A completely self- taught baker, Jordan founded The Caker in 2010. She began selling made-to-order cakes, but has evolved with other offerings, all focused on celebration. Writing recipes remains Jordan’s favourite part of her job.
You might think liquid smoke is only suited to savoury settings, but it’s actually a wonderful ingredient in desserts. In this recipe, I toss white chocolate buttons with some liquid smoke (a little goes a long way, so use it sparingly) and then roast them to caramelise the sugars and enhance the smoky flavour. When these golden buttons are stirred through the cake they impart a gentle smokiness and the result is pretty incredible. Liquid smoke is in most supermarkets, as are tinned lychees. I urge you to give this recipe a go!
For the cake 100g white chocolate buttons 2 teaspoons liquid smoke 150g butter, room temperature 120g caster sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 3 free-range eggs 125g spelt or all-purpose white flour 75g ground almonds 2 teaspoons baking powder Pinch sea salt 125g full-fat unsweetened Greek yogurt 1 can of lychees, drained and cut in half
For the vanilla bean cream cheese icing 150g butter, softened 110g icing sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 100g cream cheese
For the decorations Handful of white chocolate buttons
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a baking tray and 2 x 22cm cake tins with baking paper.
First, make the caramelised smoked white chocolate. Combine the white chocolate with the liquid smoke and spread evenly on the lined baking tray. Place in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the buttons are golden in colour. Set aside to cool.
Next, make the cake. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar and vanilla together until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs in one at a time, waiting until each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next.
Combine the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In two parts, add the dry ingredients. Mix after each addition until just combined, being careful not to over-mix.
Gently fold through the yogurt and the smoked caramelised white chocolate buttons.
Divide the batter evenly between your two tins and dot in the lychee halves, pressing them down lightly.
Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until golden in colour and springy to the touch, and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
Meanwhile, make the icing. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, icing sugar, and vanilla together until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in the cream cheese until smooth.
Once the cakes are fully cooled, ice one layer and then place the other directly on top. Neatly ice the top of the cake and decorate with a handful of white chocolate buttons.
Serve at room temperature. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to three days.