Sunday, 22 March 2009

Vanilla and chocolate sponge

Today is Mothering Sunday and what better way to celebrate than with cake?

As I’ve mentioned before, the CCM (Caked Crusader’s Ma) is rather partial to both Genoese sponge and Swiss meringue buttercream so I used these components to create a cake for her special day. The fact that I also like both these components is completely irrelevant......

The cake is far simpler and quicker to make than it perhaps looks. You need only make one batch of batter and then divide it in two. By adding cocoa powder to one half you get an impressive layer cake. It is rather tall:

Before you all start accusing me of breaching my own commandments, I should point out that the flowers are made out of wafer and 100% edible.

Happy Mothering Sunday CCM!

For the cake:
225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
225g caster sugar
4 eggs
225g self raising flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1-2 tablespoons milk

For the Swiss meringue buttercream:
4 egg whites
250g caster sugar
250g unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

How to make:
- Preheat the oven to 160°C/fan oven 140°C/325°F/Gas mark 3.
- Line two 20cm loose bottomed sandwich tins with baking paper.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Do not skimp on this stage as it’s the key to a lovely sponge.
- Gradually add the eggs and flour until fully combined and you have a smooth, thick batter.
- Add the vanilla and stir well.
- Divide the batter in two; I did this by counting spoonfuls but you can weigh the batter if you wish to be more exact.
- Place one half into one of the prepared tins.
- Beat the cocoa powder into the other half of batter. If this dries the batter, add the milk as necessary.
- Spoon the cocoa batter into the remaining tin.
- Bake for approx 25-30 minutes until a skewer inserted into the cakes comes out clean. Mine took 30 minutes.
- Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tins before removing from the tins and leaving to cool completely on a wire rack.
- The sponges can be made the day before and stored in airtight containers.
- Now make the swiss meringue buttercream. Place the egg whites and sugar in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir pretty much constantly to prevent the egg from cooking.
- After 5-10 minutes, when the sugar has dissolved (when you cannot see any crystals on the back of the spoon), remove the bowl from the pan of simmering water and whisk until the meringue has puffed up and the mix is cool.
- Add the butter and vanilla extract to the meringue and whisk until the butter has been completely incorporated into the meringue. At first it will look a disaster – it will collapse and look curdled but don’t worry! Stop when the mixture is smooth, light and fluffy.
- Cut each sponge through horizontally and place one piece on the serving plate.
- Spread a layer of buttercream on top and then put a piece of sponge of the other colour on top. Repeat this until you have all four layers of sponge sandwiched together.
- Use the remaining buttercream to cover the top and sides.
- Decorate as required.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.
- Eat.


Elyse said...

Happy Mother's Day to your Mom! What a fabulous way to celebrate with her. This cake is totally gorgeous, and it looks delicious, too!

Big Boys Oven said...

wow this is mind blowing cake, so simple and yet so awesomely beautiful, I like it!

Margaret said...

Such a lovely cake to make for your Mother and so much better if it's something that you want to dive into too.......!

Emily said...

What a lovely layered cake! Perfect for spring. And moms, of course.

A_and_N said...

That is one skyscraper of a cake! Looks excellent and yes, nothing better to celebrate mother's day than showering some sweet love on her :)

glamah16 said...

You are such a good daughter. Beautiful cake .

Katie said...

Looks wonderful. I love the flowers - so simple and yet so pretty.

Maria said...

What a pretty cake. I love it!

Y said...

Ah what a happy looking cake! Love the flowers :)

Premyscakes said...

Cake looks lovely, cool colors.

Donna-FFW said...

Wow!What an awesome cake.. came to you through Debby, feast for the eyes!! LOVE this blog, the cakes are incredible! Both beautiful and I bet delicious at the same time!

Maria♥ said...

What a beautiful cake and perfect for Mother's Day!!


Anonymous said...

When making the buttercream, instead of whisking, can i use handbeaters? will this have the same end result? Also, do you have any other suggestions to put between the layers, instead of the buttercream? Thank you!

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Anon!

Yes - hand beaters will get you there with the same just might take a bit longer. Still, think of the calories you'll burn off!

Alternatives could be fresh whipped cream, jam, chocolate ganache (cream and ganache would be awesome!) While I don't personally use it that often, cream cheese frosting would work too.

Hope this helps