Sunday, 13 July 2008

Blackberry and almond meringue sponge cake

This is a sandwich cake with a twist; the twist being that one of the cake layers is given a meringue topping which is baked at the same time as the cake. If that makes sense.

Here they are fresh from the oven. Bonus mark for spotting the one with meringue on:

The meringue is tall but cracked and sank a little as it cooled:

This cake could easily be a dessert or a tea time treat. While not as easy to make as a plain sponge sandwich, there’s nothing tricky to this cake yet it looks stunning when brought out on a serving plate or stand. Everyone will think you spent hours on it when, actually, there’s very little hands-on work.

The bottom layer is piled up with bramble jelly and, as I had some blackberries left over I added them. Here is the base, just waiting for some lovely cream:

It must be the strange weather we’ve had so far this summer i.e. lots of rain interspersed with sunshine but moderate temperatures, that is making the summer soft fruit so lovely. I think blackberries are the most gorgeous colour and I love it when you mix them into the sponge and they start to ooze their delicious reddish-purple juice into the cake!

The finished cake is a bit of a stunner. I love this photo as it looks like the two blackberries on the top at the front are about to have a fight and have armed themselves with almond swords! (the one on the left looks particularly "up for it"):

The combination of baked meringue and sponge isn’t one I’ve had before but is lovely – the crunch of the sugary meringue crust sinks into the soft sponge and the thick cream binds it all together. It is quite hard to cut because of all the different textures but however it ends up on the plate it will still taste delightful!

For the cake:
200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
200g golden caster sugar
200g self raising flour
50g ground almonds
2 eggs, plus 2 additional egg yolks (save the whites for the meringue)
2-4 tablespoons milk
100g blackberries, washed and dried

For the meringue:
2 egg whites
100g golden caster sugar, plus 2 tablespoons extra for sprinkling on top
A handful of flaked almonds

For the filling:
200ml double cream, lightly whipped
4 tablespoons bramble jelly
Blackberries, for decoration

How to make:

- Preheat the oven to 160°C/fan oven 140°C/312°F/Gas mark 3.
- Grease two 20cm loose bottomed sandwich tins.
- Place all the cake ingredients into a bowl – except the blackberries – and beat until creamy and well combined. Stir in the blackberries.
- Spoon the mixture into the two tins and level the surfaces. Put to one side.
- Now make the meringue. Whisk the egg whites adding the sugar one tablespoon at a time. Whisk until thick and glossy.
- Gently spoon on top of one of the cakes and then sprinkle the additional sugar and the flaked almonds on top.
- Bake both cakes for 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out cleanly from the cake without the meringue. Remove the meringue-free cake from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.
- The cake with the meringue will take longer to bake. The recipe stated a further 30 minutes, but I found mine only needed an additional 15 minutes. As soon as a skewer comes out cleanly, the cake is ready. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
- To serve, spread the bramble jelly over the plain cake and then spoon the lightly whipped cream on top. As I had some blackberries left over, I added them to the bramble jelly.
- Gently place the meringue sponge on top and scatter some blackberries over the meringue for decoration – this is optional.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.
- Eat.


Zen said...

Oh my!! Sinful is the word that came to mind when i saw that first picture. Just so you, I'm stuck home with a box of stale cookies and looking at this.. life can be so unfair sometimes! [sigh] :-)

glamah16 said...

The meringue on top is a nice twist. I want to have tea at your house one day.

fatboybakes said...

I LOVE your nickname, and love this meringue cake!!! alas, its not easy to get exotic berries this end of the world. oh, let me rephraise, its not cheap to get exotic berries.

Emiline said...

Holy cow! Look at that! I want that! Good job. *Pat on the back*

Dee said...

Wow! My favourite bit is the part about everyone thinking you spent hours on it... Lol :)

Was this for a special occasion?

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Dee

Eating cake is always a special occasion! Or to answer your question sensibly, no - there was no special occasion. Which in a way makes it even naughtier and more decadent!

The Caked Crusader

daphne said...

arent I glad to have stumbled to this blog. Fantastic ideas of bakes!! That layered meringue cake looks gorgeous!

Swati: Sugarcraft India said...

Wow.. this is drool worthy!! Awesome job Caked Crusader!!

Mike of Mike's Table said...

This looks like another really good one! I've had meringue, but only in the cookie form and not on top of a cake. I'll have to try this soon.

Anamika:The Sugarcrafter said...

the picture looks so enticing and the blackberry and almond meringue spongy cake is avery good combination..i will try it for sure !

Half Baked said...

I. Want. That!! that cake looks amazing! My birthday's coming up soon and I think this cake my be the perfect birthday cake:)

Andhra Flavors said...

tempting blckberry cake. would like to see in my blog.

A&N said...

Oh my goodness...a double-decker of spongy, creamy goodness! Simply fantastic :)

jen said...

Simply glorious! I haven't seen many blackberries this summer but yor pictures are making me very happy :-)

Cakespy said...

This one is a looker! It's so impressive with all that height and the contrasting colors of the berries. Your meringue looks absolutely mouthwatering!

Cakelaw said...

Yum, yum, yum!! Love the brambelberries - they look fab with all that lovely fluffy cream and meringue.

cakewardrobe said...

That looks sinfully sick!!!!! I want a piece of that!!