Nessa Robins Wednesday, August 05, 2015
As a child my parents had a fruit farm, so for the summer months there was always an abundance of berries in our kitchen. Many were made into jam, but when time allowed my mother would make either a flan or a sponge cake, and in turn would pack it well with our home grown berries. A sponge is one of the easiest cakes to make, but if you are a first time sponge-maker it's important to tell you that you should beat the sugar and eggs together, using an electric mixer, for at least seven minutes. This allows the addition of plenty of air into the batter, which will help the cake to rise and it also produces an ever so light result. I'm sandwiching the cake with vanilla cream and lemon curd, but any summer jam will work well in the curd's place. It isn't necessary to top with melted chocolate, a dusting of icing sugar would do just fine, however the chocolate does add that extra touch of indulgence.
Summer Sponge filled with Lemon Curd and topped with Summer Berries
5 fresh free range hen or duck eggs, weighing approx. 350g in their shells
175g caster sugar
175g plain flour, sieved
25g icing sugar, sieved, plus extra for dusting
1tsp vanilla extract
3tbsp lemon curd
handful of pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
25g milk or white chocolate, melted
sprigs of mint
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas mark 6. Butter and flour two 8” sandwich tins then carefully line the base with two circles of parchment paper.
2. Whisk the eggs and sugar together for about 7-10 minutes until thick and fluffy.
3. Carefully fold in the sieved flour.
4. Divide the mixture between the prepared tins and bake in the pre heated oven for 25 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
5. Turn the cakes out carefully onto a wire rack and leave to completely cool.
6. In a bowl softly whip the cream and add the icing sugar and vanilla extract.
7. Place one cake on a serving plate and spread with a layer of lemon curd. Then top with half of the sweet vanilla cream.
8. Place the second cake on top. Top with the remaining sweet vanilla cream, raspberries, blueberries and pistachios. Drizzle over the melted chocolate. Dust with a little icing sugar and decorate with a few mint leaves. Serve straight-away, otherwise place the cake in the fridge where it will sit comfortably for a few hours.