If you aren’t the mainstream type, then go for this special wedding cake. The inventor of this amazing delicious creature, a personal version of the latest bridal trend, calls it the “naked” cake. She skips the traditional fondant icing for mascapone seasonal berries. Frances Quinn claims that for the preparation and cooking you will need around five hours but it is worthy as it is for such a special event, like wedding.?
For the lemon cakes
1.375 kg slightly salted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing (buy 6 x 250 g packs)
1.375 kg golden caster sugar
21 large eggs
2 tbsp vanilla extract
1.375 kg self-raising flour
210 g ground almonds
zest 21 large lemons, plus 10 tbsp lemon juice
For the lemon & mint syrup
600 g golden caster sugar
700 ml lemon juice (use the lemons from the cake mixture)
large bunch fresh mint, leaves torn
For the filling
2 kg mascarpone
2 x 325 jars good-quality lemon curd
For the decoration
1 kg raspberries
icing sugar, for dusting
roughly 1.2 kg mixed berries and cherries (we used strawberries, cherries, blueberries, blackberries and redcurrants)
a few mint leaves
assortment of unsprayed flowers (see tip, below)
You’ll also need
30 cm deep cake tin
20 cm deep cake tin
10 cm deep cake tin
sewing cotton, for cutting cake
20 cm and 10 cm thin cake boards
about 20 plastic straws
2 large wire racks
large cake stand or board
flower tape or kitchen foil
To make the cakes. Heat oven to 170 C/150 C fan/gas 3. For the bottom tier, grease a deep 30 cm cake tin with butter, then line the base and sides with a double layer of baking parchment.
Using an electric whisk, cream 400 g of the butter with 400 g of caster sugar. Whisk 6 eggs in a jug with ½ tbsp of the vanilla, then gradually add to the creamed butter, beating between additions. Once combined, sift in 400 g of the flour, and mix in 60g of ground almonds and add the zest of 6 lemons. Gently stir in 3 tbsp of the lemon juice.
Scrape into the prepared cake tin and level the top with a spatula. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 1 hr. Don’t worry if the top looks a little dark, as this will become the base. The cake is ready when the surface feels springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside to cool in the tin for 30 mins, then turn out on to a large wire rack, or use 2 smaller wire racks pushed together.
To make a middle tier, line a deep 20 cm cake tin as before, and make the cake following the method in step 2, using 4 eggs and 250 g each of sugar, flour and butter. Add the zest of 4 lemons, 40 g ground almonds, 1 tsp of vanilla extract and 1½ tbsp of lemon juice. Bake for 50 mins, testing as before.
For the top tier, use a deep 10 cm cake tin and make the cake following the method as before, using 1 egg, 75 g each of sugar, flour and butter, 10 g ground almonds, the zest of 1 lemon, 1 tsp vanilla and ½ tsp lemon juice. Bake for 30 mins.