Lemon, Strawberry & Pink Champagne Cake

This will be a thank you post dedicated to everyone involved in the London Inter-University Bake Off, with the recipe of my entry as a thank you gift 🙂

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The Bake Off was a joint event with University College London (UCL), King’s College London (KCL), Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and was held at the London School of Economics (LSE) with proceeds going to the Target Ovarian Cancer charity. We had a total of 52 entries for both the ‘Sweet’ and ‘Savoury’ categories and raised £299.70.

Those numbers were way above my expectations and I’m extremely grateful for the overwhelming response from the competitors, the people who came to taste and vote for their favourites, the judges and for the assistance provided by the baking society committees of UCL, QMUL and KCL. Most importantly, I’m thankful for my supremely capable LSE Baking Society committee, who managed to make our last event so successful. Pulling off this event of such scale is something to be proud of considering we’re a new society with limited funds and no prior experience.

Old & new committee at the Bake Off. From left: Sophie (Secretary), Diana (External Relations), Amar (Publicity), Chiwei (Treasurer), Linh (Publicity), Tricia (Events), Emily (Events), Florence (President), Simone (New Secretary with balloons), Natasha (New President)

Old & new committee at the Bake Off.
From left: Sophie (Secretary), Diana (External Relations), Amar (Publicity), Chiwei (Treasurer), Linh (Publicity), Tricia (Events), Emily (Events), Florence (President), Simone (New Secretary with balloons), Natasha (New President)
Not pictured: Zoe (New treasurer), Ayushi (Events)
Photo credits: Tricia Yeo

On a personal note, I would like to thank all my friends for coming down to the event and staying till the end to help clean up. And a special shout out for my dear #foodiesoulmate @nyoncat for providing emotional support and constructive criticisms during this stressful period. I love and treasure each and every one of you.

And so this is farewell, to my baby, the LSESU Baking Society. If you’re a prospective/ current LSE student, do join the society next year because I know our newly elected committee is quite possibly more awesome than us.


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This took home first place for the Judges’ Prize and Popularity Prize in the ‘Sweet’ category.

Lemon, Strawberry & Pink Champagne Cake
(makes a 7 inch cake)

Italian Sponge Cake
145g – Caster sugar
5 – Egg yolks
5 – Egg whites
1 tspn – Vanilla extract
150g – Cake flour
65g – Oil

~ Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a large oven tray (more than 12 inches in length) with baking paper.
~ Beat the egg yolks with half the sugar until it’s pale and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla extract and oil.
~ Sift in the flour and mix well.
~ In a separate clean and dry metal bowl, whip the egg whites with the remaining half of the sugar until it forms firm peaks.
~ Fold in the whites into the yolk mixture in thirds.
~ Spread the mixture out on to the tray thinly and evenly. Bake for 15 minutes. Leave to cool after baking.

Strawberry Jelly
4g – Leaf gelatine sheets
150g – Strawberries
10ml – Lemon juice
1 tbspn – Caster sugar
75ml – White Grenache or White Zinfandel wine

~ Soak the gelatine sheets in cold water for 5-10 minutes.
~ Finely dice the strawberries and place them in a saucepan with the lemon juice and sugar. Cook on medium heat until the strawberry is soft. Remove from heat.
~ Squeeze the gelatine to remove excess water and stir it into the warm strawberry compote. After 5 minutes or once it has sufficiently cooled, add the wine.
~ Line a 6 inch round cake tin with cling film and pour the mixture into it. Allow for it to set in the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Mascarpone Cream
4g – Leaf gelatine sheets
240ml – Whipping cream
40g – Icing sugar
100g – Mascarpone

~ Soak the gelatine sheets in cold water for 5-10 minutes.
~ Mix the whipping cream, icing sugar and mascarpone until the cream has thickened.
~ Squeeze the gelatin sheets to remove excess water. Place them in a small bowl and add a table spoon of boiling water to completely dissolve it. Mix this liquid into the cream.

Lemon Cream
2 – Eggs
75ml – Lemon juice
115g – Caster sugar
5g – Corn flour
35g – Softened butter
1 – Leaf gelatine sheet

~ Mix the eggs, lemon juice, sugar and cornflour in a saucepan and set it on gentle heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat when the mixture begins to thicken and coat the back of a spoon.
~ Add the butter into the mixture and ensure that it is completely combined. Leave to cool.

Strawberry Cream
4g – Leaf gelatine sheets
240ml – Whipping cream
100g – Mascarpone
4 tbspns – Strawberry jam (or more if you would like a stronger flavour)

~ Soak the gelatine sheets in cold water for 5-10 minutes.
~ Mix the whipping cream mascarpone and jam until the cream has thickened.
~ Squeeze the gelatin sheets to remove excess water. Place them in a small bowl and add a table spoon of boiling water to completely dissolve it. Mix this liquid into the cream.

White Chocolate Glaze
150g – White chocolate
150ml – Whipping cream
90g – Liquid glucose
3 – Leaf gelatin sheets

~ Soak the gelatine sheets in cold water for 5-10 minutes.
~ In a saucepan, bring the cream and glucose to a quick boil.
~ Pour the hot cream over the white chocolate and stir until combined.
~ Squeeze the gelatin sheets to remove excess water. Add it to the mixture.

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Assembly
1. Place a 7 inch round cake ring into a container that has been lined with baking paper. Pipe a thin and even layer of mascarpone cream onto the base of the cake ring and up the sides. Place it in the freezer.
2. Using a 6 inch cake pan, cut out two 6 inch circles of cake from the huge sheet of cake. Brush each cake layer with the wine.
3. Once the first layer is frozen, pour a thin layer of lemon cream. Place one layer of cake on the lemon cream layer.
4. Pipe a thin and even layer of strawberry cream over the cake. Place the strawberry jelly onto the cream and press down gently. Cover the jelly layer with more strawberry cream.
5. Place the last layer of cake over the strawberry cream and seal it with more cream. Place in the freezer.
6. Once the cake is frozen, make the glaze.
7. When the glaze has cooled to 30-40°C, unmould the cake and place it on top of a mug. The white mascarpone cream layer should be on top while the strawberry cream layer should be at the bottom. Glaze the cake. Place the glazed cake on a cake board and decorate it with some berries.
8. Sprinkle some popping candy just before serving for that extra fizz!

I would suggest that you make the jelly and cake layers the day before, as it’ll make the whole process more efficient. And I apologise for the lack of step by step pictures and a cross-section of the cake because it was a pretty hectic week and I had to enter the cake whole.

Photo credits: Tricia Yeo

Photo credits: Tricia Yeo

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