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IN SEASON


10 Meanwhile, make the orange buttercream by placing the butter and icing sugar in a mixer and beat on a low speed until the mixture has the consistency of breadcrumbs, then add the whole milk, turn up the speed and beat until light and fluffy. Add the orange extract.


11 To assemble the cakes. Slice the top from each cake to achieve a flat surface and turn this to the bottom. Slice each cake into two using a serrated bread knife.


12 Pipe a circle of buttercream around the cut edge of the cake, then with a piping bag filled with the orange jelly, fill the centre of the cake. Put the tops onto the cakes and spread a thin layer of the remaining jelly - then secure a chocolate disc on the top.


13 To make the orange pastilles, cut 12 rounds from


the reserved orange rinds using the wide end of a metal icing nozzle, and place these in a small saucepan with the 50ml water and 50g caster sugar.


14 Place on a low heat and dissolve the sugar and then simmer for 5 mins. Take the pastilles out of the syrup and place on a fine rack. Sprinkle a sparing amount of edible gold glitter over the pastilles.


15 To finish the cakes, melt the milk chocolate in the microwave and pop into an icing bag, then make a gold icing using 2 tbsp icing sugar and gold food colour and place this into a disposable icing bag also.


16 Pipe a milk chocolate detail onto the disc and top with a jaffa pastille.


www.nancybirtwhistle.co.uk


BLUEBERRY AND LEMON FRIANDS


Makes 20


195g unsalted butter 1 lemon


7 small egg whites 75g plain flour 225g icing sugar 125g ground almonds 100g blueberries


1 Heat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Melt 20g of the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat. Place the moulds on a baking tray, brush each with the melted butter and set aside.


2 Melt the remaining butter over a low heat, then remove from the heat and allow to cool.


3 Finely grate the lemon zest and set aside. Whisk the egg whites in a medium bowl until frothy.


4 Sift the flour and icing sugar onto the egg whites, then sprinkle over the ground almonds and lemon zest.


5 Pour in the melted butter and, using a large metal spoon, fold all the ingredients together until they are well mixed with no streaks of butter or lumps of flour. Fold in the blueberries.


6 Fill the moulds about three quarters full with the mixture and bake in the oven for 15–20 mins until risen a little and golden just around the edges. They should feel spongy when pressed lightly and your finger should not leave an indentation.


7 Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 mins before releasing the cakes from the tins using the tip of a sharp knife. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. These are best eaten the same day you make them.


Leiths How to Cook Cakes by Leiths School of Food and Wine, published by Quadrille


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