17.5.15

How to Make a Naked Cake

Now that we are fully moving into summer, it seems that everyone (and all their friend’s of friend’s and family members and work colleagues…) has something to celebrate. Either someone is getting married, or there’s a birthday, a leaving party – SO MANY PARTIES WE JUST CAN’T KEEP UP.

But, as every cloud has a silver lining, every occasion has a cake – or 100% should do in our opinion. And if you are half as obsessed with cakes and bakes as we are, you have probably come across naked cakes. Now, these are not half as risqué as they seem – there is definitely nothing Dita Von Teese would find interesting here – but they are stunning to look at, if done well, and a pretty certain hit at any event.

Naked cakes are a classic example of less is more. You let the ingredients speak for themselves by leaving it all up to simple decoration and beautiful food. Just have a glance at ‘Take One Pot’ and ‘Take One Veg’ and you’ll see this is what I’m all about.

A naked cake, then, is a multi tiered stunner of sponge (in this case, chocolate), a contrasting ganache or buttercream, topped with some seasonal berries or flowers. What could be more beautiful for a British summer time party?

So first: the sponge. The cakey foundation on which all else is built. Most importantly, pick your flavour be it chocolate, vanilla, red velvet, maybe lemon and thyme – this is an area for real creative spark. You’ll need to bake at least three tiers to make this look as ‘wow factor’ as possible, working from the largest base to the smallest top tier. Once baked and risen in a way that would make Mary Berry gleam with joy, split horizontally into three more layers so that you have a 6 in total.

Then, the icing. White chocolate ganache here ALL THE WAY as it needs to be strong enough to support the cakes but tasty enough to leave your guests coming back for more. But most importantly, it needs to be a contrasting colour to the sponge. So I went for white chocolate to stand out against the dark sponge. Then, between each layer, just spread the frosting all the way to the edge, start building and pipe any into exposed edges. Finish the look with a palette knife. 

Lastly, cover the whole thing in a flurry of flowers – no piping bags or fondant here. Just seasonal, pretty, fresh flowers that work at any celebration; mine was a May birthday dinner. What could be more beautiful? 


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