Midnight Lotus Wedding Cake Recipe

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  • Gluten-free

makes:

Ingredients

  • To make a 20-cmx8-inch cake:
  • 8 large eggs, separated, plus 2 whole eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 400 g/2 cups packed dark muscovado sugar
  • 250 g/2½ cups ground almonds
  • 400 g/14 oz. good quality (70% cocoa solids) dark chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1½ tablespoons dark rum
  • For the whipped rum ganache
  • :
  • 150 g/5½ oz. good quality (70% cocoa solids) dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 150 ml/²⁄3 cup single cream
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 75 g/5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 100 g/¾ cup icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum, or to taste
  • To decorate:
  • Dark Modelling Chocolate (see page 23 of Victoria's book for recipe), plus a little extra for the lotus bases
  • a splash of dark rum
  • a cake drum 8 cm/3 inches larger than the base tier
  • 1.5-cm/¾-inch wide chocolate-brown satin ribbon
  • approx. 300 g/10½ oz. White Modelling Chocolate (see the book)
  • icing/confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
  • 1 quantity Royal Icing
  • clear alcohol (such as vodka)
  • 5–10 x 8-cm/3-inch square sheets of edible gold leaf
  • You will also need:
  • 2 x 20-cm/8-inch shallow square cake pans, greased and lined
  • a thin square cake board the same size as the cake
  • small, medium and large calyx cutters
  • a ball tool
  • a folding flower tray
  • an 8-cm/3-inch 5-pointed star cutter
  • a foam flower former
  • a piping bag fitted with
  • a small round nozzle
  • a paintbrush
  • a clean, dry brush

Method

  • To make the rum cake preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan)/325°F (300°F fan)/Gas 3

     

     

    In a large, spotlessly clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with the salt until they form stiff peaks. Set aside until needed

     

    In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, whole eggs and sugar to the ribbon stage – the mixture should be pale and mousse-like and leave a slowly disappearing ribbon on the surfaceof the mixture when the excess drips into the bowl from the beaters. This process will take a good few minutes with an electric whisk, so be patient

     

    Fold in the ground almonds, followed by the melted and cooled chocolate, being careful not to knock out any air from the mixture

     

    Finally, with a large metal spoon, fold the beaten egg whites into the batter. Be firm but gentle and don’t over-mix the batter or you’ll knock out the air in the cake – vital for both the correct texture and also the height of the cakes

     

    Pour the batter into your prepared cake pans and pop them in the preheated oven to bake for about 30–35 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean

     

    Once baked, place the warm cakes, still in their pans, on a wire rack and stab them all over with a skewer. Drizzle the dark rum over the cakes, then leave to cool in the pans before turning out

     

     

  • To make the whipped rum ganache, put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and pour the cream into a small saucepan set over a gentle heat. Once the cream scalds, pour it over the chocolate and leave for a minute before stirring in with a rubber spatula until all the chocolate has melted. Stir in the salt, then leave to cool

    Whisk the butter until soft, then sift over half of the icing sugar and whisk again until well combined. Sift over the remaining icing sugar and again, whisk thoroughly, then add the rum and whisk a final time

    Pour the cooled chocolate mixture over the rum buttercream and whisk until well combined. Taste for rum, adding a little more if you want to, but not too much, or the filling may not set properly. Pop the filling in the fridge for an hour to set, but whisk it again before using

     

     

  • Level the cakes, if necessary, then attach one of the cakes to the cake board with a small blob of ganache. Sandwich the cakes together with half of the ganache, then spread the remaining ganache over the top and sides of the cake with a palette knife and leave to set.

     

  • To decorate cover your 3 cake tiers and the cake drum with modelling chocolate, brushing the cakes with a little dark rum first to help it stick (modelling chocolate can be used to cover cakes in the same way as sugar paste – refer to pages 26 and 28–30 of Victoria’s book for full instructions)

    Rod and stack the cake, then ribbon the cake and the cake drum

    To make a large lotus flower for the top of the cake, knead a piece of white modelling chocolate until pliable and roll it out on a surface dusted with icing/confectioners’ sugar. Stamp out 2 calyxs from each size cutter. Use a ball tool to roll from the centre of each calyx out to the edge, to shape the petals and make them more delicate. Use your finger and thumb to pinch the ends to keep the lotus petals pointed

    Place the 6 calyxs in the small holes of a folding flower tray. Using a ball tool, gently press in the centre of 1 large, 1 medium and 1 small calyx to raise their petals, so they set fairly upright. Leave the remaining 3 calyxs to set as they are, so their petal edges set at a lower angle

    Using the star cutter, stamp out 2 stars from the rolled-out white chocolate. With the ball tool, roll from their centres out, ensuring, again, that the tips of the stars remain pointed. Leave them in a foam flower former to set

    Repeat steps 3–5 twice more, so you have petals for 3 large lotus flowers for the top of the cake

    For a small flower for the side of the cake, follow step 3, but cut out 3 medium and 3 small calyxs. Place them in the folding flower tray and use the ball tool to shape them so that the petals of each size calyx dry at 3 slightly different angles, which will allow them to be stacked

    Repeating step 7, prepare enough calyxs for 7–8 small flowers for the sides of the cake. (You could also make a few extra in case any petals break off as you are assembling the flowers!)

    Once all the petal pieces have set, you can start to stack them to create the flowers. Spoon the royal icing into the piping bag

    For a large flower, take one of the stars from the flower former and pipe a blob of icing in the centre, then set a second star on top so that the points fall between those of the first. Continue to stack the flower, adding the calyxs in descending size order, with the calyx with the less-upright petals first, affixing each one with a blob of icing. When the last calyx has been added, press down in the centre of the flower with a ball tool to ensure they are firmly secured, then leave to set. Repeat for the remaining large flowers

    Repeat step 10 to make the small flowers, starting with the medium calyx with the least- upright petals first. When all the petals are stacked, press down with a ball tool to secure firmly. Repeat until you have constructed all of the lotus flowers

    Next, gild the cake. Before you start, close the windows and/or turn off any fans as you need a still atmosphere to create the best results. Using the paintbrush dipped in alcohol, gently dampen the area of the cake you want to gild

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