I’m back! I know it’s been a few weeks but I’ve been felled by an ear infection that ended with a hospital stay. The upside is that the house is full of beautiful flowers and now we’ve finally broken up for the holidays, I can think about Easter. We have the full Fergie family coming so I’m planning on making this Easter cake. This is actually Mary Berry’s Summer party gâteau and would work for any occasion. It’s a Genoese sponge (very Bake Off!), which feels a bit daunting but is actually so easy to make. The sponge is really light, and goes perfectly with cream and fruit. Mmmmm! Here goes:
For the Genoese sponges:
250g caster sugar
250g self-raising flour
100g butter, melted & cooled plus extra for greasing
900ml double cream
Selection of fruit – I like strawberries, raspberries and blueberries but the recipe suggests blackberries
Icing sugar for dusting
This recipe is best started the day before you want to serve it. You will need two 23cm round cake tins. Preheat the oven to 180˚C/160˚C Fan/Gas 4, then grease the tins with butter and line the bases with baking paper.
To make the sponges, put four of the eggs and half the caster sugar in a bowl and whisk until thick, pale and fluffy (I use my mixer for this). When you lift the whisk, the batter dropping from it should leave a trail in the mixture below.
Sift half the flour into the mixture, and gently fold in to combine. Drizzle half the cooled melted butter around the outside of the mixture and carefully fold in before pouring into one of the prepared cake tins.
To make the second sponge, simply repeat steps two and three, and pour into the second tin. You do need to make the sponge mixture in two batches as it does not work whisking all eight eggs at once.
Bake both sponges at the same time in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until pale golden-brown, firm in the middle and shrinking away from the sides of the tin.
Remove from the oven and, after 10 minutes, release from the tins and set aside to cool completely on a wire rack. Slice each sponge in half horizontally to give four layers in total.
Whip the cream in a bowl until it forms firm peaks. Reserve 4 tablespoons for decorating the top of the cake, and then divide the remaining whipped cream into three. Divide a mixture of the three different berries into three piles, reserving a handful of each for the top of the cake.
Place one layer of sponge on a large plate, then spread with a third of the whipped cream, scatter over a third of the mixed berries, making sure they come around the edge of the cream, so they can be seen. Add another layer of sponge on top and repeat until you have three layers, topped with a final layer of sponge.
To decorate the top, spread the reserved cream in a small circle in the centre of the sponge and arrange the remaining berries on top. Cover carefully with cling film and put in the fridge to settle – for a few hours, but overnight if possible. When you are ready to serve, dust the gâteau with icing sugar and enjoy. Easter chicks optional!