Guest post: A Speedy Birthday Cake

I have a monthly take-away night with some friends, it had recently been one of their 40th birthdays, but we’d all missed her celebrations. We decided to recreate a little birthday magic with a few birthday treats, and I volunteered to make the cake.

Girls having a party

Life, of course, got hectic that week and I ended up with an hour to make a cake whilst I had a 3 year old old helper with me — not ideal! A quick and easy solution was needed so I plumped for a pimped up Victoria Sponge with raspberries, lemon curd and cream in the middle.

My Mum makes the best Victoria Sponge in the world, officially. Mine are always a slight disappointment by comparison, but the principles are pretty simple. I weigh the eggs and use the same weight of butter, sugar and flour. Beating air into the mixture and taking great care not to knock it out again is the key to a light airy sponge. My Mum also swears by warming the mixing bowl before hand but I’m not sure this has any science behind it.

SPEEDY BIRTHDAY CAKE
A beautiful and delicious birthday cake that’s ready in no time at all
RASPBERRY AND LEMON SPONGE
  1. 210g butter at room temperature
  2. 210g unrefined caster sugar
  3. 4 medium eggs
  4. 210g self-raising flour
  5. 1tsp baking powder
FOR THE FILLING
  1. 300ml double cream
  2. 3-4 tbsp lemon curd
  3. A punnet of raspberries
  4. Icing sugar to decorate
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Heat the oven to 180C and butter and line two 20cm sponge tins
  2. Beat together the butter and sugar with an electric whisk for 5 mins, scraping the mixture down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Five minutes feels like much longer than you’d expect to be whisking but persevere, it will fill the mixture with air and enable the sponge to rise. Beat in the eggs one by one, whisking each on in well.
  3. Sieve in the flour and baking powder and fold in very gently with a large metal spoon. It’s important not to be heavy handed and knock out the air. The mixture should be of ‘dropping consistency’ — that is, that the mixture shouldn’t slide off the spoon too easily but should drop after one tap. If its too thick add a little milk and gently stir in
  4. Divide the mixture between the two tins and spread to the edges. Cook side by side in the centre of the oven for 20-25mins. The cake is done when you gently press the top and it springs back
  5. Allow the cakes to cool for 5 mins in the tins then turn them out onto a cooling rack and remove the greaseproof paper. When the cakes have completely cooled beat the cream to a soft peak and spread over one half of the cake. Drop dollops of lemon curd over the cream and swirl in with a fork. Partially crush a handful of raspberries and add to the filling
  6. Top with the other cake and decorate with a few extra raspberries and a good dusting of icing sugar.
By Alison’s Kitchen

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