Spring has arrived!
Yes, there is still a nip in the air, but I’m not letting that get in the way of my Easter merriment.
It’s been a while since I’ve had an order for a celebration cake (the most recent was last May for the lovely Ali Williams’ wedding) so I was keen to whip up something special to keep my skills honed. As with most of the ‘big’ cakes I do, I like to try out something new each time. For this cake, it was to use buttercream frosting to ice the whole cake, instead of the usual fondant. This was attempted with mixed success – not such a piece of cake, after all!
Firstly, I decided on a huge, towering, beast of a cake. Two deep 7-inch lemon sponge cakes, each cut in half and stacked together, deliciously sandwiched with lashings of fresh lemon and lemon curd buttercream. Wowza. One slice of this cake would be enough to feed a battalion of hungry egg-hunters.
I plumped for a lemon sponge over chocolate, because for me, lemon is such a beautifully fresh and zingy flavour. It says ‘spring’ (and summer, for that matter) to me in a way that stodgy chocolate just does not. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good chocolate smorgasbord over Easter. But this cake needed to be fresh!
The idea behind the design was that the cake should resemble a speckled egg. Delicate, pastel green buttercream expertly flecked with a cocoa and vanilla mix. On top, sits a little nest of sugar eggs, each coloured soft, pastel blues and pinks.
The buttercream frosting was…ok. I did a crumb coat (a thin layer of buttercream over the cake, then popped in the fridge for half an hour to harden. This stops any pesky crumbs sticking to your nice top coat frosting) and then dolloped spoonfuls of the stuff all over the cake. I smoothed it off with my pallet knife, but this was not that easy. As you can see, getting the frosting completely even over the cake takes some practise. Mine has a few un-streamlined, wobbly lines, but as this cake was for a relaxed, family Sunday together, I embraced its imperfect character. In fact, as I recently found out from my latest trip to the Devon farm, hen’s eggs can be really quite wobbly and bumpy, not just the perfect, smooth oval we find in the shops.
So, although not the greatest of lookers, the speckled egg cake did its job as a lovely centrepiece for an Easter Sunday celebration. The cake was in good company, as the family home was adorned with beautiful spring decorations and fresh flowers; a feast for the eyes as well as the tastebuds.
Finally, for those of you who are interested, Tim, not satisfied with traditional egg-hunting strategies, engaged in drone-flying to search out (
and destroy) any unsuspecting eggs.
So concludes a glorious Easter day!