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Recipes

Layered crêpe cake with watermelon and rose jam

Recipes

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In Naked Cakes, Lyndel Miller strips baking back to practical basics so cooks can break free from the constraints of traditional cake decorating and showcase their creativity.

Beautiful images reveal the cook and food stylist’s cakes in all their fresh, rustic and imperfect forms, with each recipe providing a blank canvas for embellishment.

Naked-Cakes-cover-resized

Recipe and images from ‘Naked Cakes’ by Lyndel Miller, $49.99, Murdoch Books.

Naked Cakes also provides a wealth of practical information and inspiration, including baking tips, advice on flavour and colour combinations and step-by-step instructions for making your own decorations.

Here, Miller shares her recipe for layered crêpe cake with watermelon and rose jam, which she decorates with chantilly cream, fresh berries and edible flowers.

“The best thing about this little gem of a recipe is its simplicity,” she writes.

“There is nothing really precise about it – it’s just layer upon layer upon layer of deliciousness. You can’t go wrong.”

Layered crêpe cake with watermelon and rose jam

Makes one 20cm layered crêpe cake

1 quantity watermelon and rose jam
1 quantity Chantilly cream
1 x crêpe stack
To decorate: fresh raspberries, yellow nasturtiums, roses, baby rocket (arugula) leaves and jasmine flowers.

Watermelon and rose jam

“I don‘t know a soul who doesn‘t delight in the old-school charm of this jam, or who hasn’t been hypnotised by its aroma. Bottle it up for gifts that will delight.”

Makes about 500g (2 cups)

Ingredients

600g ripe watermelon flesh, chopped
400g caster (superfine) sugar
juice of 1 lemon
small handful organic rose petals or rosewater to taste

Method

Place the watermelon in a bowl and sprinkle it with the sugar and lemon juice. Cover and stand for at least 4 hours or overnight if possible. Transfer the watermelon mixture to a heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring regularly, for 1 hour. Using a hand-held blender, process the mixture until as smooth or chunky as you desire. When ready, the jam will be quite thin, but should resist sliding down a plate if you hold it upright. Stir in the petals or rosewater and pour the hot jam into sterilised jars. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Chantilly cream

“Chantilly cream is a traditional filling that a lot of people find hard to go past, especially when accompanied with strawberries. It goes with everything!”

Ingredients

500ml thickened (whipping) cream
2 tablespoons icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or natural vanilla extract

Method

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream, sugar and vanilla on high speed until soft peaks form. Use it to fill or top the cake of your choice.

Crêpe stack

“Based on a decadent classic French cake, this is a real treat. Although it looks impressive, it’s actually quite easy to make. The flavour of the crêpe stack makes a great neutral base to build on.”

Makes one 20cm crêpe stack (about 12 crêpes)

Ingredients

60g unsalted butter, plus extra for frying
300g plain (all-purpose) flour
650 ml milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Method

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat, then set aside.

Place the flour, milk and beaten egg in a bowl and use a hand-held whisk to combine well. Strain through a fine sieve into a pitcher, then stir in the melted butter.

Heat a 20cm crêpe pan or non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add a little butter and, when foaming, add 60–80 ml (¼–¹/³ cup) batter or just enough to cover the base. Immediately tilt the pan to coat the base with batter. Cook for 1 minute or until the crêpe is light golden on the edges, then turn and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove from the pan and repeat with the remaining batter, stacking the crêpes on a plate as you go, with a sheet of baking paper between each crêpe. Allow to cool.

To assemble

To assemble the crêpe cake, place one crêpe on a stand or serving plate and smear about 1 tablespoon of the jam over it, spreading it right to the edges. Spread with a layer of chantilly cream. Top with another crêpe and repeat the process until all the crêpes have been used. When you get to the last crêpe, spoon a few tablespoons of jam onto the centre, top with the remaining chantilly cream and berries, and arrange the flowers and leaves on top.

 

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