Published On: Tue, Oct 15th, 2019

GBBO special… Gooseberry and Elderflower Cake

From newly the released The Great British Bake Off: The Big Book of Amazing Cakes, we have an exclusive recipe for the cover Gooseberry and Elderflower cake.

A glorious celebration of summer, this Gooseberry and Elderflower cake is topped with edible flowers – feel free to choose your favourites. The gooseberry compote is best made the day before you intend to bake.

James Orlando-Smith

Gooseberry and Elderflower cake

Servings 20
Author James Orlando-Smith for The Great British Bake Off: The Big Book of Amazing Cakes

Ingredients

For the gooseberry compote

  • 500 g gooseberries, topped, tailed and halved
  • 100 g granulated sugar
  • 5 heads of elderflower (optional)

For the sponge

  • 8 large eggs
  • 465 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 465 g caster sugar
  • 465 g self-raising sponge flour, sifted
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • small edible meadow flowers, with stems, to decorate

For the elderflower & rose syrup

  • 200 g granulated sugar
  • 6 tbsp elderflower and rose cordial

For the elderflower & rose buttercream

  • 350 g unsalted butter
  • 3/4 tsp fine salt
  • 3/4 tsp white vinegar
  • 6 tbsp elderflower and rose cordial
  • 1.35 kg icing sugar, sifted
  • 150 g double cream

Instructions

  1. For the gooseberry compote, place the gooseberries in a deep-sided pan with 50ml of water and the sugar. Tie the elderflowers (if using) in a small piece of muslin and add to the pan. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes until the gooseberries are tender. Remove from the heat and carefully pour into a shallow container. Leave to cool, then chill to set.

  2. For the sponges, heat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/375°F/ Gas 5. Beat all the sponge ingredients, except the flowers, in a stand mixer fitted with the beater, on medium speed for 2 minutes, until smooth.

  3. Measure about 250g of the sponge mixture into each of the two 15cm tins and about 400g into each of the 20cm tins. Bake the 15cm sponges for about 20 minutes and the 20cm sponges for 25–30 minutes, until springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tins.

  4. For the elderflower and rose syrup, tip the sugar into a pan. Add 200ml of water and bring to the boil over a gentle heat, stirring to melt the sugar. Boil for 3–5 minutes, until reduced to a syrup consistency or the temperature on a sugar thermometer reaches 110°C/230°F. Remove from the heat, stir in the cordial and set aside to cool until warm.

  5. Using a cocktail stick, poke small holes all over the sponges and spoon over three-quarters of the warm (but not hot) elderflower syrup. Leave the sponges in the tins to cool completely.

  6. For the elderflower and rose buttercream, beat the butter, salt, vinegar and cordial together in a stand mixer fitted with the beater, on medium-low speed for 2–3 minutes, until smooth.

  7. On a low speed, add half the icing sugar, then add half the double cream and beat for 3 minutes, until very smooth. Add in the remaining icing sugar and the remaining cream and continue beating on low speed for 3 minutes, until very smooth but not aerated. Spoon one-quarter of the buttercream into the large piping bag fitted with the medium plain nozzle, leaving the remaining buttercream in the bowl.

  8. To assemble, trim the sponges level, if needed. Pipe a dot of buttercream onto the 20cm cake drum and top with a 20cm sponge. Brush the sponge with one-fifth of the remaining syrup, then spread with one-eighth of the buttercream. Pipe a line of buttercream around the edge of the sponge to act as a reservoir and fill with one-third of the gooseberry compote.

  9. Place the second 20cm sponge on top and repeat as in Step 8. Top with the third 20cm sponge, brush with syrup, then spread one-eighth of the buttercream over the top. Space the dowels in a triangle formation in the middle of the cake, about 8cm apart, and push down through the sponges. Trim the dowels flush with the top of the cake.

  10. Pipe a dot of buttercream onto the 15cm cake card and top with a 15cm sponge. Brush the sponge with one-fifth of the remaining syrup, then spread with one-eighth of the buttercream. Pipe a line of buttercream around the edge of the sponge to act as a reservoir and fill with the remaining compote. Brush the underside of the remaining sponge with the leftover syrup and place top-side up on the gooseberry compote. Spread with one-eighth of the buttercream.

  11. Using the remaining buttercream in the piping bag, spread a thin layer of buttercream over the sides of the cakes and smooth off to form a crumb coat. Then, using the remaining buttercream in the bowl, repeat the crumb-coating process to create a semi-naked effect with small patches of sponge peeping through. (You can scrape off more or less buttercream, according to the effect you want to create.)

  12. Chill the cake until ready to serve, then decorate with edible flowers immediately before serving (the flowers can wilt quickly, so do this at the very last minute).

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GBBO Amazing Cakes bookThe Great British Bake Off: The Big Book of Amazing Cakes, With recipes by Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith & The Bakers, published by Sphere, £20.00.

Get your copy here.

 

 

 

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