There will have been – I predict – a gadzillion words written, a googol of photos published and an acre of bunting produced for Wills and Kate’s nuptials (there are about 50 articles on the Daily Mail website this morning just for starters) and aside from presenting an opportunity to examine and review what the Monarchy means in Twenty-First Century Britain, the relationship between the Church and State, on power and democracy … it was also a chance, as it always is, to eat cake.
I held a Right Royal Knees-Up at my flat yesterday with a bunch of friends where I live streamed* the Royal Wedding coverage, served Pimms, played ‘Pin the Crown on the Corgi’, continued to fill out my Panini Royal Wedding Souvenir Sticker Album, and lay on a spread. (*Put the BBC news channel on my telly).
The centerpiece of my spread – just typing those words makes me giddy – was this Union Jack Cake, a jammy Victoria Sponge with a soft-cheese frosting and gorgeous summer berries on top. It was a teeny bit fiddly to decorate but easy to bake and would would feed a couple of cricket teams with ease. It is also, I can report, a marvellous pick-me-up breakfast if you have spent the night air-punching to power ballads as I did at Ultimate Power in Scala last night. Food for thought, I am sure.
*340g unsalted butter *340g caster sugar *340g self-raising flour *6 eggs *1 tsp baking powder *1 tbsp hot water *A jar of strawberry jam *110g butter *110g low-fat Philadelphia soft-cheese *1 tsp vanilla extract *fresh strawberries *frozen or fresh blueberries and redcurrants *white chocolate drops
1. Preheat the oven to 180c and grease your baking tin. I only have one big square tin, so I had to bake the cakes in batches.
2. Cream the sugar and butter in a large bowl.
3. Break the eggs, one at a time, in a jug, beat, add to the sugar and butter and beat the mixture. Add all of the eggs and then sift the flour, baking powder into the mixture. Add the hot water and beat well.
4. Either divide the mixture between your tins or add half to your tin and bake until golden brown and cooked throughout. This will depend on how deep your tin is. My tins were very deep so it took about 25 minutes. Simply check by piercing the cake with a knife or stick – if it comes out clean then is cooked. If the cake is still wobbly then don’t even think about it!
5. Turn out the cakes, once baked, and leave to cool on a wire rack.
6. Sandwich the two sponges with plenty of lovely strawberry jam.
7. To make the frosting, use an electric whisk to combine the cream cheese, the icing sugar and the vanilla extract, until it is smooth and peaks slightly.
8. Cover the cake with the frosting and use a palette knife to smooth and even it out.
9. Score the Union Jack into the frosting (I actually had to look at a flag I had bought to wave during the wedding as I am too much of a dimwit to remember what it looks like but I am sure you’re not such a thicko) and then use the fruit and chocolate to cover the cake. This is fiddly work but not too tricky. If you’re using frozen fruit then leave it to defrost in the fridge the night before hand and rinse well before placing on the cake as the juice could stain the frosting.
10. Whether you’re a Republican, a Royalist or just plain greedy: tuck in.
P.s. thanks to Becky for creating the A-MAZ-ING Fat Corgi and Crown game. He is lovely.