For the shortbread
- 70g unsalted butter, softened
- 30g icing sugar, sifted
- 30g cornflour
- 65g plain flour, plus a little extra for dusting
- 1 tsp smooth apricot jam
- 25g Ready-To-Roll Black Icing
- A little white vegetable fat, for rolling out
- 40g Bright White Candy Melts
- 40g icing sugar, sifted
- Icing Colours (colour of your choice)
For the sponge
- 615g unsalted butter, softened
- 615g caster sugar
- 11 large eggs
- 615g self-raising flour
- 5½ tsp baking powder
- 3 tsp Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract
- 3 tsp lemon zest, finely grated
- A little milk
For the filling
- 600ml double cream
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 200g fresh raspberries
- 225g fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 600g lemon curd
- Icing sugar, for dusting
- Shortbread cookie hearts
- A few fresh flowers
- To make the cookie hearts, follow the recipe for the Blackboard Shortbread Cookie Hearts. In step 4, cut out one heart using the largest cutter, and 18 hearts using the smallest cutter. Follow all remaining steps to make the large bride and groom cookie, but omit steps 7 to 11 for the small hearts.
- For the sponge, preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Brush the sides and bases of two 15cm, two 20cm and two 23cm loose-based sandwich tins with Cake Release and set aside.
- To make the two 23cm cakes, cream together 275g of the butter and 275g of the sugar in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer for 2-3 minutes, or until very light and fluffy.
- Beat 5 of the eggs in a separate bowl and add them a little at a time to the butter and sugar mixture, beating well after each addition.
- Gradually sift 275g of the flour and 2½ tsp of the baking powder into the mixture, carefully folding it in until all the flour is incorporated.
- Gently stir in 1½ tsp vanilla and 1½ tsp lemon zest. Add 1 tbsp milk to loosen the mixture slightly then divide evenly between the two prepared 23cm tins. Smooth the tops with the back of a spoon.
- Bake for 25-28 minutes or until well risen, golden and a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre.
- Remove the cakes from the oven and leave to cool in the tins for around 15 minutes. Carefully remove the cakes from the tins, transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
- To make the two 20 cm cakes, repeat the above steps using 225g butter, 225g sugar, 4 eggs, 225g flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp lemon zest and 1 tbsp milk. Bake for 23-25 minutes.
- To make the two 15cm cakes, repeat the above steps using the remaining 115g butter, 115g sugar, 2 eggs, 115g flour, 1 tsp baking powder, ½ tsp vanilla, ½ tsp lemon zest and 2 tsp milk. Bake for 20-23 minutes.
- For the filling, place the double cream and icing sugar in a large bowl and whisk with an electric hand mixer until soft peaks form.
- Place one of the 23cm sponge cakes onto a large serving platter or cake stand.
- Spread some of the whipped cream on top and sprinkle with berries. Spoon over enough lemon curd to cover the fruit then place the remaining 23cm cake on top, with the top side uppermost.
- Repeat step 13 with the 20cm and 15cm cakes. Using a cake lifter, carefully place the assembled 20cm cake on top of the 23cm cake then place the assembled 15cm cake on top.
- To decorate, give the cake a generous dusting of icing sugar. Dust the small shortbread hearts with icing sugar and arrange them around the cake tiers.
- Carefully place the bride and groom blackboard shortbread cookie heart on top of the cake, using a cocktail stick to prop it up. Finish with fresh flowers.
Tips: The sponge cakes can be made and kept in the freezer for up to 1 month. The cake is best assembled up to 1 hour before serving and must be stored in a cool place (not the fridge) because of the fresh cream filling. For extra stability, short lengths of dowel and cake cards can be used to support the top two tiers.
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