Born of a love of sweet, sugary things, LionHeart is the pâtisserie of Cape-Town-based baker and designer Nikki Albertyn.
From custom cakes, tea party treats and wondrous wedding cakes to traditional French confections, the studio bakes something for anyone with a sweet tooth. LionHeart doesn’t have a shop front and all cakes are made to order through the website, sweetlionheart.com, but cake lovers are welcome to pop into the kitchen at the quirky Zana Studios in Salt River by appointment.
We couldn’t wait to visit Nikki in the kitchen and watch her work her magic. Here’s how to ice her whimsical Mini Astronomica cake.
In case you missed it, here’s the full recipe:
3 x 10cm diameter cake sponges
For the frosting
7 egg whites
350g granulated sugar
455g butter, cubed and at room temperature
220g icing sugar, sifted
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract or seeds of 1 vanilla pod
For the filling
2 heaped Tbsp chunky peanut butter
Simmer egg whites and sugar over a pot of water and gently whisk until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot. Whip until the meringue is thick, glossy.
Using the paddle attachment on a low speed, add the chunks of butter until incorporated and silky smooth. Slowly add the icing sugar, followed by vanilla and salt, and beat on low speed until well combined and smooth.
For the filling, mix the peanut butter with 2 heaped tablespoons of the frosting mixture.
To assemble the cake, place a dollop of frosting on your cake board and place your first cake layer in the centre.
Place 5 large tablespoons of frosting into a piping bag and pipe a around the edge of the cake and fill the with the peanut butter filling.
Place the next cake layer on top and repeat the piping and filling. Place your last cake layer, bottom up on top and neatly spread a layer of frosting on top.
Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Place a large dollop of frosting on top and neatly spread towards the edges of the cake. Working like a plasterer, start covering the sides of your cake until it is completely covered. Once covered, use your bench scraper to smooth around the edges a bit.
Place the cake in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Run your bench scraper under hot water, dry and use to smooth the sides of the cake. Use your off-set spatula to smooth the edges so that they are nice and sharp!
Place three drops of food colouring into a small bowl. Using a food-safe brush, slowly start to paint around the cake.
Pipe some decorative icing on top of the cake with a star nozzle or place meringue kisses on top. Add some colourful sprinkles and dust with edible glitter.
Cut, serve, and enjoy!