Saturday, August 18, 2012
Old faithful vanilla cake
A few weeks ago we had guests staying with a whole bunch of kids. I wasn't going to have the time to cook meals for the adults plus a special menu which the kids would enjoy too, so I just focused on good wholesome family food. The one dish I made which in my mind was ultra simple but ended up looking and tasting really great was the vanilla cake.
We had bought raspberries which were just amazing. Huge, sweet and juicy. I mashed some up with xylitol (a lower GI sugar substitute) to fill the cake and kept a few on the side to decorate with. I cut the cake in half width ways and spread the mashed raspberry over the bottom layer and let the juice soak into the cake. Over that I spread a thick layer of softly whipped chantilly cream (cream with a little sugar and vanilla) and put the top half of the cake back.
To decorate, I dusted the cake with icing sugar and arranged the remaining whole raspberries and some mint springs on the top. It was devoured in seconds with great enthusiasm.
I have made this cake dozens of times before and had to learn the hard way (four very flopped cakes worth on one of my trips to Joburg) that when baking at altitudes you need to adjust the raising agent, temperate and baking time. I found this website very helpful, click here.
Vanilla Sponge Cake with raspberries and cream
250g Butter, just melted but not oily
250g (1 ¼ cups) castor sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla essence
225g (1 ½ cups) cake flour
25g (2 Tbsp) corn flour
2 tsp baking powder (adjust this accordingly if baking at altitudes)
A squeeze of lemon juice
300g of fresh raspberries
250ml of whipping cream
Castor sugar and vanilla to taste
Icing sugar for dusting the cake
Sprigs of mint (optional)
Heat the oven to 180 degrees and place the rack in the middle of the oven.
With a cake mixer, whisk the melted butter and sugar until light and fluffy, slowly beat in the eggs, vanilla and lemon. Gradually sift in the flour, corn flour and baking powder.
Line and grease a 23cm round cake tin. Pour the mixture into the the tin and bake until golden and springy for about 25 - 30 minutes.
Remove from the tin when cooled a little and allow to cool completely before icing or filling the cake.
Set aside some of the best looking raspberries for decorating. Mash the rest with sugar or a sugar substitute until they mixture is as sweet as you like it. Whip the cream with a little castor sugar and vanilla essence. Do not over whip the cream. You want it to be a little oozy.
Cut the cake in half width ways and spread the mashed raspberries over the bottom layer and let the juice soak into the cake. Spread the chantilly cream over that and put the top half of the cake back.
To decorate, dust the cake with icing sugar by shaking the icing sugar through a sieve, to get it light and powdery. Arrange the remaining whole raspberries and some mint springs on the top.