Whether you are looking at a traditional Sunday afternoon tea sitting on the lawn served with cups of tea, whiling away the last days of summer or simply a tasty slice of cake when you have a sweet craving come calling, this sponge cake topped off with strawberries and blueberries makes a very nice treat.
Dawn: This delicious, beautiful cake proved to be a big hit for a birthday celebration recently. So, without further a-do, let’s start with the ingredients.
200g softened butter (plus a little more for greasing the cake case)
200g castor sugar
150g plain flour (or self-raising, omitting the baking powder)
2 tsp baking powder
150g softened butter
300g icing sugar
Few drops of vanilla essence
200g blueberries, washed and dried
150g strawberries, hulled, washed and dried
A little icing sugar to dust
1 x 8″ cake tin, with removable bottom
1 x baking sheet
1 x cake board, large enough to carry an 8″ cake
Dawn: Decoration could be anything you decide! You may choose to add a teaspoon of cocoa powder to the buttercream and then pile on top of this a mixture of white, milk and dark chocolate shavings. You might decide to sprinkle the top with a selection of kids’ sweets or add a drop of freshly squeezed lemon juice to the buttercream and then add candied lemon slices across its top.
- Preheat the oven to gas mark 5, 190°C electric.
- Line the 8″ cake tin with greaseproof paper, and lightly grease the paper with a thin smear of butter. Set aside.
- Cream the butter and castor sugar together until they become light and fluffy in texture and appearance.
- Break one egg at a time into a dish or mug, beat until pale yellow and light in appearance. Slowly add the beaten egg to butter and sugar mixture until it is combined. Add each of the remaining eggs this way, beating well each time until all four eggs are mixed into the butter and sugar. The mixture will look pale yellow.
- Slowly add a little of the flour and baking powder (if using), sifting them into the mixture. Fold the flour into the mixture.
Dawn: Folding is a term used to gently combine a whisked or creamy mixture with other ingredients so as the mixture’s overall lightness quality is retained. Folding is done with a metal spoon and is largely used when making certain cakes, meringues and souffles to keep the air in the mixture.
- When all of the flour is folded into the mixture, pour the mixture into the cake tin, spooning the top level. Place the cake tin on a baking sheet in the middle of the pre-heated oven. Bake for approximately 50-60 minutes until golden brown in colour.
- Take from the oven when cooked and set aside until cool. Leave the cake in the cake tin to ensure the cake retains its shape.
Dawn: To test the cake to find out if it’s cooked, simply take a sharp knife and pierce the centre. If the knife comes out clean, then the cake is baked; if it comes out with a googy mixture on it, then it needs further baking time and you will have to keep checking it to see when it is baked.
- To make the buttercream topping, put the softened butter into a bowl and gradually sift the castor sugar, all the time beating the ingredients together with a wooden spoon until light and fluffy. Add a drop or two of vanilla essence and mix well.
- When the cake is completely cold, remove from the cake tin.
- Place a tiny amount of buttercream on the cake base and then place the cake on top. This dollop of buttercream under the cake secures the cake in place.
- Now, cover the top of the cake with lashings of the vanilla infused buttercream until the top is completely covered.
- Taking the hulled strawberries, position these around the edge of the cake creating a ‘wall’ of strawberries to ‘house’ the blueberries in. Add a further strawberry to the centre. Scoop the blueberries into the centre. Sprinkle with a little sifted icing sugar, if you prefer.
There’s a multitude of variations to be made on this classic sponge recipe. One variation of this sponge could be chocolate sponge cake which simply needs you to substitute 45g (3 level tbsp) of the flour with 45g of cocoa powder.
So, happy baking everyone and for more recipes, cooking tips and meal ideas that are quick and cheap to make, follow this blog – www.forfoodlovers.wordpress.com and click “Follow” over on Twitter @Love_Food_UK for regular food chat as well as finding the cooking sensation over on Facebook (please pop across and ‘Like’ Love Food). Oh, not forgetting the fab MumsNet Bloggers Network and Foodies100, too!