Who would have thought that you could improve on a fairing? Well it turns out that you can! And all it takes is some creamy, tangy lime frosting. These will give some serious oomph to your morning tea break! If you’re not familiar with them […]
Happy summer solstice everyone! It’s the longest day of the year for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, which means more hours of daylight (and hopefully sunshine) and as far as I’m concerned that’s cause for celebration. One year (a really, really long time ago) I actually spent the summer solstice at Stonehenge, which really was quite a party!
I think this cake is a perfect celebration of summer with all those juicy seasonal berries, it actually reminds me a little bit of a Swedish Midsummer Cake. It’s essentially a gussied-up Victoria sponge but with white chocolate frosting that makes it just a little bit more special. Whether you’re celebrating the solstice or not, how could you resist a slice of this!?
the weight of the eggs (inc shells) in butter, sugar and self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2 tbsp milk
zest of 1 lemon
150g mixed berries (whatever is in season)
1/2 tbsp cornflour
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp cornflour
100g white chocolate
100g butter, room temperature
extra berries to decorate
Pre-heat your oven to 180°c and grease two sandwich tins. Place a disc of baking parchment in the base of each just to be extra certain that nothing is going to stick.
Weigh your eggs, in their shells so that you know how much flour, butter and sugar you’ll need.
Sift together the flour and baking powder a couple of times and set it aside. This will get plenty of air into it.
Beat together the lemon zest, butter and sugar until it is pale, thick and fluffy, this should take a minute or two using a hand or stand mixer.
Lightly beat each egg and mix them into the butter and sugar one at a time. Follow each one with a spoonful of the flour and beat it well. Sift the remaining flour into the batter in two batches and carefully fold it in.
Finally stir in the milk to loosen the mixture to a nice soft dropping consistency. Divide the cake batter evenly between the two prepared tins and level off the tops. Bake them in the centre of the oven for 25 minutes. Once the time is up open the oven door and test that the sponges are cooked with a skewer. Give them another minute or two if it doesn’t come out clean. They should feel light and springy once they are cooked.
Put the cooked sponges on a wire rack and let them cool in the tins for five minutes then turn them out on the rack and carefully remove the greaseproof paper. Allow them to completely cool before you fill them.
Whilst the cakes bake and cool you can make the filling and frosting so that they have time to cool too.
Combine the berries with the sugar, cornflour and lemon juice in a small pan. Heat the fruit
until it starts to break down a little and the juices thicken to create a jammy compote. Leave to cool and thicken.
Next it’s onto the frosting. Whisk together the sugar, flour and cornflour in a small saucepan. Stir in the milk, making sure that it’s all well blended and then set the pan over a low heat. Gently heat the mixture, stirring continuously, until it starts to bubble and forms a very thick custard. Set this aside to cool completely. Melt the chocolate and let this cool too.
Put the cold custard mixture into a bowl and beat it with an electric mixer until it is slightly aerated. Beat in the melted chocolate and then follow this with the butter, adding a little at a time until it is all incorporated and you have a nice thick, fluffy frosting.
To assemble the cake place one of the sponges on a serving plate and spread it with the berry compote. Top this with half of the frosting and then sandwich on the second sponge. Use the remaining frosting to decorate the top, spreading it smoothly and just lightly grazing the sides of the cake. Finish it off by piling some pretty, fresh berries into the centre of the cake and adding a quick dusting of icing sugar.
I haven’t baked cupcakes in forever. I’m not sure if it’s because they went out of style a little bit or because I’m a pretty greedy person and I’d rather bake one big cake that can be cut into generous slices!
These aren’t as sweet and sickly as some cupcakes can be, thanks to the rich and creamy mascarpone frosting and the tangy lemon curd filling.
90g butter, softened
375g plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp of elderflower cordial
4 tbsp milk
filling & frosting
2-3 tbsp lemon curd
150g butter, softened
150g icing sugar
1 tbsp elderflower cordial
lemon and lime zest to decorate
Pre-heat your oven to 190°c and line a cupcake tin with 12 wrappers.
Sift together the flour and baking powder then combine this with the sugar before beating in the butter until the mixture looks like damp sand.
