I made this cake for my first school event. Oh yeah, just call me Bree Van Der Kamp. Arthur has started pre-school and the PTA hosted a Welcome BBQ, with a suggestion on the poster that people bring food contributions. Even though I cook every day, and bake roughly once a week, it’s so scary making food for other people to eat. I would be a disaster on Masterchef, my head would explode with the anxiety of it all. Something always seems to go wrong when cooking for others. Likewise, it always goes exactly right when cooking for a 1 and 3 year old who either throw it all on the floor, or proclaim it too ‘BORING” to eat (Arthur’s new favourite adjective). Ungrateful, that’s what they are! Even when I cook for friends (not that often at all) I find myself worrying about what will go wrong, if they will like it, what they will think. So, I’m resolving, right now, to cook more for other people aside from my husband (when will it seem normal saying that?) and littlies.
This cake? Went down a storm! Nothing went wrong! Couldn’t believe it! I had to buy a slice myself, obviously, to test it, as it was the first time I had ever made it. It’s my type of cake. Totally indelicate, lots of cream, seasonal ingredients – a very homemade and crowd pleasing cake. I can’t be doing with delicate cakes, you know, that involve sugar crafting and that type of thing. I like a simple tasty cake without too much frou frou.
Really it’s a Victoria Sponge with bells on. I used the BBC Good Food recipe for Victoria Sandwich. I borrowed the idea of putting Bramley apple into the sponge from baking blog Laura Loves Cakes and it worked fabulously. The cream filling is a combination of Greek yoghurt and whipped double cream with a soupson of maple syrup, it’s is one I’ve used before for the Maple syrup and rosewater cake, one I adapted from one of my favourite baking books, Love Bake Nourish by Amber Rose. The blackberry compote was a Nigel Slater one. Again, so, so simple. Compotes are a lovely way to use up gluts of end of season fruit. Put any leftovers on porridge or serve alongside ice cream or rice pudding…
Seriously this cake is unbelievably easy, and very, very tasty. I’m making it again tonight for a baby shower I’m going to tomorrow. Ah look, I’m staying true to that promise already!
Serves: about 12 people
Prep time: 20 minutes (plus 15 minutes assembling)
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 5 minutes
200g caster sugar
200g self-raising flour
200g softened butter
4 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon of baking powder
2 tablespoons of milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional)
1 large or 2 small Bramley apples, peeled, cored and diced into roughly 1cm squares
1 tablespoon of caster sugar, to coat the cubes in
150ml double cream
150ml Greek yoghurt
1 tablespoon of maple syrup
400g blackberries (2 punnets)
4 tablespoons of caster sugar
- Pre-heat your oven to 180C. Grease 2 x 20cm sandwich tins with a little butter. Now line them both with baking parchment. It is worth doing this, they come away so much easier. I make little circles for the bottom (trace the tins) and then cut long strips for the diameter.
- To make the sponges, mix all your ingredients together in a bowl (apart from the apple). I use an electric whisk but a hand whisk is fine.
- Peel, core and dice your apple. Toss in a little sugar to sweeten, as Bramley is quite a sour variety, and gently fold into the sponge mix. Divide mixture between two tins. Bake for about 20-25 minutes on 180C. To test whether they are done, poke a skewer into the middle and if it comes out clean, it’s ready to come out. Let the sponges cool a little in their tins before carefully taking them out and peeling the parchment away. Now allow them to cool completely on a wire rack. It’s fine to make the sponges the night before they are needed. Wrap in foil and put in a cool dark place like a bread bin.
- To make your compote, tip the berries and sugar into a saucepan. Let it come to the boil, gently. Cook on a low heat for about 20 minutes, or until the fruit has broken down a little but it’s still recognisable. Let it cool. Again, I do this in advance.
- Make your cream filling just before you are ready to finish the cake. Whip cream until forming stiff-ish peaks (don’t over whip, it’s so easy to do – stop when you see silken peaks forming when you lift out the whisk). Now fold in thick Greek yoghurt and maple syrup.
- To build the cake, put one sandwich on a plate, and spoon on some compote, spreading so it’s right up the sides. Using a palette knife or similar, smooth on the cream filling. Now add more compote. Top with remaining sandwich. I usually choose to show the flattest side on top. Dust with icing sugar. Devour with good friends and gallons of tea.
150ml thick Greek yoghurt
1 teaspoon of maple syrup
- Make the sponge as above. Cool.
- To make your caramel, you need a heavy bottom saucepan. Add all the ingredients and allow to come to a gentle boil. Let it cook for ten minutes. I let mine cool a little before working with it. will make a lot more than you need. It’s a perfect caramel sauce, not too stiff or too runny. I used what I wanted and stored the rest in a glass jam jar and later that week in a crumble, it would be amazing over vanilla ice cream. Will keep for 1 week.
- Whisk the cream and fold in Greek yogurt. Gently stir through syrup.
- To assemble, place once sponge on a plate. Spoon as much caramel over the base as you fancy. I think, ideally it’s just enough to be dribbling seductively over the side. With a palette knife, smooth your cream on. Now more caramel. Add your second sponge, smartest side up. Spoon more caramel over the top, adding in dribs and drabs till you have the right effect.