I was intrigued by the cake created for the royal wedding, you know Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, elegant and simple with lovely flavors both delicate and bold. When I read about the cake I knew instantly that I wanted to make it. The recipe was published, sort of, it fed thousands so I couldn’t use that recipe, trimming down such a massive amount of ingredients is impossible. A few years ago I found a great recipe for Genoise and decided to use that recipe adding lemon zest and an elderflower soaking syrup. The buttercream is from Stella Parks on Serious Eats @bravetart. I added some elderflower cordial as a flavoring along with the vanilla. It’s fabulous.
One thing I found very interesting is that the quality of buttercream can vary depending on the type of butter you use. I like Kerrygold unsalted it’s super creamy and seems to have a slightly higher fat content.
This cake is going with me to an outdoor BBQ, don’t worry it won’t sit outside in the heat. The BBQ is at my neighbors and I can leave the cake at home until we are ready to serve, I can run home and bring the cake when it’s time for dessert.
I have not tasted it at least not the sum of all its parts, nor do I have any photos of the cut cake since I won’t be serving until tomorrow. Fingers crossed that everyone likes, I want to wish all who celebrate Independence Day in the USA a wonderful day.
Note: If you don’t have cake flour make your own for 1 cup you remove 4 tbs of the flour and replace with 4 tbs of corn starch.
Recipe from Martha Stewart
1 cup sugar
1 tbs lemon zest
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
8 egg yolks from large eggs
10 tbs unsalted butter cut into small pieces
1/4 tsp kosher salt
Whisk together the sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolks and salt in a medium size saucepan off heat. Add the butter and cook over medium low heat whisking constantly until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon. Remove from heat still whisking (this is important you do not want your eggs to scramble) Pour through sieve into container or bowl, cover with plastic wrap you press onto the surface of the curd and refrigerate until cold preferably overnight.
Elderflower soaking syrup
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup St Germaine or elderflower cordial.
Bring to a boil, lower heat and cook until sugar is melted, approximately 15 minutes. Pour into container and allow to cool.
From Gourmet Magazine
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup cake flour (sifted first then measured)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
zest of one lemon approximately 1 tbs
5 tbs butter melted and cooled
Heat oven to 350 degree’s
Prepare 2 round 8 inch baking pans, spray with cooking spray and lay a parchment round. Spray or grease the pan and dust with flour. Set aside.
Whip the eggs, sugar, vanilla on medium high until tripled in volume and when paddle is lifted it forms a ribbon. Melt the butter in a small bowl and set aside. Add the salt to the sifted and measured flour. Sift the flour in 3 installments into the egg mixture gently folding with each addition. Place a scant 1/4 of the batter into the melted butter and mix to combine then add back into the batter folding until incorporated completely. Divide equally into baking pans give a gentle tap on the counter and bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes then turn onto cooling racks.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Recipe found on Serious Eats by @bravetart- Stella Parks
6 ounces room temperature egg whites ( 2/3 cup or 5-6 large eggs)
11 ounces (1 2/3 cup sugar)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 tsp kosher salt
20 ounces (5 sticks) unsalted room temperature (soft) butter cut into pieces ( I recommend using Kerrygold unsalted butter)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp elderflower cordial (use more if you like I went for subtle)
Heat about 1 1/2 inches of water in a large saucepan, bring to a simmer. Put the egg whites, sugar and salt into the bowl of your stand mixer and stir with heat proof spatula. Place over the simmering water making sure not to let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Stir constantly with he spatula until the sugar is COMPLETELY melted and the egg whites are almost hot to the touch. Remove the bowl and attach to your mixer and beat on medium high for about 10 minutes or until the egg whites are thick and glossy and completely cooled. With mixer on add the butter one or two tbs at a time until you have added all of the butter. It’s ok if the buttercream breaks or curdles keep beating it will come together again. Add the vanilla and elderflower cordial and beat a few more minutes. Use immediately but you can make ahead of time and refrigerate. If you do bring to room temperature and beat again before use. For more detailed instructions click here
Putting It all together
Slice off (carefully) the top of the cake very very thinly. Put the bottom layer cut side up on your cake stand and using the pastry brush dab with the elder flower syrup. Pipe some of the butter cream along the edge of the cake and fill the middle in with a thin layer of lemon curd, spread some of the butter cream over the curd. Now add the top layer cut side down (bottom of cake is the top). Spread cake with thin layer of butter cream, a crumb coat. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Frost the rest of the cake. The cake should be brought to room temperature before serving and this is not a good cake to serve outside in the heat, the buttercream is fragile and will melt quite quickly. This buttercream is best served at room temperature not cold so if the cake is refrigerated take it out about an hour before serving.