29 April 2011

Bake & Decorate

Today was the Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. (I am sure that you forgot and are just now amazed that it happened without you. Never fear, it is being shown over and over and over again throughout today ad probably for the next few months.)

Still, it is only fitting and proper that we feature a cookbook by the baker who is in charge of the Wedding Cake. Fiona Cairns has written a a lovely little baking book called Bake & Decorate. The Book came put before she got the Royal gig, so in true marketing fashion, she will be releasing a new book just in time for Christmas.

Here is Fiona with finished Wedding Cake.

This cake adorns the cover of Bake & Decorate. Care to speculate what is on the cover of the next book?

Pansy Wreath Cake

175g unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the tin
175g self-raising flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
175g golden caster sugar
the zest, finely grated, and juice of
1 large unwaxed lemon

For the topping

the juice of 1 large lemon
100g white granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Lightly butter an 18cm, 7.5cm deep, round springform tin and line the base and sides with baking parchment. Sift the flour with a pinch of salt into a bowl and set aside.

Melt the butter in a small pan and set aside to cool slightly. Using an electric whisk or mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together until very light and fluffy (about five minutes). Blend in the melted butter; then very gently fold in the flour and zest. Finally, slowly fold in the juice.

Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the cake springs back to the touch, or a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Meanwhile, make the crunchy topping by mixing the juice and sugar together. Immediately the cake comes from the oven, prick tiny holes all over it with a fine skewer or cocktail stick. Pour the lemon syrup evenly all over the surface. Leave to cool completely in the tin.

To decorate

150g icing sugar, sifted
purple food colour
20-25 crystallised small violas and pansies
50g bag white royal icing

Place the cake upside down on your serving plate or cake stand. Tip the icing sugar into a small bowl and add 1½-2 tablespoons of water and a tiny amount of purple food colour. The icing should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Spoon it over the cake and allow it to drizzle down the sides. Arrange the violas and pansies in a circle, using the royal icing to affix them, if you like, then place a few in the middle of the cake.

Check out Prince William's cake here.

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