It's time for your cake-making skills to get fancy without things becoming too tricky. Say hello to Raspberry & Lemon Curd Cream Cakes. Decorated with beautiful little fondant roses and raspberries, these cakes look oh-so elegant and because of that, they look more complicated than they actually are. Check out the recipe below and get your baking hat on if you're ready to wow your friends and family with these little beauties.
Utensils: heatproof bowl, small saucepan, hand whisk, 2 baking trays (33cm x 25cm in size), baking paper, large mixing bowl, electric hand or stand mixer with whisk attachment, sieve, large metal spoon, wire cooling rack(s), square cookie cutter ( around 5-6cm in size) or ruler and sharp knife, rolling pin, large rounded piping tip (I used a Tala P6 tip but you could use any other piping tip of your choice), large disposable or washable piping bag, small palette knife.
Top Tip: For your own sanity, please do not attempt to make these cakes when it is 30°C outside. You will not have a fun time and the cream will melt and make your cakes look saggy and sad. Yes, I did learn this the hard way. Wait for a cooler day (e.g. low 20s would be fine) and try to keep your cakes nice and cool in the fridge until ready to serve. Decorate at last minute if you can to ensure the fondant roses don't go soggy and the raspberries don't leak juice over the cream.
100g unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
Zest and juice of 4 unwaxed lemons
3 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
30g cornflour, mixed with a little water to form a smooth paste
50g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
4 large eggs
150g caster sugar
A drop or two of pink food colouring (this may vary dependent on the strength of your food colouring and what colour cakes you want to produce)
25g freeze-fried raspberry powder
60g plain flour (ensure gluten-free if required)
1 teaspoon baking powder (ensure gluten-free if required)
Raspberry-Lemon Whipped Cream
500ml double cream
Half of the lemon curd
250g ready to roll pink fondant
Enough raspberries for you to add 2 to each cake top (e.g. if you make 14 cakes you'll need 28 raspberries)
Makes: 12 - 18 cakes, dependent on the size of your cake squares
1. Make the lemon curd: Put the butter, sugar, lemon zest and juice into a heatproof bowl and sit the bowl over a small saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl.
2. Stir the mixture frequently until all of the butter has melted, then lightly whisk the eggs and egg yolk and stir them into the lemon mixture. Whisk using a hand whisk until all of the ingredients are well combined, then leave to cook for 10-13 minutes, stirring every now and again, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
3. Mix the cornflour with a little water to form a smooth paste and then pour into the lemon curd mixture whilst still on the heat, whisking vigorously as you go. Once the curd has visibly thickened, cook for 1 further minute and the remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.
4. Make the raspberry sponge: Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan). Grease and line 2 baking trays (33cm x 25cm in size). Melt and cool the unsalted butter.
5. Put the eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl and whisk using an electric hand or stand mixer until the mixture is very pale and thick and the whisk leaves a trail on the surface when lifted. This will take about five minutes with a stand mixer and a little longer with a hand mixer. Add 1-2 drops of pink food colouring (the quantity needed may vary dependent on the strength of your food colouring and what colour cakes you want to produce) to the egg mixture and whisk again quickly to combine.
6. Sift the cornflour, flour, freeze-dried raspberry powder and baking powder over the egg mixture and carefully fold in using a large metal spoon. Then fold in the melted butter until just combined, don't overmix.
7. Split the cake mixture evenly between your two baking tins and bake for about 15 minutes until the sponge is golden-brown and has just started to shrink away from the sides of the tin. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
8. Make the raspberry-lemon whipped cream: Whip the double cream using an electric hand or stand mixer until soft peaks form. Then, add the raspberries and half of the lemon curd to the cream and beat until well combined. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge until ready to use.
9. Cut the cake squares: Clear your work station and lay down a large sheet of baking paper on one side of your station. Trim the edges of both raspberry sponges so that all of the sides are even. Using a square cookie cutter around 5-6cm in size, cut as many squares as you can out of your raspberry sponges. Arrange your squares in pairs sitting next to each other on the baking paper (I don't recommend stacking them as they can become a bit sticky and hard to separate later on). Count how many pairs of sponge squares you have. This will tell you how many fondant roses you need to make and how many raspberries you'll need for decoration. Cover the sponge squares with another large sheet of baking paper until you're ready to assemble the cakes.
10. Make the fondant roses: Roll out a third of the fondant at a time (this ensures the fondant doesn't dry up too much as you work) on a non-stick surface, lightly dusted with cornflour or icing sugar if needed. Use the large end of your piping tip to cut 8 rounds out of the fondant, then lightly roll over your 8 rounds of fondant in one direction only to elongate them.
11. Pick up one round of fondant and roll it up like a sausage to form a bud. Wrap the remaining seven rounds of fondant around the bud to make a rose. Bend and curl the edges of the petals as you add them to make them look more realistic. You may need to keep a little cup of water next to you as you do this to dip your fingers in to help the fondant rounds to stick together, though try to use only a very small amount of water at a time (otherwise you will end up with a sticky mess).
12. Repeat this process until you have enough roses to decorate the number of cakes you're making. Set the roses to one side in a cool area of your house and leave to dry for at least an hour.
13. As the roses are drying wash the raspberries you're using for decoration (you'll need to make sure you have 2 raspberries per cake) and leave them to dry.
14. Prepare your work station for cake assembly: Before starting to assemble your cakes, clear your work station and place your sponge squares uncovered on one side of your station. Remove the whipped cream from the fridge and scoop into a large piping bag fitted with a large round piping tip. Remove your remaining lemon curd from the fridge and place a small palette knife next to it. Finally, clear space in your fridge for the cakes to go if you're not serving them straight away, and prepare a baking tray lined with baking paper. If you plan to serve the cakes straight away, make sure your serving plate is clean and dry.
15. Assemble the cakes: Take one sponge square and pipe a dot of cream in each corner of the square. Fill the remaining spaces around the edges and in the middle of the square with more dots of cream and then set on your serving plate or baking tray.
16. Take the other sponge square and spread a generous amount of lemon curd on the underside of the square. Turn the square back over (so the lemon curd is on the bottom) and place on top of the first square. Pipe dots of cream in each corner of the top square and then fill the remaining spaces with more dots of cream. Repeat this process until you have used up all of your sponge squares.
17. If not serving straight away, assemble as above and then keep the cakes in the fridge until ready to serve. Just before serving, gently press one fondant rose into the top each of cake and place 2 raspberries in the top left and bottom right corners of the cake squares. Decorating at last minute ensures the fondant doesn't go soggy from being in the fridge and the raspberries don't leak juice over the cream.
18. Serve and wait for everyone to coo about how pretty your cakes are. Feel accomplished because your fondant roses rock and they weren't even that hard to make!
Storage: These cakes are best eaten on the day they are made. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days (bear in mind the fondant roses will go a bit soggy).