spiced honey but­ter­milk layer cake

donna hay - - BLOOD ORANGE -

¾ cup (180ml) wa­ter 125g un­salted but­ter, chopped ¼ cup (90g) honey 2 cups (300g) plain (all-pur­pose) flour 1 tea­spoon bi­car­bon­ate of (bak­ing) soda 1½ cups (330g) caster (su­perfine) sugar 2 eggs ½ cup (125ml) but­ter­milk 2 tea­spoons vanilla ex­tract ¼ tea­spoon ground nut­meg 1 tea­spoon ground cin­na­mon 1 ta­ble­spoon finely grated blood or­ange rind can­died blood or­ange peel ( see recipe, left), to serve vanilla but­ter­cream 375g un­salted but­ter, chopped and soft­ened 2¼ cups (360g) ic­ing (con­fec­tioner’s) sugar, sifted 2 tea­spoons vanilla ex­tract Pre­heat oven to 160°C (325°F). Place the wa­ter, but­ter and honey in a large saucepan over medium heat and cook, stir­ring, un­til the but­ter is melted. Re­move from the heat. Add the flour, bi­car­bon­ate of soda, sugar, eggs, but­ter­milk, vanilla, nut­meg, cin­na­mon and or­ange rind, and whisk un­til smooth. Di­vide the mix­ture be­tween 2 x 18cm lightly greased cake tins lined with non-stick bak­ing pa­per. Cook for 50–55 min­utes or un­til cooked when tested with a skewer. Set aside to cool slightly in the tins, be­fore turn­ing out onto wire racks to cool com­pletely.

While the cakes are cool­ing, make the vanilla but­ter­cream. Place the but­ter, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an elec­tric mixer and beat for 6–8 min­utes or un­til pale and fluffy.

Trim the tops of the cakes and, us­ing a large ser­rated knife, halve hor­i­zon­tally to cre­ate 4 even lay­ers. Place one cake layer on a cake stand. Top with ½ cup of the but­ter­cream and use a pal­ette knife to spread into an even layer. Re­peat with the cake lay­ers and but­ter­cream, fin­ish­ing with a cake layer. Us­ing the pal­ette knife, spread the re­main­ing but­ter­cream over the top and sides of the cake. Top with can­died blood or­ange peel to serve. SERVES 8–10.

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