The Australian Christmas cake for lovers of Summer...

With the heat of the Australian summer the traditional stodgy Christmas cake has given way to a lighter (and dare we say, more health conscious) alternative on the Bella's tables this year.
We asked local Blue Mountains Baker, Erin from Unplanned Bakery to share with us a Christmas celebration cake recipe to compliment the Australian summer climate. Dripping in delicious berries, Erin designed a Triple-layer lemon cake with wattle seed icing and blackberry compote. Free from dairy and eggs means the cake is also vegan friendly.
We joined Erin at the beautiful Floral By Nature farm located on the Cox's river where she gave us a demo of how to assemble the layers of sticky goodness. Celine, local Blue Mountains floral grower shared her organically grown flowers to add the finishing touches in this delicious collaboration.
Celine beautiful daughter Indi then did the taste test for us, with the result exclaimed between mouthfuls 'This is pretty yummy!'
 
Triple-layer lemon cake with wattle seed icing and blackberry compote

Equipment required
Three 8” spring form cake tins.
Electric mixer.
Tip: I use organic products wherever possible. It is integral to the cake that all elements are left to cool completely before you assemble the cake.
Ingredients
Lemon cake
3 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ cups caster sugar
2 large pinches of salt
6 tsp baking powder
2 cups soy milk
¾ cup vegetable oil
½ cup lemon juice
zest of one large lemon
3 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
Wattle seed icing
1 tsp roasted and ground wattle seeds
2Tbs hot water
½ cup Nuttelex spread
4 Tbs soy milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
500gm icing sugar
Blackberry compote
500gm frozen blackberries
½ cup caster sugar
½ cup chia seeds
1/3 cup water
Method
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and prepare baking tins by lining them with baking paper.
In a large bowl, sift the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder together and mix to combine.
With a well in the centre of the dry mix, add the milk, oil, lemon juice and zest and the vanilla extract. Use a whisk to gently combine the wet with the dry ingredients. Be sure to only mix until just combined to keep air in the mix.
Stir through the apple cider vinegar and allow the mix to sit for a couple of minutes, allowing the vinegar to work its magic.
Divide the mixture evenly between the three prepared tins and cook for 35 minutes or until the middle of the cake bounces back when lightly touched.
While the cake is cooking, prepare the icing.
Add the hot water to the ground wattle seed and set aside.
To the bowl of an electric mixer, add the nuttelex, soy milk and vanilla extract. Sift the icing sugar on top of the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. Once the icing has formed, check to see if it is the right consistency. It should stick to the whisk attachment when it is removed from the bowl but not be so stiff that spreading it seems impossible. Add more icing sugar or soy milk to adjust accordingly.
Lastly, add the wattle seed to the icing and mix for the final time. The wattle seed does not dissolve completely in hot water, thus giving a little bit of texture and subtle colour to the icing mixture.
Now place the blackberries, sugar and water into a saucepan on a low heat. Allow the sugar to dissolve and some of the berries to break up. Try not to over stir or heat for too long or you risk loosing the variety of size and texture that the blackberries bring to the cake. Once the liquid has been absorbed and you are able to see the bottom of the saucepan when you run a spoon through it, it’s done.
Stir through the chia seeds and allow it to cool in the fridge.
Assembling the cake
Once the cake has cooled entirely (waiting can be the hardest part), you can begin assembling your masterpiece!
I recommend putting a little icing on your serving plate to anchor the first layer of the cake. Spread a generous layer of your wattle seed icing to the first layer and follow that with a layer of your blackberry mixture. Consider if you want some of the berries to drip out the sides or if you want it all neatly stacked. Repeat this process with the second layer of cake and finish by placing your third and final cake layer on top.
For this cake, I topped the cake with the wattle seed icing and adorned it with flowers from Floral by Nature. The icing on top (without more berry mixture) allowed the flowers to stick to the cake and gave a blank canvas to decorate with on the top.
All three elements of this cake can be made in advance, leaving the assembly to the day of your celebration. This is especially important if you’re aiming for the indulgent and slightly over the top drip effect shown in these pictures.
An Australian Christmas feast is typically a hot and sunny one. I recommend leaving the cake in the fridge until its grand reveal to avoid melted icing and a puddle of blackberries on the plate.
Credits
Cake Recipe: Unplanned Bakery
Flowers + Location: Floral by Nature

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