A student's guide to baking

Raspberry Layer Cake

Raspberry layer cake

Ingredients:

The cake:

  • 350g butter
  • 350g cups caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 250g sour cream
  • 120ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300g plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp baking powder

The filling:

  • 200g raspberry jam
  • 250g fresh raspberries

The icing:

  • 600ml double cream
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Recipe:

  • Start by preheating your oven to 160ºC and grease 3 round cake tins.
  • Cream together your butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs to create a smooth mixture before adding in the sour cream, milk and vanilla extract.
  • Sieve in the flour and baking powder and mix until smooth and consistent. The mixture should be slightly more runny than a normal cake mixture.
  • Divide up the mixture between the three greased tins and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the cake passes the knife test.

Whilst the cakes are baking, you can make up the filling:

  • Lightly mash half of the raspberries in a bowl and then combine with the raspberry jam. Stir gently to ensure an even spread.

For the icing:

  • Start beating your double cream until it starts to thicken.
  • Add in the icing sugar and vanilla extract and continue to beat until the cream starts to form stiff peaks.

Once the cakes have finished cooking, remove them from the oven and leave them to cool.

  • When they’re ready, first ensure that they are all flat, using a serrated knife if necessary to trim the tops if they have domed.
  • To assemble the cake, take the bottom layer and spread a layer of the icing over it. On the bottom of the next layer, spread the raspberry filling and carefully place this on top of the bottom layer. Repeat with the next layer.
  • Once you’ve got all three layers together, spread the remaining icing over the top and sides of the cake, using a palette knife to give smooth and even coverage.
  • Push the remaining raspberries gently into the icing for decoration.

(Recipe adapted from: http://recipes.coles.com.au/recipes/2634/vanilla-raspberry-layer-cake/)

IMG_6059

Prior to making this, Ele and I had spent the day at the Worcester College Garden Party, celebrating the fast-approaching end of term in elegant British style. The garden party was a lovely affair; we were greeted with glasses of champagne upon our arrival, and there was also a wonderful array of sandwiches and miniature desserts of various kinds for us to try. As a result, our main source of nutrition turned out to be strawberries and cream and ice cream in various flavours from the local Oxford ice cream parlour G&Ds. There was live music and dancing, giant garden-sized games of Jenga as well as limbo, and plenty of conversation as students emerged from the libraries, remembering the joys of friendship and trying to forget about the fast-approaching exams.

Having enjoyed the champagne, and later on several glasses of Pimm’s and Elderflower Collins, we were a little light-headed as we walked back to Ele’s afterwards. On the walk we decided that having something to eat might be a good idea, and so naturally a summery cake seemed like a rather good idea.

Like the melt-in-the-middle chocolate and raspberry cupcakes, this too was born out of a need to use up some raspberries, and the concept of mixing fresh raspberries with jam turned out to add a nice extra texture to the cake. It also helped to balance out the flavours with the cream frosting, so that despite the considerable amount of cream, it’s actually a rather light cake and tasted wonderful.

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