Royal wedding cake revealed: Layered lemon and elderflower
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However, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding on May 19, 2018, was a glorious day, and their wedding cake which they served at the wedding reception broke all the rules. Claire Ptak created a lemon elderflower masterpiece for the royal wedding in 2018. Ptak, who was raised in California and now owns Violet Cakes in London, was selected to bake it. Many were surprised the couple chose a lemon elderflower cake for their Windsor Castle reception since most royal wedding cakes are traditionally fruit cakes. But Harry and Meghan broke from tradition to choose a spring-inspired cake covered in buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers. Meghan had previously interviewed Chef Ptak on her lifestyle blog ‘The Tig’, prior to becoming a royal.
For the cake
450g unsalted butter, at room temperature
450g caster sugar
Four unwaxed lemons, zest only
Eight large free-range eggs
300g self-raising flour, sifted
20g ground almonds
Four tbsp elderflower cordial
fresh flowers, to decorate
fresh fruit, to decorate
For the drizzle
100ml elderflower cordial
One unwaxed lemon, juice only
For the buttercream
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
500g icing sugar, sifted
75ml double cream
Four tbsp elderflower cordial
Preheat the oven to 200C, and grease and base-line three 20cm loose-bottomed round cake tins with baking paper.
Put the butter, sugar, salt, and lemon zest into a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy.
Gradually beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding a spoonful of flour occasionally to prevent the mixture from splitting.
Fold in the remaining flour and the ground almonds, then fold in the elderflower cordial.
Divide the mixture equally between the three tins and bake for 20–25 minutes until risen and golden.
To test that the cakes are cooked, insert a cocktail stick or skewer into the centre, and if it comes out clean the cakes are ready.
Transfer the tins to a wire rack and use a skewer to pierce holes all over the surface of the sponges.
Mix together the elderflower cordial and lemon juice and spoon over the sponges.
Leave to soak and cool in the tins for 30 minutes, then turn out and leave to cool completely.
Meanwhile, to make the buttercream, beat the butter with a mixer until soft.
Gradually beat in the icing sugar until pale and fluffy, then beat in the cream and elderflower cordial.
Put a spoonful of buttercream onto a cake stand, then lay one of the sponges on top.
Spread the sponge with a little of the buttercream then lay a second sponge on top.
Repeat the layering process then spoon the remaining buttercream on top of the cake.
Use a palette knife to spread the buttercream over the tops and sides of the cake in an even layer.
Finally, turn the cake whilst holding a palette knife down the side to scrape away some of the buttercream so the sponge is visible underneath.
Decorate with fruit and fresh flowers, and then your cake fit for a royal wedding will be ready to serve.
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