I’ve been invited to take part in Vertbaudet’s Summer Baking challenge, and was asked to make any summery cake and share it on my blog. So this is my entry – a combination of recipes that I love to make! The cake is a Bakewell cake, which usually only consists of one layer but I made two here so that I could fill it with homemade raspberry curd and buttercream. The contrast between the sweet curd and the tangy fresh raspberries works so well. If you’re having a summer party then this would be great to feed a few people, and you could use fresh cream instead of the buttercream. And then you’ve still got the rest of your batch of raspberry curd to enjoy even though Autumn is on the way!
For the curd
500g fresh raspberries
4 tablespoons water
12oz (350g) golden caster sugar
8oz (225g) unsalted butter, left at room temperature and cut into small cubes
1 level dessert spoon of cornflour
For the cake (for two 20cm/8in diameter cake tins):
300g butter, softened (plus extra for greasing)
300g caster sugar
A few drops (not more than 1/4 teaspoon) of almond essence or extract
300g self-raising flour, sifted
300g ground almonds
300g fresh or frozen (and defrosted) raspberries
50g flaked almonds
Icing sugar and a little water to make some water icing
For the buttercream (if not using fresh cream)
250g icing sugar, sifted (plus extra for dusting)
80g unsalted butter, at room temperature
25ml semi skimmed milk
A tiny drop of almond extract
To make the curd
1. Put the water and berries in a large pan and bring to the boil. Put a lid on the pot and allow it to simmer for about 20 minutes or until very soft.
2. Place into a food processor or blender and whizz up very very well. Take care here because the fruit is really hot! Once blended, pour through a fine sieve with a bowl underneath, making sure there are no seeds in the bowl. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before moving on to step 3 – otherwise you may end up scrambling the eggs by mistake!
3. Whisk the eggs in a medium sized pan before adding the rest of the ingredients. Place on a medium heat and whisk continuously with a balloon whisk until the mixture starts to thicken. This takes about 7-8 minutes.
4. Next, lower the heat and let the curd simmer for another minute, continuing to whisk. Pour the curd into the hot, sterilised jars – fill them up as full as you can, and cover with wax disks and seal them quickly.
5. When the jars have cooled, label and store in a cool place.
To make the cake:
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4, then butter the sides of the cake tin and line the base with a disc of baking parchment.
2. Cream the butter in a large bowl until soft. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
3. Whisk the eggs and the almond essence or extract together in a small bowl for a few seconds or until just combined, then gradually add the eggs to the creamed butter mixture, beating all the time. Next beat in the milk, then add the flour and ground almonds, carefully folding these in until they are just mixed.
4. Next add the raspberries and fold in gently so as not to break them up too much. Tip the batter into the prepared tin, then scatter the flaked almonds over just one of the cakes. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Use a small sharp knife to loosen the edges, the carefully remove the cake from the tin and leave to cool completely.
6. As the cakes cool, make the buttercream by creaming together the butter and icing sugar. Add the milk and almond extract and beat until smooth. Place the bottom cake on a serving plate and then spread a few dessert spoons of the raspberry curd over the top. Then spread your buttercream or cream over that before placing the other cake on top.
7. Mix a small amount of water icing so that it is thick enough to pipe. Fill a piping bag with a small-ish nozzle and then pipe lines across the cake, like on the top of a Bakewell tart (no need to worry about precision piping here!). If serving later, you may need to chill it in the fridge, and remove a little while before serving.