Bakewell Slice | Disney’s Hercules

This one is a proper twist on a pretty iconic baked good. My Hercules Greek Vase Bakewell slice brings together traditional Greek flavours with a classic British treat. A sweet and tangy honey and lemon curd sandwiched between delicious almond sponges. Zero to Hero? Nah, hero from the get go.

About the film:

Disney’s Hercules is a true childhood favourite of mine. The film was released the same year I was born: 1997. I watched it the second I was old enough to understand it and have loved it since.

Since the days of VHS, at least. Any VHS kids here? Now that was an era

Let me tell you, I ran that VHS to the point that it no longer worked. Just like I did with my copy of Lilo & Stitch.

Hercules (1997) is Disney’s adaptation of the story of Hercules (also known as Heracles) from Greek mythology. His beginning as a godly child born to Zeus and Hera; the turn of events as Hades tries to be rid of him due to the pending threat of Hercules prevailing over Hades’s plan to release the titans.

The film then focuses on Hercules’s youth as a demigod and his journey to becoming a true hero in order to return to Olympus as a god.

Written by Ron Clements and John Musker both of whom also directed alongside Don McEnery, Hercules boasts a real cast of talent. This includes the likes of Tate Donovan; Susan Egan, Rip Torn, James Woods, Samantha Eggar and Danny DeVito to name a few.

This film just has pure charm.

It’s funny and endearing and this version of Hercules is such a likeable character. Emphasis on this version… not all depictions are as favourable.

The thing with Greek mythology is… it tends to change depending on what you read or who you ask. There are adaptations after adaptations of the various stories but usually, the core details remain the same. With that being said, Greek mythology has always been a point of real interest and passion for me.

It’s something I always find my way back to. The fascination is never-ending.

Match Greek mythology with great animation and Gospel-style music and you have a winner in my eyes. Whoever came up with that combination just gets it. For me, Disney’s Hercules is a top-tier film of the classic Disney era. It has the most iconic soundtrack. Need I say more?

About the bake:

A fun film deserves a fun bake. I decided to mix cultural elements in a similar way that Hercules did: traditional greek flavours with a traditionally English baked good. Almond, lemon and honey are all used a lot in Greek dishes. Having chosen almond as the base of this bake, I went straight to the idea of a Bakewell slice. 

Traditionally, a Bakewell tart will include a layer of raspberry jam below the almond sponge, all neatly encased in a shortcrust pastry.

As this Bakewell slice is purely the almond sponge element, I’m not even sure whether I can call it a Bakewell slice… but we’re rolling with it. 

Instead of jam, I made a lemon and honey curd and sandwiched it between two layers of the almond sponge. No pastry. No jam. This is more like a traybake in many ways. I baked it in two tins, sandwiched it and then carved it into shape once cool. It was much easier that way. My first attempt involved baking everything already assembled and it just wasn’t as good.

No copyright infringement intended.

When it came to the look of this bake, I really wanted to celebrate the way Greek stories were captured in the form of pottery.

When you see pots and vases from Ancient Greece, you can see the scenes and events that are depicted on them. It’s a very cool way of recording history. 

I used a few drops of extra strong orange food colouring in the almond sponges in order to achieve that terracotta look. Piping on something like a Bakewell slice is much easier than trying to paint on it as the surface texture is so flakey. I’m not remotely on the same level as the artists that painted these pots and vases in Ancient Greek times so I opted for a much simpler (yet, still effective) method.

I used royal icing for the piping as lots of Bakewells are topped with icing when made. I also opted for a much simpler design than a full on painting of Hercules or an intricate scene involving him.

Piping Hercules’s medallion meant that I could tie the design right to the film and also have an impact with the overall look of the bake. The medallion is the one his father, Zeus, gives him as a baby and sports a set of clouds with a lightning bolt.

