It is totally amazing the effect the weather can have on your mood, blue skies equals birds singing in the sun and beers on the beach with tanned beautiful people (the first of these days is okay; and then bikini panic sets in). Warm days make me crave berries by the bucket. Oh gosh.
Summer I miss you please come back.
My winter blues have surprisingly made me most productive despite having the least amount of time; I’m not sure if this is some hilarious mishap of evolution or just plain strange. This beautiful cake was born of Nigella Lawson and Adriano Zumbo cookbook reading and upcoming birthdays. It’s potentially the nicest cake I’ve ever made. The frosting is insane I ate it by the spoonful. Believe it. Cue cake ban for a week.
Zumbo Jam (this was maybe supposed to be jelly but I find the jam consistency that I got worked very well)
350g Raspberry Purée (sieved)
35g Caster Sugar
7g Pectin (I found this at the herbal shop in the central markets, near the honey shop)
(Note: if you want more a jam like consistency you could probably skip the lining of the container and pour straight into a jar to cool)
Lightly spray and line a 7.5 x 7.5 x 20 cm bar tin, this is the same tin that you will use for your cakes, this recipe will make either a thick layer of jam or two sets which is good.
Put the raspberry purée in a saucepan over a medium heat and bring to 60 degrees. Combine the sugar and pectin, add to the pan and bring to the boil, Remove from heat and either place in a jar or into the prepared pan. Set aside to cool in fridge.
Nigella Cake – Victoria Sponge ( I only ended up using 75% of this cake batter, filling about 1/4 of the tin each time, make some cupcakes)
225g Unsalted Butter, very soft (I used as always, Paris Creek B.D Farm butter)
225g Caster Sugar, Goodies and Grains at the Adelaide Central Market is awesome for getting organic sugar by weight.
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
4 Large Eggs, I used Duck eggs from a duck called daisy.
200g plain flour, again goodies and grains is excellent for buying Laucke Flour
1.5 tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, grease and flour the 7.5 x 7.5 x 20 cm bar tin you maybe used with the jelly.
Cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy adding the vanilla and eggs (one at a time) midway through until combined, this takes a few minutes. Meanwhile sift together the flour, baking soda, cornflour and baking powder.
Add slowly the flour mixture and milk, alternating between the two, starting and ending on the flour until fully combined, don’t over mix.
Fill the tin about 25 – 30% full and bake until risen and a skewer comes out with a few crumbs, you want this dense and lovely.
Sweetapolita Frosting – altered slightly
227 grams softened, but cool butter
190 grams icing sugar (confectioners’ or powdered)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
125 grams milk chocolate, I used the milk chocolate from Providore at the Adelaide Central Market
15 ml milk
pinch of salt
In a bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine the icing sugar and butter and beat on low-speed for about 1 minute. Add vanilla, and beat on low-speed until well combined.
At this point I split my mixture 25%/75%, to the 25% I merely added coconut essence and milk until it reached a fluffy consistency, I found this was about a tablespoon, but add carefully.
To the 75% add the melted and slightly cooled chocolate and beat on medium speed until smooth (about 2 minutes). Add the milk (again carefully I found I still needed a tablespoon but you may need less) and pinch of salt, and beat on med-high speed for another minute. I then beat the mixture by hand with a spatula which gives an amazing light and airy weight to the cake and removes air bubbles.
115 g high quality bittersweet chocolate, again Providore, although I also love using Lindt.
76 g unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into cubes
Place the chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir the mixture using a rubber spatula until melted and smooth. *Be careful to not get even a droplet of water into your bowl of chocolate and butter.
To make, simply allow both cakes to cool. Level off both of the cakes so the they resemble a cuboid in some way and sandwich together with the jam and the coconut frosting ( I find it easier to pipe this on top of the jam), making sure that the bottom and top of the cake are the level bottom sides: the side at the bottom of the pan. Crumb coat and frost the cake and chill. After at least 45 minutes of chilling time prepare the glaze, allow to cool slightly then slowly drizzle on top, allow to set for a few minutes then sprinkle with coconut, chill until needed. Allow to warm up for about 20 minutes before serving.