When sisters Annabel and Emily were looking to make their mark on London’s pastry scene and developing recipes in their tiny kitchen, Annabel would cut the dough and Emily squidged it together—and that is how Cutter & Squidge was born!
The sisters set out on a mission to create a baking business using only natural colours and flavourings and pioneering the creation of imaginative new treats. Customers now flock to their flagship store in London to sample their cool creations and indulge in their immersive afternoon tea experiences, with themes such as Hello Kitty, Genie’s Cave and The Potion Room.
The recipes shared in this book include everything from fantasy-themed Clam-shell Pearl Biskies, Galaxy Juice and Genie’s Magic Carpet Cookies, to re-imagined classics like Strawberries and Cream Biskies, Raspberry Ripple Cake, Smoked Cheese and Black Pepper Scones, Pineapple Chilli and Lime Cake Bars and Maple, Pecan and Carrot Dreamcake, all made achievable for the home cook.
Readers can use the themed afternoon tea menus provided or mix and match the recipes to create their own Cutter & Squidge afternoon tea of dreams!
Raspberry Ripple Cake
Prep time: 2 ½ hours + chill time
Bake time: 25–30 minutes
This crowd-pleasing cake pays homage to the classic Victoria sponge. Our vanilla bean buttercream and the tart raspberry jam give it extra va-va-voom.
1 x batch 20-cm/8-inch Vanilla Cake Batter (recipe follows)
1 x batch Raspberry Jam (recipe follows)
1½ x batches Light as a Feather Buttercream (recipe follows)
30 g/4 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
1 x batch Vanilla Syrup (recipe follows)
20 g/¾ oz. freeze-dried raspberry powder, sifted if there are seeds and mixed to a paste with 2 teaspoons cold water
150 g/5½ oz. fresh raspberries
3 x 20-cm/8-inch cake pans, base-lined with greaseproof baking parchment
Piping/pastry bag with a large plain 2.5-cm/1-inch nozzle/tip and a small 5-point star-shaped nozzle/tip
Cake board or cake stand
Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C (350°F) Gas 4.
Prepare a batch of the 20-cm/8-inch vanilla cake batter and divide between the three cake pans. Bake in the preheated oven following the instructions below.
When cool, trim the sponges to flat, even layers. Cut each sponge in half horizontally so that you have six thin layers.
Prepare the raspberry jam and let cool. Prepare the light as a feather buttercream and mix in the vanilla paste. Transfer half of the buttercream to the piping/pastry bag with the large plain nozzle/tip, reserving the rest. Prepare the vanilla syrup.
Line the sides of one of the pans that you baked the sponges in with a double layer of greaseproof baking parchment, about 15 cm/6 inches high. Put the first sponge in and drizzle over 65 ml/generous ¼ cup of the warm vanilla syrup. Pipe on 100 g/3½ oz. buttercream and smooth out evenly. Spoon on a fifth of the raspberry jam and spread evenly. Add the next sponge and repeat the process with the syrup, buttercream and jam. Drizzle the top layer with syrup, then smooth over 2 tablespoons of buttercream. Freeze the cake for 20 minutes or refrigerate for 40 minutes to set.
Remove the pan and paper and transfer the cake to a board or cake stand with a blob of buttercream underneath. Swirl the raspberry paste very lightly into the reserved buttercream. Transfer to the piping/pastry bag and pipe rings of buttercream around the cake from the bottom up to cover. Smooth the buttercream around the sides of the cake using the cake scraper, cleaning it as you go. Use an offset spatula to scrape any overspill onto the top of the cake and smooth over to cover the top. Switch to the star-shaped nozzle/tip and pipe 12 buttercream peaks on top. Decorate with fresh raspberries.
Vanilla Cake Batter
For a 20-cm/8-inch cake
250 g/2 ¼ sticks unsalted butter, softened
250 g/1 ¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons caster/granulated sugar
6 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
340 g/2 ½ cups plain/all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
120 ml/½ cup buttermilk, at room temperature
2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C (350°F) Gas 4.
Put the softened butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla paste in a mixing bowl. Sift in the flour and the baking powder and mix with a handheld electric whisk (or use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment), starting at a slow speed and then progressing to medium, for about 1 minute until well combined, scraping down the bowl a couple of times.
In a separate bowl, mix the buttermilk and bicarbonate of soda/baking soda together until foamy and quickly add to the cake batter. Mix at medium-high speed until combined; do not overmix or the sponge will be tough.
Divide the cake batter into the pans specified in the recipe and bake in the preheated oven for 25–30 minutes for three pans or 35–40 minutes for two pans until golden and springy to the touch.
Light as a Feather Cake Buttercream
Makes about 900 g/2 lb
6 egg whites
260 g/1 ¼ cups caster/granulated sugar
430 g/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Stir together the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl. Place over a pan of gently simmering water (making sure that the base of the bowl does not touch the water). Heat gently, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved. You can check this by rubbing some between your fingertips—it should not be grainy.
Remove the bowl from the pan and use a hand-held electric whisk (or a stand mixer with a whisk attachment) to whisk for about 10–15 minutes until cool with stiff peaks.
Add the softened butter and whisk for a further 5–7 minutes until light cream in colour. Stir in the vanilla paste. It should have the consistency of medium-soft whipped cream and be very easy to pipe and spread.
Tip: If your buttercream splits, freeze it until frozen solid. Melt a quarter in the microwave until liquid, then whisk back into the frozen buttercream until it comes back together.
Makes about 450 g/1 lb
400 g/14 oz frozen raspberries
100 g/½ cup caster/granulated sugar
12 g/3 level teaspoons pectin powder
Small squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Stir together all the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer over a low-medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring, until the fruit has broken down and the jam is thick. If you don’t want the seeds you can pass the jam through a sieve/strainer. Leave to cool. It will keep in the fridge for up to 2–3 weeks.
Makes about 400 ml/scant 1 ¾ cups
200 g/1 cup caster/granulated sugar
10 g/¼ oz vanilla bean paste
Stir together the sugar and vanilla in a saucepan with 200 ml/generous ¾ cup water. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat. Use warm.
Excerpted from Afternoon Tea at the Cutter & Squidge Bakery by Annabel Lui & Emily Lui, published by Ryland Peters & Small (CAN $27.95). Photography by Clare Winfield © Ryland Peters & Small. Used with permission from the publisher.