On Thursday night, seven members of The Melbourne Cake Club met at Lady Grange in St Kilda to celebrate Springtime and eat cake.
My cake was a Strawberry Cream Cake decorated with a flower and spring-coloured decorations.
The recipe for my cake came from Christine McConnell's Deceptive Desserts, which was a birthday present this year. The book is gorgeous and the cakes spookily sensational. However, I am largely going to use the book for its unusual cake and icing recipes, as there is very little guidance in the book as to how to go about assembling Christine's detailed creations. The cake layers contain fresh strawberries and strawberry jelly crystals:
as does the icing:
Instead of decorating my cake as in the book, I left the strawberry icing as the outer layer, and stuck non-pariels over the top of the cake, and positioned coloured cachous around the outer edge. I finished it off with a sugar rose:
This is what the finished cake looks like inside:
To make the strawberry cream cake, you will need:
2 1/2 cups plain flour (I used gluten free flour)
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 tablespoons strawberry jelly crystals
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk (I used 1 cup milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice in it)
2/3 cup chopped fresh strawberries
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease and line 3 x 9" cake tins.
Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined. Add the melon juice and vanilla and beat well.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, jelly crystals, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mix and buttermilk to the cake batter alternately, starting and ending with flour, and beat on low speed until combined. Fold in the strawberries by hand with a rubber spatula.
Divide the batter evenly between the three cake tins and bake for 35-45 minutes or until cooked through. Allow the cakes to cool in their tins for 10 minutes before unmoulding and immediately wrapping in cling film, and refrigerate until chilled.
For the icing:
1 cup fresh strawberries
250g softened butter
4 cups icing sugar (I accidentally only used 3 and it worked fine)
2 tablespoons strawberry jelly crystals
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
Hull the strawberries and blend to a puree in a food processor. Put the puree in a small saucepan and simmer over medium heat until reduced by half.
Cream the butter in a stand mixer, then add the icing sugar, 1 cup at a time, until well combined. Add the jelly crystals, vanilla and salt and beat well. Add the cooled strawberry reduction and beat until combined.
Decorate the cakes as you want to!
The other array of springtime cakes at The Melbourne Cake Club were:
Lavender Marble Cake by Judy
Mango Coconut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting by Nicole
Orange Blossom Cake by Abi
Ricotta Cheesecake by Sue
Vanilla Cake with Blueberries and Lemon by Karen
White Chocolate Cake with Rose Flavoured White Chocolate Buttercream and Modelling Chocolate Roses by Dalya.
If you are in Melbourne and would like to join The Melbourne Cake Club, you can - our Facebook page is here and our Meetup page is here. We meet on the second Thursday night of each month from 8pm to 9.30pm at various venues.