In a separate bowl or jug mix together the milk and eggs. Slowly mix this into the dry ingredients a third at a time until you have a smooth, fairly liquid batter. Stir in the elderflower cordial.
Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake cases and bake for 20 minutes, give or take, until the cakes have risen and are nicely browned. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Once the cakes are completely cool cut a small section out of the top of each one. If you have an apple corer this will do the job quickly and easily. Fill the resulting hole with a little lemon curd and replace the little sponge cap.
To make the frosting beat together the butter and icing sugar before adding in the mascarpone and the elderflower cordial. Pipe or spread the frosting on top of the cakes, being careful to cover the little sponge lids and then sprinkle each one with a little lemon and lime zest.
It wasn’t until I travelled to Charleston SC that I thought of praline being anything more than the chocolate seashells that Mr Colonial Cravings receives for Christmas every year. But in Charleston we tried some very tasty crunchy little clusters of caramelised pecans. I think […]
This amazing cake comes from Jax over at the Colonial Cravings facebook community and doesn’t it just look so good?! Jax is a dab hand when it comes to cake making and her decorating skills are second to none. Seriously you should see the things that this lady can do with sugar paste.
She made this for her sisters birthday as it’s her favourite (I think it might become my favourite too). She’s adapted this from a Lorraine Pascale recipe but added a raspberry twist to it which makes it even better. She also prefers the ease of using a normal sponge instead of the genoise in the original recipe. The sponge is soft and moist from the syrup, Jax advises giving it a really good soaking. It’s quite boozy but you can always burn off a little more of the alcohol by cooking the syrup for longer. The praline finish not only looks pretty but adds texture and gives the cake a lovely sweet crunch.
240g plain flour
280g caster sugar
3tsp baking powder
100g salted butter
240 ml milk
200g light brown soft sugar
100ml white rum
juice and zest of 2 limes
1 bunch mint
200g granulated sugar
200g salted butter (room temperature)
225g icing sugar
zest of 1 lime
200g raspberries (preferably frozen)
50g caster sugar
Preheat your oven to 170°c and grease and line three 7” sandwich tins.
Rub or beat together all of the dry ingredients for the sponge with the butter until it looks like bread crumbs.
Mix the milk and eggs together then combine this with the dry stuff until it is smooth (don’t mix the batter for too long though).
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared tins and bake the sponges for 18-20 minutes.
Whilst the sponges bake you can make the soaking syrup. Boil the water, rum and sugar for two minutes before adding the lime zest and juice. Add the chopped mint leaves, simmer for a further three minutes then take the syrup off the heat and set it aside to infuse. Just before using sieve out the mint leaves.
The next job on the list is the praline for the coating. Line a baking tray with oiled baking paper. Roughly chop the pecans and set aside. Melt the sugar in a heavy wide pan until it becomes a nice deep caramel colour, (try not to stir it or it will crystallize).
Tip nuts into the melted caramel, stir and then carefully pour it onto the prepared baking tray. Leave to cool and set hard, then blitz it in a food processor.
Make the icing by beating together the butter and sugar until they are pale and fluffy. Mix in the lime zest. If it’s a little stiff then you can add up to two tablespoons of milk to create a nice spreadable consistency.
Heat the sugar and water for the raspberry filling in a pan and then add in the raspberries and bring the whole lot to boil before removing from the heat and leaving to cool.
Once everything has cooled it’s time to assemble the cake.
Remove the sponges from the tins. Put the bottom layer top side down on your serving plate and spoon over 1/3 of the rum syrup. Then use 1/4 of the icing and spread it evenly over the surface, followed by 1/2 of the raspberries.
Add the next layer of sponge and repeat the steps for the syrup, icing and the raspberries. Add the final layer of sponge, spoon the remaining syrup over the top and then use the remaining icing to cover the sides and top of the cake. Finally cover the cake in the lovely crunchy praline.
These are so insanely good. Mr Colonial Cravings calls these Aztec rolls, which I suppose is a little bit less of a mouthful than ‘chocolate-chili-cinnamon-rolls’. Just as well, because if you make these your mouth will be way to busy scoffing them to do anything […]