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Chef’s Recipe: Heavenly Vanilla with Berry Swiss Meringue Buttercream by Mich Turner
For this week’s recipe, we collaborate with William Edwards, makers of the finest bone chinaware collection, and celebrity cake maker, Mich Turner MBE, Founder of the Little Venice Cake Company on their new collection inspired by Mich’s 1950’s Chic cake. With clean lines and stylish design, the ‘Mich Turner Collection’ and this delicious recipe are perfect partners for having an afternoon tea at home.
Recipe: Heavenly Vanilla with berry Swiss meringue buttercream by Mich Turner
Makes a 20cm (8inch) round cake or 2 x 15cm (6inch) cakes
420g (14¾oz) self-raising fl our
300g (10½oz) golden caster sugar
300g (10½oz) unsalted butter, softened
6 large eggs, beaten
120ml (4fl oz) semi-skimmed milk
3 tablespoons vanilla bean paste
For the syrup
150ml (5fl oz) water
150g (5½oz) golden caster sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For the swiss meringue buttercream
225ml (8fl oz) egg whites, at room temperature (about 6 eggs)
400g (14oz) caster sugar
565g (1lb 4oz) unsalted butter
3 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
4–6 tablespoons freeze-dried blackcurrant powder – for William Edwards Mich Turner cake stand (as pictured), raspberry and strawberry powder was used instead of blackcurrant powder.
Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3. Line a deep 20cm (8inch) round cake tin or 2 x 15cm (6inch) cake tins with nonstick baking parchment.
To make the syrup, put the water, sugar and vanilla in a pan, heat gently until the sugar dissolves, stirring all the time, then remove from the heat.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating well between each addition. Fold the flour into the creamed mixture. Stir in the milk and the vanilla bean paste.
Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 1½ hours (or 1 hour for the smaller cakes) or until golden colour and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and pierce the cake with a skewer several times. Pour the syrup over the cake. Cool, then chill in the tin before removing.
To make the buttercream, place the egg whites and the sugar in a large clean heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water.
Whisk with a hand balloon whisk and monitor the temperature until you reach 61–70°C (142–158°F). This will take about 10 minutes.
Remove the meringue from the heat, attach the bowl to an electric whisk and continue to whisk until the meringue cools to room temperature and has thickened. Add the butter in batches and beat well between each addition. Add the vanilla and whisk until combined.
Blend half the buttercream with the blackcurrant powder. Stir well, leave to stand for 1 hour, then stir again.
Cut each of the cakes in half and sandwich together with the buttercream. Place on a round cake board, skim coat the cakes with blackcurrant buttercream and place on a pretty cake stand.
Fill a large piping bag with a 2D nozzle and pipe a row of buttercream roses around the base of the cake making sure to cover the baseboard and keeping the roses even.
Empty the piping bag back into the bowl along with any remaining blackcurrant buttercream and add one-third of the remaining plain buttercream to this. Stir to create a paler blackcurrant buttercream. Fill the bag with this and pipe a second row of roses around the middle of the cake. Repeat this process and pipe the top ring of roses with a paler shade again. Combine all the remaining buttercream to achieve the palest colour of all and pipe roses on the top of the cake, starting from the outside and working your way in.
Store for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature. Not suitable for freezing.
Have Your Cake and Eat It: Nutritious, Delicious Recipes for Healthier, Everyday Baking by Mich Turner. Published by Jacqui Small, £22.