Still obsessed with baking sponge cakes. I can’t seem to stop, they are just so good, so addictive, and so easy. Chocolate this time, lavishly filled with Jersey double cream and raspberries.
Admiring the peonies. Despite being the epitome of online-social-media cliche, they are stunning flowers, and I can’t possibly get sick of looking at them at my window.
Lusting after stand mixers. I almost bit the bullet and bought one, but my laptop chose that month to die, so I had to spend a good chunk of my salary replacing that instead. Then I decided that perhaps I didn’t need a stand mixer after all, and splashed out on the Kenwood KMix hand mixer instead. It is a beauty.
Looking for twenties-themed black tie wear. I’ve got a themed do coming up in the next few weeks, and of course (in typical female style) I have nothing, NOTHING to wear.
Anyway, back to the chocolate cake.
I never seem to bake chocolate-based victoria sponges, always preferring my go-to recipe based on oil. So I thought I’d astonishingly break away from my vanilla and lemon habits, and make a summery chocolate cake. After all, if thickly festooned with cream and fruit, it’s got to make the rainy weather a bit better eh?
The method is exactly the same as a standard victoria sponge, just with the addition of cocoa powder into the mix. The difficulty for me often lies in how much cocoa powder to add. Some recipes state up to a whopping 100g, whilst others are much more restrained with a mere 25g. I went for a compromise of 50g cocoa powder in a 4 egg cake batter.
By magic kitchen alchemy, my chocolate cakes always respond rather differently in the oven, rising taller, cracking, the crumb itself a different, more delicate texture.
I remembered afterwards that I forgot to add the salt. I don’t think it made much difference. Of course I had to throw on as many raspberries as I could fit, they look so pretty on top. The only downside is raspberries go mouldy so fast. You either have to eat the cake super-fast or keep it religiously in the fridge between helpings. Why do raspberries go mouldy so quickly compared with, say, strawberries? Is it the sugar content? Or their furry mould-loving nature? Absolutely no idea.
Chocolate, Cream and Raspberry Cake
- 225g unsalted butter, very soft
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 150g light brown sugar
- 75g golden caster sugar
- 4 medium eggs
- 175g self-raising or sponge flour
- 50g cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp instant coffee powder
- 300g double cream (I used extra-thick Jersey cream which is utterly sinfully gorgeous)
- punnet of raspberries
Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Grease and line a 20cm cake tin. Beat the butter until light and creamy, then beat in the salt, followed by the sugar until light and fluffy. Whisk the eggs together in a jug, then slowly add to the creamed mixture, whisking religiously as you go to incorporate as much air in as you can. Then sift in the flour, cocoa powder and coffee, and fold in until just combined. Add a dash of milk to get it to dropping consistency and scrape the cake batter into your prepared tin. Bake for 45-50 minutes until springy and a sharp knife comes out clean. Leave to cool, then unmould and slice into two halves.
Whisk the cream to soft peaks, then sandwich half between the cakes, and spread half the cream on top. Decorate with raspberries.