How to Make Heather & March’s Easter Cake
In addition to being the founder and president of lifestyle brand Heather & March, Wendy Siu also has a knack for creating beautiful dishes in the kitchen. An experienced dessert maker, Siu is pleased to share her recipe for an indulgent Easter cake featuring layers of French sponge, custard cream, jam, with marzipan and royal icing decorations. Perhaps this will be something to impress your friends and family during the upcoming holiday.
For the sponge cake
¼ tsp salt
42g melted butter
1/8 tsp vanilla essence
For the crème pâtissière/vanilla custard
1 vanilla pod
6 egg yolks
100g caster sugar
50g corn flour
50g unsalted butter
For the crème filling
1 cup heavy cream or whipped topping
½ cup confectioner’s sugar
225g mascarpone cheese (optional)
For the marzipan
395g ground almonds
155g caster sugar
255g icing sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp almond extract
Note: You will need at least 450g marzipan to cover the entire cake. You can also buy ready to use marzipan as a substitute, or use ready-to-roll fondant or royal icing instead.
To make the sponge cake
1. Preheat oven to 160ºC
2. Separate egg white and egg yolk. Beat egg white until creamy and thick, add sugar and continue beating until firm. The whole process will take about four minutes. Stir in egg yolk.
3. Sift flour and salt together, then add to egg mixture. Add melted butter and vanilla essence, and fold lightly into flour quickly.
4. Pour into an 8-inch spring form cake tin and bake for 25 minutes.
5. Once baked, take the cake out immediately and let it cool on a wire rack. Once cooled, cut cake into three layers, ready to do the layer cake.
To make the custard
1. Pour milk into a pan and scrape the vanilla seeds from the vanilla pod, adding both to the pan. Place over low heat to simmer until it is well infused. Remove from heat.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolk, sugar and corn flour together until pale and creamy.
3. Remove vanilla pod from the warm milk. Stir milk into egg mixture and pour mixture back to the pan and cook over low heat for 4-5 minutes, whisking until mixture thickens strongly.
4. Remove from heat and beat in butter until melted. Transfer to bowl and cover mixture with cling film to prevent skin from forming on top. Leave to cool and chill in the refrigerator.
To make the cream
1. Combine heavy cream, icing sugar and mascarpone cheese (optional) until firm and leave at the fridge to be used later.
To make the cake cover with marzipan or icing
1. Add a drop or a tint of your desired food colouring to the marzipan before rolling out into a big sheet.
2. Once the colour is worked into the paste and the paste has been rolled out into a big sheet, roll that with your rolling pin to cover the entire cake and trim off additional edges to tidy up.
To assemble the cake
1. Put jam on top of the base layer of sponge cake, then put vanilla custard on top of the jam.
2. Put the second layer of cake on top of the custard.
3. Put fresh cream on top of the cake.
4. Put the last layer of sponge on top, coast the cake with the remaining cream and make it into a dome shape. Let the cake rest in the refrigerator before putting the marzipan on top.
5. Cover the cake with coloured marzipan, and decorate with desired marzipan or icing flowers.
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