Hello lovely readers!
It’s been quite the blog hiatus I know – I have lots of good excuses for the lack of posting, but I’ll save those and get to the good part – baking!
My dad recently turned 60 (well a couple of months ago, but we needn’t quibble about timeliness). As per last year, I volunteered to be official cake baker. However, it was a somewhat more stressful effort this time, given he had 120 of his nearest and dearest together for a big bash.
Dad has a real soft spot for sponges and layer cakes (have a look at last year’s cake here). For his birthday he requested a sponge that resembled a lamington.
I went to my fail safe sponge recipe, helpfully titled ‘never fail sponge’. I have used this recipe many many times and it hasn’t failed me yet. It is also a particularly good recipe as I have successfully adapted it to make it gluten free and it still works.
The recipe produces an incredibly light sponge that is still moist, but definitely don’t scrimp on the cream and raspberries!
Dad had a lovely birthday party and all of the cake disappeared – quite a feat given that there was also a lemon meringue pie contest in action and more lemon meringue pie than you can poke a stick at! Give it a try!
Sponge recipe is from the CWA. To make this gluten-free, make sure your cornflour is 100% corn (most are made from wheat) and omit the custard powder. Makes a very tall four layer cake.
For the sponges
8 eggs, separated
pinch of salt
330g castor sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cream of tartar
2 large tbsp custard powder (to make this gluten-free, omit the custard powder and add in 2 extra tbsp of cornflour)
1 tsp bicarb soda
For the chantilly creme
2 tbs caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
For the ganache
360g dark chocolate, chopped
250 ml cream
350g jar of raspberry jam
250g fresh raspberries
Packed of shredded coconut
To make the sponges
- Preheat oven to 175 degrees C.
- Twice-sift the dry ingredients (cornflour, cream of tartar, custard powder (if using) and bicarb soda). Set aside.
- Beat egg whites with a small pinch of salt until soft peaks form, and gradually beat in castor sugar. Beat well until stiff peaks form and very thick. Then gently fold in egg yolks and vanilla.
- Add the twice-sifted dry ingredients and fold gently to combine. You need to be careful here so you don’t knock the air out of the mixture.
- Pour into 2 well-greased and lined spring form tins (I used 8-inch tins).
- Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the sides of the cake have come away from the sides of the tin. The cakes will puff up very high. Place on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once the cakes are cooled, make the chantilly cream by beating the cream and adding the sugar and vanilla.
- Split each cake into two pieces.
- Warm the raspberry jam in the microwave so it is more spreadable. Spread the first layer with jam, then cream.
- Place the second layer on top, spread with cream and fresh raspberries.
- Place the third layer on top and spread with jam and cream. Place the last layer on the cake.
- Make the ganache by putting the chopped chocolate and cream into a saucepan and heating gently. Stir until mixture is smooth, then beat in an electric mixture until cool and thick.
- Spread the ganache on the cake, then throw shredded coconut at the cake until covered: