TescoFinest launch their crowning cake of the season, created by award-winning pâtissier Eric Lanlard
A cake to celebrate a Royal occasion
On Wednesday 25th May, a group of very excited foodies joined Tesco finest to learn how to decorate a cake 'fit for a queen' from the charming and funny French pâtissier Eric Lanlard. The masterclass welcomed the marvellous news of Tesco finest's latest addition to their summer range of cakes, designed by Eric himself.
His bespoke and scrumptious cake is available from today in 532 Tesco stores nationwide and will only be sold in stores until June 16th - so be sure to get your hands on one soon!
Both the design and season of the cake were inspired to help cake lovers nationwide to celebrate the 90th Birthday of our longest reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, for her official birthday celebrations that have been taking place throughout the month of June.
The ‘Cake Fit for a Queen’ comprises of three layers of sponge; two layers of pink velvet sponge are paired with a luxurious chocolate sponge centre layer and filled with a raspberry conserve for a delicious taste of summer. Each cake has been carefully coated by hand in creamy Tesco finest Madagascan white chocolate buttercream and crowned with delicate prosecco flavoured buttercream roses. The cake has a light sprinkle of edible lustre, giving it that magical, shimmering finish.
I personally loved how light and fragrant the cake was and the excellent combination of Madagascan white chocolate buttercream with raspberry and pink velvet sponge. Eric explained that he's more of a savoury then sweet fan as we discussed how a lot of popular cake icing is often too sweet. As I agreed with him, I then gushed about how his personalised prosecco flavoured buttercream that forms the roses surrounding his cake was so yummy that I could eat the icing by itself!
The cake decorating masterclass
After tasting Eric's cake, we made our way into the kitchen. Each baker was presented with their own workspace to decorate the cake. There was buttercream, white chocolate, raspberry conserve, buttercream colouring (red, pink, yellow, lilac, blue) and some shimmering edible cake lustre to decorate our three tier sponge. Eric gave an insightful and entertaining introduction to our masterclass and revealed a bit about his experience as a celebrity chef, a master patissier and his time spent making a cake for the Queen Mother's 101st Birthday!
Eric's 10 top tips for decorating a cake
1. BE ORGANISED
A little bit of preparation goes a long way, it will help you to avoid getting caught off guard and ensure you aren’t missing anything. Always start with a clean and clear work surface and make sure you have all your equipment and ingredients lined up ready for action.
2. CHILL OUT
If you’re about to slice a sponge ready to be decorated, place it in the fridge for at least one hour. Chilling the sponge will make it easier to slice and you will get less crumbs than if you cut it when it’s super fresh.
3. MORE IS LESS
When using food colouring to colour icing, always use a tooth pick. Adding a small amount of colouring in stages avoids getting the colour wrong. Remember it’s easy to add more, but not to take it out!
4. 50 SHADES OF GREY
When baking coloured sponges for cakes such as red velvet or a rainbow cake, make sure the food colouring you use is bake stable. If it isn’t, your lovely coloured sponge will turn grey in the oven.
5. DON’T CRACK UP
When rolling icing on a surface, swap your icing sugar for a light dusting of corn flour...it won’t dry out your icing and will give you a much smoother result without cracks.
6. PUT ON YOUR CRUMB COAT
When icing a cake with frosting or buttercream, start by doing what we call a ‘crumb coat’. This is a rough coating of frosting or buttercream which helps to glue the crumbs together. Place the cake in the fridge for one hour before finishing off without a crumb in sight.
7. GLAZE OVER IT
When making a chocolate ganache to glaze a cake, take extra care mixing your hot cream and chocolate. You will need to mix it gently so the ganache does not curdle. If it does, don’t panic, you can save it by folding one tablespoon of cold cream into it. The addition of a bit of glucose syrup into your ganache will help smooth it.
8. STAY IN CONTROL
Do not overfill your piping bag when piping icing. Instead it is better to refill frequently as it gives you more control. When refilling, try placing your piping bag into a measuring jug so you have two free hands to do so.
9. ICING ON THE CAKE
To fill and ice a cake with buttercream or frosting, use a turntable or a cake stand to help you spin your cake, making it easier to get all around the edges. A palette knife is the perfect tool for icing. To finish, dip your palette knife into hot water for few seconds to get a super smooth and glossy sheen.
10. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
If you’re decorating a cake for a special occasion and want to practice your technique ahead of the big day, purchase a polystyrene dummy from any sugar craft store. This way you can decorate it as many times as you want without wasting any cake, icing, frosting - or even piping!! All you need to do is place a clear sheet of Perspex underneath any design and then follow with your piping bag, and clean wipe and start again until you have perfected the technique.
N.B * Eric's Inspiration and 10 Top Tips from Tesco finest including words and images
Ready, set, bake!
After learning how to bake like a true master pâtissier, Eric informed us that our cake decorating was a competition and the three best decorators would receive a signed copy of his latest Afternoon Tea book! The pressure was on...
Eleven bakers competing for Eric's vote led to buttercream everywhere and hands covered in edible lustre (needless to mention mine that were bright red!)
"The time is up!" Eric with the eleven crowning cakes and his signed books behind.
None of us wanted to miss a photo opportunity; the competition amongst us was strong, especially with the desired drips and rose icing on point!
This is my cake - a very fiery and colourful rainbow number. I wanted to make a cascade of yellow, red and white roses down the side of the cake but I ran out of time. I was still pleased with my result and learnt some really key tips from Eric that I'd love to try the next time I get down to some baking.
It was a truly memorable event and I want to say a big thank you to Tesco finest and to Eric for a lovely evening. The new 'Cake Fit for a Queen' is perfect for any occasion: mine will be to celebrate the end of University paired with a glass of bubbly! Cheers!
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