It's almost my chocolate and raspberry sponge reversed. What fun. Holly and I love vanilla sponge with chocolate icing. We're not sure why. I think it might be because our prep school used to give it to us at tea, and that was always a great day - my fave, quelle surprise. I know school dinners get a bad rep, but this cake was epic: simple light sponge with a good thick layer of fluffy icing. And I always picked the pieces with practically an inch of the stuff. I was the record holder for amount of cake eaten in one sitting - Seven pieces. How I wasn't obese is anyone's guess. Hopefully they still make the amazing cake and my record stands.
But back to this cake. I was thrilled that everyone at the party seemed to love it, despite being full to the brim with all the food we'd consumed earlier in the evening. I have to say, it sure tasted better the next day when I wasn't in a food coma.
Using a vanilla pod instead of your usual vanilla extract gives the sponge that much more flavour, and the five eggs give it a delightful yellow colour. If I was still at uni, the chances are I would've used frozen raspberries, but mother dearest insisted on using fresh - your youngest child is only 18 once I guess. I have to say, it is best to use fresh raspberries if you can - the texture and taste is just that much better.
Ingredients - Sponge:
250g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
250g golden caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
seeds scraped from 1 vanilla pod (slit it open lengthways with a sharp knife and scrape the seeds out with a teaspoon)
5 large eggs, cracked into a jug
85g plain flour
100g natural yogurt (I used fat-free as it's all we had)
250g self-raising flour
3 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
about 30 fresh raspberries, plus extra for decoration
|slicing the vanilla pod open|
150g unsalted butter, softened
300g icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
|one sponge, pre-icing (and delicious just like that!)|
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C and grease and line two round 20cm tins. Using a handheld electric whisk, beat the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt together until pale and fluffy, then pour in the eggs, one at a time, giving the mix a really good beating before adding the next. Add 1 tbsp of the plain flour if the mix starts to look slimy rather than fluffy. Beat in the yogurt.
2. Mix the flours; then, using a large metal spoon, fold them into the batter, followed by the milk. Spoon the mix into the tin and dot the raspberries evenly on to the top - don't worry about pushing them down too much as the cakes will rise up around them in the oven. Bake for around 40 mins or until well risen and golden – a skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean.
|ready for baking!|
4. Make the icing: beat the butter until pale and fluffy with a handheld electric mixer then add the vanilla and the icing sugar, half at a time, beating well in between each addition. Add the cocoa powder and beat for a good five minutes until light and fluffy.
|before icing the top and sides|
6. Add a candle, sing happy birthday and feed to a group of happy teenagers.