well, here is one use. Take leftover sponge, soak it really well with vanilla simple syrup, layer some milk jam in between, sprinkle some crushed cinnamon graham crackers and cover it all with meringue. That easy!
For the milk jam recipe, go here. For the sponge cake, go here. For the simple syrup, here. I didn’t have enough milk jam to make a large cake so I decided to make mini ones.
To Assemble the Cake
With a round cookie cutter that is about 3 inches wide, cut 4 disks out of the sponge cake. Then cut these disks horizontally into three layers. So we will have 4 mini cakes with 3 layers of cake each.
Place four cake layers in front of you. With a small pastry brush, soak the layers of cake with the simple syrup. Spread a thin layer of milk jam on top. Place another layer of cake on top of the milk jam, soak with simple syrup, more milk jam and top with the last layer of sponge cake. Press the top layer down gently so the cake is somewhat even. It doesn’t really matter if it’s not because it will be covered in meringue and you will not be able to see if the layers are perfect.
50 grams egg whites
100 grams sugar
To finish it all, I made some Italian meringue and burned it with the blow torch. For the meringue I don’t ever use a recipe per se. All you need to remember is one part of egg whites and two parts of sugar.
Place the sugar in a saucepan with a little bit of water. Not much, enough to make a slush. Cook the sugar to 240 degrees F or also known as soft ball stage. While the sugar is cooking, start whipping your egg whites which should be light and fluffy by the time your sugar reaches soft ball stage. Turn the mixer to low speed and slowly add the sugar to the egg whites in a slow stream. When all the sugar has been added, turn the mixer back to high speed and whip until the meringue is fully whipped, nice and shiny and the bottom of the bowl has cooled down.
With a small spatula, ice the mini cakes with the meringue and burn it with a blow torch or under a broiler. It’s like marshmallow!!!