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For the cake, preheat oven to 160C and line the bottoms (not sides) of cake tins with wax paper
Sieve flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into a large mixing bowl, ending with a well in the middle
Pour into the well the oil, water, egg yolks, vanilla, lemon zest and juice. Mix until a smooth paste forms.
Whisk egg whites with cream of tartar to stiff peaks. Fold about 1/4th-1/3rd of the egg whites into the paste, then slowly and carefully fold the paste through the remainder of the whites (in 3 – 4 portions) until just combined. Divide batter between cake tins.
Bake cakes until a skewer comes out clean, then set aside to cool. Once cool, torte each cake in half (ending up with 4 layers of 9” and 4 layers of 7”).
For the blackberry curd, simmer berries and lemon juice uncovered until soft. Strain through fine mesh sieve into a small pan. Place sugar into pan with berries, then bring to a medium simmer until dissolved.
Temper the eggs with some of the hot mixture, then add it back to the berry mix (whisking all the time to prevent curdling). Once thickened, add butter and whisk until combined. Set aside to cool.
For the Elderflower Italian meringue buttercream, in a small saucepan, bring the extra 425g sugar and water to a rolling boil. Meanwhile, in an electric mixer, whisk the eggs whites at a medium speed until frothy.
Slowly add the 140g sugar until incorporating, increasing speed to medium-high. Continue beating until soft peaks form. When syrup reaches 118°C, remove from heat. Slowly drizzle syrup into egg whites, whisking at high speed (the mixture will become very hot). Continue whisking until thick, glossy and room temperature (otherwise butter will liquify when added).
Beating at high speed, add vanilla, then butter in small chunks (bit by bit) to the meringue. The mixture might separate or seem to have curdled – leave in fridge for a few minutes to bring temperature down, then beat again at high speed until mixture turns into a smooth, stable icing.
Mix blackberry powder with a bit of hot water to form a paste – use paste to colour about 2/3rds of the buttercream into 6 shades, from deep pink to white.
To assemble, spread layers of cake with blackberry curd. Top curd with a thin layer of elderflower buttercream (use piping bag to get an even layer).
Stack cakes and cover with shades of pink buttercream in an ombré style. Decorate with handmade wafer paper flowers.
This recipe has not been edited or tested by the Bake Off Food Department.
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