Life Table Talk

Thursday 29 September 2016

Catherine Leyden of Odlums offers her top wedding cake advice

Chocolate biscuit cake is undoubtedly the cake du jour on the wedding circuit, but you could tier it up with traditional, old-school favourites like fruit and sponge cake, says baking expert, Catherine Leyden of Odlums

Published 26/07/2015 | 02:30

Wedding cake
Wedding cake
Chocolate biscuit cake
Wedding cake

The chocolate biscuit cake is hugely popular for weddings. It was even Prince William's request for the royal wedding. Some fans go the whole hog and do several tiers of chocolate biscuit cake, all wrapped in snowy icing or a delicious chocolate ganache poured on top.

  • Go To

Catherine Leyden has a legion of fans around the country for her baking slots on TV3's Ireland AM and she points to the growing trend of mixing tiers.

"A lot of people do a fruit cake on the top tier, ideal for the older guests who like a traditional cake. They might do a sponge mix in the middle and the bottom - the biggest tier - is nearly always a chocolate biscuit tier," says Catherine.

Weekend has provided Catherine's quantities for all tiers so you can assemble your à la carte cake as you wish. For quantities on icing, go to odlums.ie.

THREE-TIER CHOCOLATE BISCUIT CAKE

You will need

For 15cm/6" round tin 275g/10oz butter

150ml/¼ pint golden syrup

225g/8oz good-quality chocolate

200g (½ packet) digestive biscuits, roughly crushed

200g (½ packet) rich tea biscuits, roughly crushed

125g/4oz nuts (walnuts, Brazil, almonds)

125g/4oz fruit (sultanas, apricots, cherries)

For 20cm / 8" round tin 400g/14oz butter

175ml/just over ¼ pint golden syrup

450g/1lb good-quality chocolate

400g (1 packet) digestive biscuits, roughly crushed

400g (1 packet) rich tea biscuits, roughly crushed

225g/8oz nuts (walnuts, Brazil, almonds)

225g/8oz fruit (sultanas, apricots, cherries)

For 25cm / 10" round tin 575g/1 ½ lb butter

450ml/¾ pint golden syrup

900g/2lb good-quality chocolate

800g (2 packets) digestive biscuits, roughly crushed

800g (2 packets) rich tea biscuits, roughly crushed

450g/1lb nuts (walnuts, Brazil, almonds)

450g/1lb fruit (sultanas, apricots, cherries)

Method

Line the tin with clingfilm, allowing enough to completely fold over the top when tin is full. Melt the butter, syrup and chocolate in a bowl in a microwave, on medium power. Alternatively, place bowl over a pan of hot water. Stir to make sure all ingredients are well mixed together.

Add the crushed biscuits, fruits and nuts and stir well. Transfer mixture to the prepared tin. Level it on top and press down well to avoid air gaps. Fold over the clingfilm and cover completely. Place in the fridge to set, which will take about three hours. It will keep for up to two weeks in the fridge. To serve or decorate, just turn out and carefully peel off the film.

Fruit cake

You will need

For 15cm / 6" round tin 175g/6oz Odlums strong white flour

125g/4oz butter or margarine

125g/4oz dark brown sugar

3 small eggs

225g/8oz raisins

225g/8oz sultanas

25g/1oz cherries

25g/1oz mixed peel

1 tbsp chopped almonds

1 tbsp ground almonds

Rind and juice of ½ lemon

Rind and juice of ½ orange

Pinch of mixed spice

Pinch of nutmeg

1 tbsp Black Jamaican Rum

Baking time (approx) 2½-3 hrs

For 20cm / 8" round tin 225g/8oz Odlums strong white flour

175g/6ozbutter or margarine

175g/6ozdark brown sugar

4 large eggs

275g/10oz raisins

275g/10oz sultanas

75g/3oz cherries

75g/3oz mixed peel

50g/2oz chopped almonds

50g/2oz ground almonds

Rind and juice of one lemon

Rind and juice of one orange

½ tsp mixed spice

½ tsp nutmeg

2 tbsp Black Jamaican Rum

Baking time (approx) 3-3½ hrs

For 25cm / 10" round tin350g/12oz Odlums strong white flour

275g/10oz butter or margarine

275g/10oz dark brown sugar

6 large eggs

450g/1lb raisins

450g/1lb sultanas

175g/6oz cherries

175g/6oz mixed peel

125g/4oz chopped almonds

125g/4oz ground almonds

Rind and juice of two lemons

Rind and juice of two oranges

1 tsp mixed spice

1 tsp nutmeg

6 tbsp Black Jamaican Rum

Baking time (approx) 4-4½ hrs

Method

Line deep cake tins with a double layer of greaseproof paper. Pre-heat oven to 140°C/275°F/Gas 1.

Put the raisins, sultanas, cherries, mixed peel, chopped almonds, ground almonds, rind and juice of lemon and orange into a bowl and mix well. Sieve the flour, mixed spice and nutmeg together.

Cream butter or margarine and sugar together. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating each in thoroughly and adding a little of the sieved flour with every egg, after the first. Fold in the remaining flour; then stir in the fruit gently but well. Transfer to the prepared tin, smooth the top and bake. As ovens vary, check at regular intervals.

When baked, leave in tin to cool. When cold, prick top of cake with a skewer or a clean knitting needle and pour over the rum.

Wrap in greaseproof paper, then tinfoil, and store in a cool, dry place.

Fruit cake

You will need

For 15cm / 6"round tin 175g/6oz Odlums self-raising flour 125g/4oz caster sugar

125g/4oz soft margarine

2 eggs

15ml/1 tbsp milk

Baking time (approx) 1-1½ hrs For 20cm / 8"round tin 350g/12oz Odlums self-raising flour

275g/10oz caster sugar

275g/10oz soft margarine

5 eggs

45ml/3 tbsp milk

Baking time (approx) 1½ -1¾ hrs

For 25cm / 10" round tin 575g/1lb 4oz Odlums self-raising flour

500g/1lb 2oz caster sugar

500g/1lb 2oz soft margarine

9 eggs

60ml/4tbsp milk

Baking time (approx) 2-2¼ hrs

Method

Line deep cake tin with a double layer of greaseproof paper. Pre-heat oven to 150°C/300°C/Gas 2. Sieve the flour into a bowl and add all the other ingredients. Gently beat all the ingredients together, using a low setting on the mixer. When ingredients are combined, increase speed and beat for one minute. Spoon mixture into the prepared baking tin and smooth the top.

Cook in the centre of the oven for specified time, as above. Test the cake by lightly pressing the centre. If baked, it should spring back and the top should be golden brown. To be extra sure, insert a skewer or knife and if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked.

Leave in tin for about 15 minutes, then turn onto a wire tray to cool.

When completely cold, wrap in greaseproof paper and store in a cool, dry place.

VARIATIONS:

Add the rind of a lemon or an orange for a citrus flavour.

For almond flavour, add a teaspoon of almond essence; for vanilla flavour, add a teaspoon of vanilla essence.

Another option is to add 50g/2oz desiccated coconut.

Weekend Magazine

Read More

Promoted articles

Editors Choice

Also in Life