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Crown jewels: Red velvet crown cake 

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125g plain flour

10g cocoa powder

5g bicarbonate of soda

55g softened unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing

150g caster sugar

a pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 large egg

120ml buttermilk

1 tsp white wine vinegar

20 drops red liquid

food colouring

❤ This makes a basic cake that can be cut into mini rounds or bitesize pieces (iced with your favourite frosting, if wished). To try your hand at the ultimate Prêt-à-Portea crown pictured on page 54, refer to the full-on instructions in the book (see page 59).

❤ Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line a shallow 24cm cake tin with baking parchment. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda together and set aside. Put the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla in a bowl and beat until pale and fluffy using an electric hand whisk. Gradually add the egg, mix well, then add the flour and cocoa mixture. Still beating gently, add the buttermilk slowly, then the white wine vinegar and the food colouring. Mix well.

❤ Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for about 20 minutes, until a skewer inserted at the centre comes out clean. Take the cake out of the oven and leave to cool for 30 minutes before slicing or decorating as desired.




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