The occasion was the visit to Sydney of Quirky Nieces 1 and 3. So afternoon tea was in order. I am fascinated by naked cakes, and the technique of “less is more”. I love the chance to practise naked icing. I still need lots of practice, as my icing is more rustic than naked!
The cake I created was Strawberry and Raspberry Naked Layer Cake. Three layers of vanilla butter cake, sandwiched with berry jam, fresh strawberries and raspberry fondant buttercream. The cake was “naked” iced with more raspberry fondant buttercream and then decorated.
Not that difficult either! I made the vanilla cake with the one bowl method. The buttercream was made with the addition of raspberry fondant creme, readily obtainable at cake making supply stores. It’s actually used to make the filling for homemade chocolates, but microwaved carefully, can be added to buttercream for flavour and colour. Icing and decorating can take as little or long as you like, depending on how fancy you want to go.
250g self-raising flour
250g caster sugar
4 large free-range eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tblsp milk
2 tbls berry jam (I used a tablespoon each of strawberry and raspberry jams)
A dozen or so fresh strawberries cut into thirds.
Fresh strawberries, edible gold glitter, crystallized rose petals, more raspberry fondant creme, flowers, to decorate
Raspberry Fondant Buttercream Icing
250g butter, softened
500g icing sugar, sifted
1 tblsp raspberry fondant creme (If you can’t source this just use red food colour and raspberry essence or just the food colour)
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C fan. Grease 3 x 18cm (7 inch) cake tins.
Put all the ingredients except the vanilla extract and milk in to the bowl of an electric mixer. I uses my wonderful KitchenAid. (And a big thank you to Dr Rosemary for my beautiful new glass mixing bowl!) Mix for about a minute or so until everything is well incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and milk and beat for a further 20 seconds or until well combined.
Spoon mixture into the 3 tins filling the tins equally.
Place the tins in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cakes are golden on top, and spring back when touched.
Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes or so on wire racks. When cool, carefully turn out the cakes.
To make raspberry fondant buttercream icing, with an electric mixer, cream together the butter and icing sugar until combined and soft and creamy. You may need to add a drop or two of milk if the mixture is too stiff. Gently microwave the raspberry fondant creme on low until it soft and liquid and add it to the buttercream. Don’t overheat the fondant as it will boil and turn into red toffee! I’ve been there…
Spread the bottom layer with buttercream, then top with jam and cut strawberries. Place the next layer on top, and repeat the buttercream, jam and strawberry layers. Place the last cake layer on top. Roughly ice the top and sides of the cake with the rest of the buttercream using a palette knife. When you get to the sides, occasionally dip the palette knife into cold water as you ice to remove some of the thicker icing and to create the “naked icing” effect. The idea is that the top of the cake is well iced and that the side sides are stripped back for a rustic look.
Decorate with anything you fancy – I decorated with the bits and pieces mentioned in Ingredients above.