Warning: This post has a high calorie and fat content. People trying to achieve a bit of pre-Christmas weight-loss should probably not venture any further. Or perhaps they should, because this cake is awesome.
Whipped cream, whipped ganache, raspberries, blueberries, all sitting atop a deliciously light sponge cake – this cake has it all (had it all… it’s gone now!). Best of all, every part of this cake is as simple as you could ever want. There’s no complex steps involving precise measuring of temperature or time which means that this is truly a no-fail cake, and while there are plenty of cakes around which are more visually impressive, few yield such good results for so little effort, so henceforth I am naming this the best birthday cake, or perhaps “my” best birthday cake, since it was my birthday, and this was my cake after all.
I mentioned in my last post that I had my birthday on the 3rd of December. I didn’t actually make the cake on that day. We had some family over on the following Sunday, so that gave me plenty of time to think about what kind of cake I was going to make, as well as allowing me to focus on my birthday dinner on the day itself (a big, fat, magnificent steak with this sauce for anyone wondering, and some “french fries” made from parsnip and carrot which were very good. Incidentally, we’d got them to try to trick William into eating vegetables, since he has such a penchant for french fries. Suffice to say, we failed and he was not a fan).
Normally, when making a cake like this, I would fall back on a traditional English sponge cake recipe. I’ve had a run of real bad luck with those things recently though. Surprisingly, the best one I made in recent memory was this one way back when I was visiting England, and that was using my mother’s questionably accurate balance scales and equally questionably accurate gas oven. It seems recently that no amount of precise measuring, careful beating and folding, or clock-watching when it’s in the oven yields a good result. I’m so often left with a rather dry offering and so for this birthday cake I decided to look to Sweden for inspiration and use a sockerkaka base.
Seriously – you can’t go wrong with sockerkaka. It doesn’t require any fiddly things like folding”, or even creaming. You just add ingredients into a bowl bit by bit and whisk the heck out of it. Dump the batter into a tin and shove it in the oven, wait a bit and then it’s done. It really does make the best cake – or in this case the best birthday cake – and I have to be honest when I say I don’t think I’ll ever bother trying to make an English sponge cake again.
Once baked and cooled, I split the cake into three layers and re-sandwiched each layer with an ample layer of whipped ganache and some blueberries for good measure. The only problem with the ganache in the filling was that my wife said it looked like I’d put a slice of liver pâté between each layer. I suppose I can sort of see her point, but the flavour was fantastic. What do you think?
I’ll be getting my Christmas baking on soon. First up is some “lussebullar“. I’ve written about these before in a post which coincides with Lucia day here in Sweden, but when I made them back then the photo was absolutely dreadful (and to be honest I baked the buns too long, so they weren’t great). This time around I’ll be able to replace the photo though. As for the other things I’ll make – that’s a surprise (mainly because I don’t actually know myself yet), so watch this space!
Have a great day everyone and enjoy the cake!
The Best Birthday Cake
For the cake250g Caster Sugar
- 3 Eggs
- 2 tsps Vanilla Sugar
- 2 tsps Baking Powder
- 75 g Butter
- 100 ml Water
- 160 g Plain Flour
For the filling100g good quality plain chocolate
- 130 ml whipping cream
- 50 g Blueberries
For the topping350ml whipping cream
- 250 g Raspberries
- 150 g Blueberries
- Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Grease and flour a cake tin with a diameter of about 22cm. