Summer’s here (In case you didn’t get the memo) and while it’s looking distinctly like another classic washout, hopefully in true stoic British style you’re pretending the sun has got his hat on and getting those pasty limbs out anyway 🙂 So regardless of the ever unreliable forecast, gather your friends and celebrate anyway. And let’s face it, what better excuse than a country in turmoil than to eat cake?
So, get the bbq stoked and have a go at my Summer Garden Cake. Don’t be put off buy it’s size, this cake will definitely deliver on taste as well as taking centre stage and while there are several elements to its making, they’re all actually pretty simple. Hurrah!
Inspired by Eton Mess, this isn’t a cake built for perfect slicing – I recommend a large knife and you’ll just have to go for it. I doubt it will last long anyway so no one will remember the fallout…
If you’re planning a more moderate affair just halve the meringue recipe and just finish off your two layers of sponge with the meringue top.
Lastly, I urge you to make like you’re on holiday in Italy by treating yourself to a bottle of Limoncello then add a good splash (about 2 tbsps or to taste 😉 to your lemon cream filling and treat your guests to an apératif to accompany their slice…
For a printable recipe click here…
Summer Garden Cake
200g butter, softened
200g caster sugar
200g self-raising flour
50g ground almonds
2 eggs & 2 yolks
3 large egg whites
180g caster sugar
600ml double cream
200g clotted cream
4 heaped tbsp lemon curd
10g caster sugar
squeeze of lemon juice
250g strawberries, a few halved for the top, the rest sliced for the inside
Optional: edible flowers eg violas, pansies, rose petals, cornflowers, borage
- Line the base of 2 loose-bottomed 20cm cake tins with baking paper and grease the sides. Pre-heat the oven to 160C/140C fan/ gas 4
- Add the sponge ingredients (except the blackberries) to a bowl then beat together until well combined. Stir in the blackberries and divide the batter between the tins. Bake for 30-40 mins or until a skewer comes out clean. Turn the sponges onto a cooling wire and set aside.
- Reduce oven temp to 120C/100C fan/gas 2. For the meringue, draw 2 x 18cm circles on baking paper and place on baking sheets. Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks have formed. Gradually add the sugar, 1 tbsp at a time and continue whisking until stiff peaks have formed. Put 1/2 the meringue into each circle and spread evenly. Peak the top of one meringue with the back of a spoon.
- Bake for 1.5 to 2 hrs. Turn off the oven and leave inside to cool completely.
- While the meringue is cooling make the strawberry puree by blending together the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice. Sieve to remove any seeds.
- Just before assembling the cake prepare the lemon cream – whip the double cream until soft peaks then stir in the clotted cream and lemon curd.
- To assemble the cake, lay one of the sponges on a cake stand, spread with 1/3 of the lemon cream and scatter over some sliced strawberries, a few blackberries and blueberries and drizzle over some strawberry puree. Top with the flat meringue, then repeat with the lemon cream, fruit and puree. Add the second layer of sponge and then again repeat with a last layer of cream fruit and puree.
- Finish with the peaked layer of meringue and decorate the top with the halved strawberries, the remaining blueberries and blackberries and a scattering of edible flowers.