Get in Touch with your Feminine Side

Elderflower Cordial and Raspberry Curd Sponge
Elderflower Cordial and Raspberry Curd Sponge

As I mentioned in my last post, today my dad turns another year older, another year wiser? He has always been on team ‘sponge cake’. I always thought sponge cake can  seem a bit samey, what a typical dad choice. But why not do a variation on a classic cake, say Elderflower with Raspberries? It keeps me happy and he still gets his favourite on his special day. I have also never made a fat free sponge so that could be a new challenge for me too. I did have one problem that I tried to ignore in that it was an incredibly girly pink cake. We wondered whether this was the reason they came up with blue raspberry products – more fitting for a man? Thoughts? How else can they pull the colour blue from a raspberry?! Insanity?!

Make a wish
Make a wish

So the fat free sponge did taste pretty good and I can see why they are used for swiss rolls; they have a more chewy consistency, so in hindsight it would have been better in thinner layers. It would definitely roll easily, hard to break with this tough consistency. But all the same, brushed with a bit of syrup it can be dressed up; playing pretend in place of a normal, moist sponge.

Elderflower and Raspberry Fat Free Sponge:

4 eggs, separated

200g caster sugar

175g plain flour

zest of a lemon

1 tsp of lemon juice

1 tsp baking powder

Elderflower Cordial

Raspberry Curd (see https://georgienia.wordpress.com/2013/03/17/curd-your-enthusiasm/)

Raspberry Buttercream:

handful of raspberries

juice of half a lemon

tbsp caster sugar

50g butter, at room temperature

225g icing sugar

Grease and line a 20cm springform cake tin and preheat your oven to 180C.
Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until they are light and fluffy and have increased in volume.
Then gradually sift in the flour, at this point the mixture will be stiff and if it appears to be like breadcrumbs you can add a dash of soya milk.
Next whisk up your egg whites until they form stiff peaks (I find that adding a drop of lemon juice, or a pinch of salt will make it easier for them to reach this point). Use a spoonful of the egg whites to loosen the rest of the cake batter. Then fold the rest of the whites in until just incorporated, followed by the baking powder.
Pour into your cake tin and bake for around 40 minutes, until golden brown and a knife comes out clean. (Every oven is different so be sure to keep an eye on it).
Allow to cool in the tin, then turn onto a wire cake rack.

Whilst waiting for it to cool you can get on with your buttercream icing.
In a small pan chuck in your raspberries, lemon juice and caster sugar and heat until the raspberries soften and you have a mushy, thinnish paste.
Then cream the butter, icing sugar and a spoonful of this raspberry puree together until you have a soft icing. Again if you find this is too stiff to spread on your cake you can add a small amount of soya milk (make sure you do tiny drops at a time as it is easier to add than to take away!).

When your cake is cool, cut it into three (or two if you’re not feeling brave – I wasn’t today). Brush the elderflower cordial on to each side of the sponge followed by the raspberry curd. Sandwich the layers together and spoon on your butter cream. Use a palette knife to smooth over. If you want a smooth finish fill a mug with boiling water and keep dipping your knife in before smoothing.

IMG_3451

To decorate I used fresh raspberries and mint.
We actually had no mint in the house but in our garden however the mint was just beginning to peep out so I was mean and picked all their little baby leaves off and decided they looked pretty as a sort of classy and natural version of hundreds and thousands. I also felt the green allowed it to be a little manly, just a little…

Finishing touches
Finishing touches
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