If there is one thing that can put a smile on my face in an instant, it’s cake – homemade cake. Also Keanu Reeves, but that’s another obsession for another day. Cakes have a lot of cheer in them and although homemade ones may not be as fancy as some of the three-dimensional, multi-tiered and exotic-flavoured cakes we get at artisanal bakeries or independent bakers, home-baked cakes always take the prize.
Why? Well, when you bake at home you are baking for the people you care about the most – family and friends – and therefore, you take more care and use the best ingredients you can possibly find (within budget, of course). That’s my theory and that’s what I do. I’m happy to splurge on fresh raspberries, good quality butter or premium cocoa powder and dark chocolate because it means I get to share a great tasting cake with the people who matter most.
Apart from good, reliable recipes and solid techniques, the key to baking really tasty cakes is using really good ingredients. Which is why, iced or un-iced, lopsided or layered, truly show-stopping cakes are the ones that come out of the home.
This Raspberry Cake recipe is part of the Don’t Call Me Chef column in Star2.
- 175 g butter softened
- 100 ml yogurt or heavy cream
- 2 tbsp raspberry puree recipe to follow
- 3 eggs
- zest of 1 lemon
- 200 g self-raising flour
- 175 g golden caster sugar
- 2-3 drops pink colouring optional
- For the raspberry puree:
- 450 g raspberries
- ¼ - ½ cup sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- For whipped cream topping:
- 1 cup heavy cream cold
- 2 tbsp sugar caster or icing
- 3 tbsp lemon curd recipe to follow
- For the lemon curd:
- 50 g butter
- 100 g sugar
- zest and juice of 2 lemons
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg yolk lightly beaten
- To make the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Place all ingredients into the bowl of your electric mixer and beat till well incorporated, scraping down the sides and making sure the ingredients at the bottom of the bowl are incorporated.
- Add a few drops of pink colouring (the raspberry puree alone gives the cake a dullish pink hue).
- Divide batter into two portions and pour batter into two greased 20cm (8”) round baking tins.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or till a tester comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool.
- To make the raspberry puree:
- Place ingredients in a saucepan and cook over low heat until the berries break down and are mashable.
- Cook until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain the puree if you prefer not to bite into seeds.
- To make the whipped cream topping:
- Place the bowl of your mixer in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
- Place the cream and sugar in the chilled bowl and whisk (by hand or with an electric mixer) till soft peaks form.
- Add the lemon curd and whisk a minute or so longer till incorporated.
- To make the lemon curd:
- Put the butter, sugar and lemon juice and zest in a heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water.
- Stir occasionally until the butter has melted.
- Add the eggs and using a whisk, stir as the mixture cooks. It may take 15 minutes or so, keep stirring so that the eggs don’t scramble in your curd.
- Curd is ready when it resembles a soft custard or when it leaves a thick coat at the back of a spoon.
- Remove from heat and cool at room temperature, stirring occasionally.
- To assemble the cake:
- Remove the cakes from the pans and using a serrated knife, cut the tops of the cakes to make them nice and flat.
- Place a cake on a cake board or plate.
- Spread the lemon curd cream generously and evenly on the cake. You can, if you have some extra raspberry puree, spread a layer on top of the cream.
- Place the second cake on top of the filling and gently press down. Using a spatula, apply a very thin coat of the lemon curd cream on the top and sides of the cake.
- Chill the cake for about 20 minutes before applying a thicker layer of lemon curd cream.