Anuska creates a light Genoise Sponge with a rich Date Molasses Buttercream and Plum Syrup.
Preheat oven to 160C.
For the Date Molasses Buttercream, bring a medium saucepan, half filled with water, to a simmer. Place the sugar and egg whites into a medium bowl and place over the saucepan, ensuring the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Place over a medium heat and whisk continuously until the sugar dissolves.
When sugar is completely dissolved, transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whisk until the mixture has cooled slightly and stiff peaks have formed.
Add the butter, one piece at a time, and whisk until buttercream is smooth and fluffy. Add the vanilla seeds and date molasses and whisk until combined. Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle and set aside in the fridge until required.
For the Genoise Sponge, return the saucepan of water to a simmer. Lightly spray of a 32cm x 22cm x 3cm baking tray with canola oil spray and line the base with baking paper. Set aside.
Place the eggs and sugar into a medium bowl and place over the saucepan of simmering water. Using an electric hand whisk, whisk until very light and fluffy and almost tripled in volume. Whisk in the vanilla seeds.
Remove the bowl from the heat. Sift the flour twice then gently fold into the egg mixture.
Immediately pour into the prepared tray and bake until sponge springs back when lightly pressed in the centre, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
For the Plum Syrup, cut the plums in half and discard the stone. Chop the flesh into cubes and place into a small saucepan with the sugar, vanilla bean, vanilla seeds, mint leaf and 50ml water.
Place over a low heat and cook until plums break down, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean and transfer the contents of the saucepan into a blender. Process until smooth then pass through a fine sieve into a small bowl. Set aside.
To assemble the cakes, using a 6cm round cutter, cut 12 rounds from the sponge. Using a 1.5cm round cutter, cut and remove the centre from each round of cake. Reserve 4 centres. Position 6cm round x 8cm high ring moulds into the centre of four serving plates. Place a layer of sponge into each mould and brush with a little Plum Syrup.
Pipe a ring of Date Molasses Buttercream over the sauce. Repeat layering with another ring of sponge, sauce and buttercream and finish with a layer of sponge. Fill the centre of each cake with Plum Syrup until it reaches the base of the top layer of sponge, leaving a little syrup for the tops of the cakes. Fill the cavity with a smaller round of sponge and cover with a layer of Date Molasses Buttercream. Level the surface with a small offset spatula. Place the cakes into the freezer for 5-10 minutes to set.
Remove from the freezer and lift the ring moulds from the cakes. Spread a thin layer of Plum Syrup over the top of each cake.
Serve at room temperature, garnished with thin slices of fresh plum and baby mint leaves.