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Health & Wellbeing / Ali Horsfall

Cravings Corner: For When You Want To Eat Sponge

We’re *totally* on board with all things undressed. We love a nude make up palette, believe all bodies are beautiful in the buff, and can’t stop filling our Pinterest pages with pretty “bare bakes”. Maybe that’s just because we’re obsessed with cake but whatever. Naked is good.

Naked cakes don’t need much describing, they’re just cakes uncovered – think, soft, springy sponge minus any of the frosting and faff. The bonus of these exposed bakes is that they’re super-easy to make too. Here’s a recipe to try – tea and cake anyone?

Mini Victoria Layer Cakes

What you need (makes 8 cakes)

– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

– 115 g butter, softened

– 115 g caster sugar

– 2 eggs

– 115 g self-raising flour, sifted

– 1 teaspoon baking powder

– 1 tablespoon buttermilk or sour cream

– 300 ml double cream

– 4 tablespoons raspberry jam

– Icing sugar, for dusting

– 8 food-safe, pesticide-free mini rose buds for decoration, or crystallised rose petals for edible decoration.

– 8 x 6.5-cm/2½-inch cake rings, greased and placed on a greased baking sheet

– 2 piping bags fitted with large round nozzles

How to make

– Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.

– Use an electric whisk to mix the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and creamy. Add the eggs and whisk again.

– Fold in the flour, baking powder and buttermilk or sour cream using a spatula, until incorporated.

– Fold the vanilla into the cake batter and divide the mixture equally between the prepared cake rings. You can do this either by spooning the batter in, or by putting the batter in a piping bag and piping it in neatly.

– Bake in the preheated oven for 15–20 minutes, until the cakes are golden brown and spring back to the touch.

– Leave the cakes to cool in the rings for a few minutes, then remove by sliding a sharp knife around the inside of each ring. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

– When you are ready to serve, whip the cream to stiff peaks using a whisk. Spoon the cream into the piping bag with a round nozzle/tip.

– Cut each cake into thirds horizontally using a large serrated knife. Spoon a little jam onto the bottom third of each cake and then pipe a swirl of cream on top. Top each with the middle slice of cake and a little more jam and cream.

– Finish each cake with the cake top and dust with icing sugar. Pipe a little cream on the top of each cake in the middle and fix a rose in place. The flowers are for decorative purposes only and should be removed as you cut the cake. 

– Serve straight away or store in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. As these cakes contain fresh cream, they are best eaten on the day they are made, although they will keep for up to 2 days in the refrigerator.

Extracted from Naked Cakes: Simply stunning cakes by Hannah Miles – published by Ryland, Peters & Small. Photography: Steve Painter

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