I had the need for something light and spongy this week. Browsing through my blog to see what delights I had previously created (what can I say? I’m a blog narcissist!) I had a hankering for some English Madeleines but how to make them fresh and new, I pondered. Then it hit me – what about the concept of a Madeleine but as a large sponge rather than a dainty, individual offering? Bingo. My cake needs were sated!
I’ve used a Victoria sponge recipe for the cake and tweaked the quantities to make one nice, deep 20 cm sponge rather than the shallower sandwich sponges you’d typically make with such a batter. It’s a very easy recipe to scale and, other than adjusting the cooking time marginally there’s nothing to worry about. The combination of soft sponge with sweet, fruity jam and then crispy coconut is heavenly. Comfort in cake form!
Brushing warm jam over a sponge and then rolling it in coconut is one of those kitchen tasks I could happily perform all day without getting bored. It’s so pleasing and looks so – somehow – cute when finished!
I had help with this one – the CCBF (Caked Crusader’s Boyfriend) helped with the jam and the coconut rolling. Also, I have an announcement: I will never refer to the CCBF again. Before you start picturing a coconut/jam fuelled tiff I should tell you that it’s because he proposed yesterday so I am promoting him to Mr CC from now on! Am I the luckiest girl on the planet? It certainly feels like it!
For the cake:
190g unsalted butter, at room temperature
165g caster sugar
225g self raising flour
Approx 100g Desiccated coconut
½ jar Seedless raspberry jam – you might use more (or less) depending on your jam needs.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
Line the base of a 20cm springform round tin with baking paper.
Start by making the cakes: Beat together the butter, sugar until light and fluffy.
Don’t skimp on this stage as this is when you get lots of lovely air into your sponge.
Beat in the eggs gradually, add some of the flour if it looks like it might curdle.
Beat in the milk.
Stir in the flour until the mixture is smooth and well combined.
Spoon into the prepared tin and level the surface.
Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the sponge comes out clean. Another good sign is if the sponge is just pulling away from the edge of the tin. Mine took nearer 40 minutes.
Leave to cool in the tins for about 20 minutes before turning out and leaving to cool completely on a wire rack.
You can make the sponge a day in advance and store in an airtight tin.
Melt some jam in a saucepan over a low heat. Don’t let it bubble.
Brush the jam over the sides of the sponge then roll in desiccated coconut.
Brush the remaining jam over the top of the sponge and sprinkle coconut over the top until there is a good even covering.
Decorate with glace cherries if you like but I didn’t bother.
Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have made.