The beauty of this bake is that it is as simple, or as fancy, as you wish it to be. The base is a lovely zesty orange and almond country cake, the topping a super sweet fantastical affair.
I had a lot of fun decorating it; with a few cookie or icing cutters in pretty shapes you can let your imagination run wild.
My own recipe
100g ground almonds
200g plain flour,
200g unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
2 tbsps. whole milk
finely grated zest of an orange
1 tsp orange blossom water
1 tsp baking powder
3 large eggs
1 tbsp of jam
1 roll ready rolled white icing
Various food tint pastes or edible food colourings
Sugar flowers (optional)
Edible glitter (optional)
1. Turn the oven to 180C (160C fan ovens). Grease and line a 20cm cake tin.
2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until pale and smooth.
3. Add the first egg, beat well before adding the second along with a tablespoon of the ground almonds. Beat again, before beating in the last egg and another tablespoon of ground almonds.
4. Next gently stir in the rest of the ground almonds, the orange blossom water, and the grated orange zest.
5. Sieve in half the flour and the baking powder, and stir gently with a metal spoon until well combined.
6. Sift in the rest of the flour, after which spoon in the milk. Continue stirring gently and briefly until well combined.
7. Pour the batter into the prepared baking tin and place in the oven for approx 40 minutes. You'll know it's done when the top bounces back under your finger, and a skewer comes out clean.
8. Leave the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, before turning it out onto a wire rack or plate.
9. Once cool, roll out the ready rolled white icing and cut into shapes with cookie cutters or icing cutters.
10. Heat the tablespoon of jam with some water, cool, then brush a thin layer over the base and the sides of the cold cake with a pastry brush. Stick the icing shapes in whatever pattern you fancy over the sides and top of the cake. Dot any gaps with ready made sugar flowers.
11. When all the shapes have been fixed to the cake, paint them whatever colours you want using a small paintbrush, food colour tint pastes or edible liquid colouring. Scatter edible glitter over the top.
12. Leave the paint on the shapes to dry, before serving with or without cream.
This cake was idly baked while listening to the Bat For Lashes album The Haunted Man