Recipe from Say It with Cake by Edd Kimber (Kyle Cathie Limited, 2012)
I have very strong memories of my grandparents’ 50th anniversary. The whole family got together and we had a party. For presents, we bought 50 gifts, some silly little things but each and every one was related to gold, the traditional gift for a 50th anniversary. There was everything from a gold photo frame to gold-wrapped chocolates. If only we had served this golden cake, everything would have been tinged with gold.
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup cornstarch
- 4 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 3/4 cups superfine sugar
- zest of 2 large oranges
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 medium eggs
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
- edible gold powder, to decorate
For the orange Italian meringue buttercream
- 1 1/4 cups superfine sugar
- 6 medium egg whites
- 2 cups unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups orange curd, available at gourmet supermarkets
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, then grease and line three 8in cake pans with parchment paper, greasing the parchment too. In a medium bowl whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt together to combine, then set aside.
2. Put the butter in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed until smooth and light, add the sugar and orange zest, and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix to combine. With the mixer on medium speed, beat in the eggs, a little at a time, beating until fully combined before adding the next. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk, starting and finishing with the flour. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake for 25–30 minutes or until the cakes are golden brown and spring back when lightly touched. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes before turning onto wire racks to cool completely.
3. To make the meringue buttercream, put ¼ cup water and the sugar in a pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and have a sugar thermometer ready. Meanwhile, put the egg whites into a clean, grease-free bowl (this is best done using a freestanding electric mixer). Start beating the whites on high speed when the syrup in the pan reaches about 240°F on the sugar thermometer. Cook until the syrup registers 250°F. With the mixer still running, pour the syrup in a slow stream down the side of the bowl containing the whites, avoiding the beaters. Continue beating on high speed until the meringue is at room temperature.
4. With the mixer on medium-high speed, add the butter, a few pieces at a time, beating until fully combined. When adding the butter it can sometimes look curdled; don’t worry, just keep mixing and eventually it will smooth out to form a light buttercream. Add 1 cup of the orange curd and mix until fully combined.
5. To assemble the cake, put the first cake layer onto a cardboard cake round, cake stand, or serving plate and top with a layer of buttercream. Add half the remaining orange curd and repeat the process with the second layer of cake, finishing with the final layer of cake. Use the remaining buttercream to coat the top and sides. Using a long offset spatula, smooth the buttercream so that the tops and sides are perfectly smooth. Put the cake in the fridge for 15 minutes while you make the glaze.
6. Put the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl and set aside. Put the cream in a small pan over medium heat. When the cream comes to a boil, remove from the heat and pour in the chocolate. Let stand for a couple of minutes before stirring together to form a silky smooth ganache. Pour the ganache over the chilled cake, teasing it over the edges so that it drips down the buttercream. Before the ganache fully sets, dip a small paintbrush into edible gold powder and flick the powder over the chocolate to give the cake a golden shimmer.