BLUE­BERRY PE­TAL SPONGE CAKE

SERVES 8 PREP 1½ HRS COOK 15 MINS + COOL­ING $2.15 A SERVE

Homes+ (Australia) - - EASY FOOD -

4 eggs, at room tem­per­a­ture

2/3 cup caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla bean paste 2/3 cup self-rais­ing flour

1/3 cup wheaten corn­flour

Meringue But­ter­cream (see recipe, right)

3/4 cup thick­ened cream 1 tbsp ic­ing sugar

250g blue­ber­ries blue food colour­ing ic­ing sugar, to dust

ONE Pre­heat oven to 180ºC/160ºC fan. Grease and flour two 20cm (base mea­sure­ment) round cake pans. Us­ing an elec­tric mixer, beat eggs and caster sugar in a large bowl for 10 mins or un­til thick and pale. Beat in vanilla.

TWO Sift flour and corn­flour twice into a bowl. Sift over egg mix­ture. Gen­tly fold un­til just com­bined. Spread mix­ture into pre­pared pans. Bake for 15 mins or un­til cakes spring back when lightly touched. Stand in pans for 2 mins then turn out onto wire rack to cool.

THREE Make Meringue But­ter­cream as recipe di­rects.

FOUR Us­ing an elec­tric mixer beat cream and ic­ing sugar un­til soft peaks form. Place one of the cakes on a serv­ing plate. Spread with cream mix­ture. Top with one-quar­ter of the blue­ber­ries, then re­main­ing cake (turn cake over so the smooth base be­comes the top).

FIVE Di­vide but­ter­cream among four sep­a­rate bowls. Spread a thin layer of one por­tion of but­ter­cream over top and side of cake. Tint each bowl of re­main­ing but­ter­cream grad­ual shades of blue. Trans­fer the dark­est but­ter­cream to a pip­ing bag fit­ted with a 1cm plain noz­zle. Pipe a dot at base of cake. Us­ing an off­set spat­ula or the back of a tea­spoon, smear dot to­wards the right hor­i­zon­tally. Pipe an­other dot about 1.5cm from the start of the first smear. Con­tinue pip­ing and smear­ing around cake.

Re­peat process us­ing re­main­ing but­ter­cream in grad­ual colours, work­ing ver­ti­cally up cake. End each row with just a dot. Pipe and smear a row in the light­est colour around edge of top of cake. Top cake with re­main­ing blue­ber­ries. Serve dusted with ic­ing sugar.

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