Eleanor Townsend

Nearly Naked Lemon Sponge Cake

Eleanor Townsend
Nearly Naked Lemon Sponge Cake

By far the most exciting project i've worked on to date was a styled shoot with some brilliantly talented & creative friends. May bank holiday weekend was mostly spent in a baking frenzy. It took the best part of two days to scrape the residual sugar off my kitchen floor and walls, but the resulting photos are absolutely worth it!

I'm so very proud to be a part of this creative team, its a dynamic that just felt right and I'm looking forward to more creative collaborations in the future.

The team comprises of

Matt Horan Photography 

Number 27 floral design

Kayleigh Tarrant Calligraphy

Rachael Grace Horan Cinematography

Joella Senior Make up

Elle Dabell Hair

Selma Hujic Model

We set ourselves a very loose brief, the idea was to showcase our very best work whilst capturing a snapshot of the season and a little bit of romance. At the time of the shoot we were on the very brink of summer, (think pre torrential downpours!) I spent a glorious few hours foraging the Leicestershire countryside for Lilac, elderflower and dianthus to adorn my creations.

So, heres a little 3 tier naked lemon sponge cake photographed by the brilliant Matt Horan, also featuring the blooming brilliant floral design created by Louise of Number 27 Floral Design (I have to confess to pinching a few of Louise's flowers to decorate the cake too, just look how glorious the ivory rose at the front looks, and those divine hot pink peonie buds!) 

Crumb coat cakes really are my favourite style of cake to decorate. I love the simple elegance of them, understated, uncomplicated and with a real focus on taste. Using edible flowers to decorate adds a touch of romance to the finished cake too. Following along the theme from the lemon and raspberry pavlova cake in my previous post i'd like to share my recipe for swiss meringue buttercream. This is my go too recipe for constructing cakes where it's important to achieve a smooth finish. It's silky smooth and mousse like in consistency so it's so much easier to obtain a sharp clean finish to cakes compared with american style buttercreams.

You will need:
  • 2 egg whites
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 250g butter at room temperature cut into 10 cubes
  • flavouring of your choice, lemon oil, lemon zest or vanilla extract

The method for whisking the eggs follows the same principles as for meringues, it is the addition of the butter that requires a little more patience, but the results are well worth it I promise! 

Place all the ingredients into a heatproof bowl, place this over a simmering pan of water. Whisk continuously and heat through until the mixture is thick and marshmallowy and reaches a temperature of 65°C. Transfer the mix to the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on a high speed until the mixture is cool. Re-start the mixer on a medium speed and add the butter one cube at a time beating well after each addition so all the butter is incorporated before adding the next cube. Continue to add the butter very slowly. If the buttercream looks like it may be splitting, which is most likely around half way through, keep calm and continue to add the butter. It will come back together, I promise. Once all the butter is added and well incorporated add flavouring and, if you wish, colouring. I recommend gel colours here to avoid adding extra liquid to the buttercream which may cause the mixture to split.

I'll share a little more detail on the other cakes i created over the next few weeks. To see a more of the photos from our day you can visit Matt's stunning blog here. We've also shared a few behind the scenes shots over on The Weekend Collective too...