As a surprise for my birthday next week, my brother dropped off a sweet treat outside my door to set-off the socially distanced celebrations to come. Matthew had lovingly baked me a Summer Fruits cake, decorated with fresh blackberries, strawberries, and delicately piped white-chocolate musical notations including multiple quavers 🎵 and a treble clef 🎼 .
A decadent treat for both the tastebuds and the eyes. I was so impressed with the detail and I couldn’t wait to try it. However, my mind was blown when I cut into it revealing vertical alternating layers of pale lemon sponge and tickled pink buttercream.
The surprise lifted my spirits and it tasted even better than it looked. The berry flavours kept the cake fresh and sweet and took me back to the warm, sun soaked days of August. I was so impressed and excited to learn about how it was constructed.
The recipe was inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi‘s Lemon and Blackcurrant Stripe Cake. You can find the recipe in his book
If you just want to try out this recipe, I found a breakdown on this website
My brother, Matt, said that the tip, that he thought made the biggest difference was “training the cake” before assembly. This involved rolling the cake in a Swiss roll like manner and leaving it to rest in this shape, before cutting or adding any icing. The book advises to let the sponge cool for five minutes and then roll the cake whilst it is still warm using a kitchen towel to aid the rotations. A Super tip!
Matt also explained that it was best to be gentle with the egg whites, there’s not much rise so make it as flat and even as possible in the baking tin before baking.
Matt also used a pizza cutter to divide the sponge into three equal rectangles. This technique left no harsh lines and allowed for precise shapes.
I am in awe of this cake and I’m over the moon he made it for me. I’m not sure if there will be any slices left though for Wednesday as it’s just too tasty to wait.
If you would like a musical treat next week. On Tuesday 10th November at 16:00 GMT you can tune into George’s online concert held at St Mary’s Perivale. It will be available to watch on either Vimeo or YouTube via this link.
George will present a program of music by Chopin, Enescu, and Rachmaninoff. Watch as his fingers dance over the keys and provoke thoughtful moments.