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How to Make a Summer Gâteau De Mariage

How to Make a Summer Gâteau De Mariage

Summer is the best time of the year for a wedding; the sun’s shining and the flowers are in bloom! One of the biggest wedding trends this year is the ‘naked’ wedding cake, which is decorated with pretty flowers and summer fruits. Forgot old fashioned dry fruitcakes covered in plain white fondant icing – this recipe teaches you how to build a multi-tiered lemon sponge cake covered in elements of nature! This truly is a showstopper.

    Prep Time: 2 hours, 40 mins
    Cooking Time: 2 hours 30 mins

Lemon Cake Ingredients:

  • 1375g of Golden Caster Sugar
  • 21 Large Eggs
  • 1375g of Self-Raising Flour
  • 1375g of Slightly Salted Butter (softened)
  • 2 tbsp of Vanilla Extract
  • Zest of 21 Large Lemons
  • 10 tbsp of Lemon Juice
  • 210g of Ground Almonds

Lemon and Mint Syrup Ingredients:

  • 700ml of Lemon Juice (use juice from the zested lemons)
  • Bunch of Torn Mint Leaves
  • 600g of Golden Caster Sugar

Filling Ingredients:

  • 2 x 325g Jars of Lemon Curd
  • 2kg of Mascarpone Cheese

To Decorate:

  • 1.2 kg of Mixed Berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and redcurrants)
  • Mint Leaves
  • Icing Sugar (for dusting)
  • Unsprayed Flowers (a mixture of flowers or just one type)

Equipment:

Baking

METHOD:

  1. Ensure that all your ingredients are weighed out before you start. Grease and line your cake tins, then preheat your oven to 170°C (150°C fan or gas mark 3).
  2. Start with the cake mixture for the bottom tier. Cream 400g worth of the butter with 400g of caster sugar. Beat well in a stand mixer or with an electric hand whisk in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk up 6 eggs with ½ tbsp of vanilla extract and gradually pour it into the butter and sugar mixture. Beat together. Sift in 400g of the flour into the batter, mix in 60g of ground almonds, and then add the zest of 6 lemons. Gently stir together before adding in 3 tbsp of lemon juice. Mix once more until completely combined.
  4. Transfer the cake mixture into the prepared 30cm cake tin, smooth over the top with a spatula, and then put into the oven to cook for 1 hour. Once it’s cooked, it’ll be springy to the touch. Insert a skewer into the middle of the cake; if it comes out clean, then bingo!
  5. Don’t be alarmed if the cake appears too golden as this will be the base of your finished wedding cake. Leave to cool in the tin for half an hour, before transferring onto a wire rack.
  6. Now you can start on the middle tier. Follow steps 2 and 3 above, but instead use 4 eggs and 250g each of butter, flour and sugar. Add the zest of 4 lemons, 40g of ground almonds, 1 tsp of vanilla extract, and 1 ½ tsp of lemon juice. Once mixed together, pour the cake batter into a 20cm cake tin and bake for 50 minutes, before testing and cooling.
  7. For the top tier, follow the same method as above to make the mixture, but this time use 1 egg, 75g each of flour, butter and sugar, 10g of ground almonds, the zest of 1 lemon, 1 tsp of vanilla extract, and ½ tsp of lemon juice. Then, bake for 30 minutes.
  8. You should now have three cakes. You want 2 bottom tiers and 2 middle tiers, so follow the method above to make two more cakes: one 30cm and one 20cm. Once you have 5 cakes in total, you can wrap them in clingfilm (once completely cooled) and keep in a cool place for 4 days, until you want to start assembling. Alternatively, freeze them for up to a month.
  9. Make the syrup by dissolving the sugar and lemon juice in a medium-sized saucepan for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the mint, then leave to cool for 5 hours. Once the syrup is cool, sieve into a jug, cover with clingfilm and keep cool until ready to use.
  10. Now you can start on the filling. Tip the mascarpone into a large mixing bowl and beat well until softened. Fold through about 300ml of the cooled syrup until combined. Chill until ready to use, but leave at room temp 20 minutes before you’re ready to start assembling.
  11. Now it’s the fun part – the building! Carefully cut the two 30cm and two 20cm cakes horizontally in half and then cut the 10cm top layer horizontally into four layers. It’s recommended to use a leveller here! You should now have a total of 12 cake layers.
  12. Flip one of the largest layers onto a cake stand; the top of that cake will now become the bottom. Spoon over a small spoonful of syrup, then spread over some of the filling using a spatula. Drizzle over some lemon curd and scatter over with a handful of berries. Place the next large 30cm layer on top and repeat the process of layering syrup, mascarpone, lemon curd and berries. Then, repeat again with the other two 30cm layers.
  13. Support the next tiers using plastic straws. Push 6 straws or dowels into the sponge in a circular formation. Snip down the straws so that they’re flush with the top of the sponge. Repeat the assembling method in step 12 for the 20cm cake layers. Then, poke straws into the top 20cm layer, as you did with the top 30cm layer.
  14. Finally, assemble the top layer using the same method as before. Top the cake with any remaining mascarpone, syrup and curd, and then dust the tiers with icing sugar.
  15. Scatter over any remaining mixed berries and then place mint leaves and flowers around the cake. This is your time to shine and be as creative as you like! Make sure you place tin foil or flower tape over the flower stalks as some blooms can be poisonous.
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