Top Tips:

  • The almond sponges are really soft and easily breakable so handle with care.
  • Carve pieces of the sponges away a little at a time as the sponges are so soft. You could risk breaking off too much otherwise.
  • Be generous with your curd filling. It really is delicious.
  • Using a cocktail stick to ‘edit’ your designs after piping will really help neaten it up.

The rest of the design includes some of the traditional patterns you see throughout Ancient Greek artifacts. Well, an attempt at one of the patterns. Perfection isn’t key here. Just fun and celebration!

The lemon and honey curd is a recipe by Cookie & Kate: I simply adjusted the measurements based on my own preferences and what I thought would work best with the flavours of the almond sponges.

This (sort of?) Bakewell slice is absolutely delicious and something for all of the family to enjoy. It’s quirky but it works and I hope you love it.

Happy baking, happy eating!

Ingredients:

Curd:

  • 60g [2 oz] unsalted butter (cubed)
  • 100ml [4.75 oz] runny honey
  • 4 egg yolks from large eggs
  • 2 large eggs
  • Zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
  • 60ml [2.1 oz] fresh lemon juice (from around 3 good sized lemons)

Bakewell slice sponges:

  • 400g [14 oz] unsalted butter
  • 400g [2 cups] caster sugar
  • 400g [4 ¼ cups] ground almonds
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • ½ to 1 tsp extra strong orange food colouring

Design:

  • 50g [½ cup] royal icing sugar
  • ½ tbsp water
  • ½ to 1 tsp black food dye

Serves: 8+

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Baking time: 25 – 30 minutes

Decorating time: 15 minutes

Method:

Curd:

  1. Make the curd first so it has time to set. Prepare a shallow dish for your curd to cool in and set aside.
  2. Begin by creaming the butter and honey together in a bowl until fluffy. Do this using a hand mixer or standing mixer.
  3. Continue to beat the mixture on a medium speed, adding the egg yolks one at a time until fully incorporated. Follow with the eggs, one at a time.
  4. Add the zest and the lemon juice and beat again. If it looks curdled at this point, don’t fret. This is normal.
  5. Pour your mixture into a medium-sized metal saucepan. Cook it over a low-medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Make sure to keep stirring while the cooking process is carried out. This can take 10 or so minutes.
  6. When the mixture starts to look smooth and shiny, increase the heat to medium. Keep cooking until your mixture has thickened and you feel resistance as you stir. It won’t look fully thickened yet – this will happen as it cools.
  7. When the mixture is trying to boil, keep it over the heat and keep stirring for a few seconds and then remove it from the heat. 
  8. Pour your curd into the shallow dish you prepared earlier and leave to cool. It will thicken quite quickly during this process.

Bakewell slice sponges:

  1. Start making your almond sponges. Preheat your oven to 180°C [350°F] or 160°C fan.
  2. Grease and line two 9×9 square tins with baking parchment/greaseproof paper and set aside.
  3. Cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated.
  5. Add the almond extract and ground almonds and beat again just until combined.
  6. Beat in the orange food colouring and adjust accordingly. It will darken during the baking process.
  7. Split the mixture evenly between two tins and bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when tested.
  8. Allow the layers to cool for 10 or so minutes in the tins before carefully lifting them out by the paper/parchment and placing onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Decoration:

  1. Once completely cool, carefully remove the paper and place your first layer on a cake stand/plate/board. Slather your curd over the first layer, leaving a border to prevent leakage when carving. 
  2. Place your second layer over the top and using a sharp or serrated knife, begin carving out your pot shape. If it is easier, start by carving away the four corners and then bit by bit, carve off pieces until you achieve the shape of the pot you desire. You shouldn’t be left with loads of bakewell.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the royal icing sugar, water and black food colouring. It will be thick but this makes it easier to pipe.
  4. Spoon the icing into a piping bag either with a pinpoint nozzle or very small hole you cut off at the end. The smaller the hole or nozzle, the thinner the pattern/design will be as you pipe.
  5. Pipe on your chosen design – using a cocktail stick to neaten it up if needed – then proceed to marvel at your delicious bake!

This wonderful ‘bakewell’ slice will last for at least 4 days in an airtight container. If you have any curd left over, this will last in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week but will freeze for up to 2 months. You can use it straight from the freezer as it doesn’t freeze solidly. Enjoy!

Recipe card:

Bakewell Slice | Disney’s Hercules

Laura – Flavour of the Film
Fresh twist on a Bakewell slice with lemon and honey curd, shaped and tinted to look like an Ancient Greek vase and decorated with icing, celebrating Disney's Hercules.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Decorating time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

Curd:

  • 60 g [2 oz] unsalted butter cubed
  • 100 ml [4.75 oz] runny honey
  • 4 egg yolks from large eggs
  • 2 large eggs
  • Zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
  • 60 ml [2.1 oz] fresh lemon juice from around 3 good sized lemons

Bakewell slice sponges:

  • 400 g [14 oz] unsalted butter
  • 400 g [2 cups] caster sugar
  • 400 g [4 ¼ cups] ground almonds
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • ½ to 1 tsp extra strong orange food colouring

Design:

  • 50 g [½ cup] royal icing sugar
  • ½ tbsp water
  • ½ to 1 tsp black food dye

Instructions
 

  • Make the curd first so it has time to set. Prepare a shallow dish for your curd to cool in and set aside.
  • Begin by creaming the butter and honey together in a bowl until fluffy. Do this using a hand mixer or standing mixer.
  • Continue to beat the mixture on a medium speed, adding the egg yolks one at a time until fully incorporated. Follow with the eggs, one at a time.
  • Add the zest and the lemon juice and beat again. If it looks curdled at this point, don’t fret. This is normal.
  • Pour your mixture into a medium-sized metal saucepan. Cook it over a low-medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Make sure to keep stirring while the cooking process is carried out. This can take 10 or so minutes.
  • When the mixture starts to look smooth and shiny, increase the heat to medium. Keep cooking until your mixture has thickened and you feel resistance as you stir. It won’t look fully thickened yet – this will happen as it cools.
  • When the mixture is trying to boil, keep it over the heat and keep stirring for a few seconds and then remove it from the heat.
  • Pour your curd into the shallow dish you prepared earlier and leave to cool. It will thicken quite quickly during this process.
  • Start making your almond sponges. Preheat your oven to 180°C [350°F] or 160°C fan.
  • Grease and line two 9×9 square tins with baking parchment/greaseproof paper and set aside.
  • Cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated.
  • Add the almond extract and ground almonds and beat again just until combined.
  • Beat in the orange food colouring and adjust accordingly. It will darken during the baking process.
  • Split the mixture evenly between two tins and bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when tested.
  • Allow the layers to cool for 10 or so minutes in the tins before carefully lifting them out by the paper/parchment and placing onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Once completely cool, carefully remove the paper and place your first layer on a cake stand/plate/board. Slather your curd over the first layer, leaving a border to prevent leakage when carving.
  • Place your second layer over the top and using a sharp or serrated knife, begin carving out your pot shape. If it is easier, start by carving away the four corners and then bit by bit, carve off pieces until you achieve the shape of the pot you desire. You shouldn’t be left with loads of bakewell.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the royal icing sugar, water and black food colouring. It will be thick but this makes it easier to pipe.
  • Spoon the icing into a piping bag either with a pinpoint nozzle or very small hole you cut off at the end. The smaller the hole or nozzle, the thinner the pattern/design will be as you pipe.
  • Pipe on your chosen design – using a cocktail stick to neaten it up if needed – then proceed to marvel at your delicious bake!

Notes

This wonderful ‘Bakewell’ slice will last for at least 4 days in an airtight container. If you have any curd left over, this will last in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week but will freeze for up to 2 months. You can use it straight from the freezer as it doesn’t freeze solidly. Enjoy!
Keyword bakewell, bakewell slice, disney, greek mythology, greek vase, hercules, lemon and honey curd, royal icing

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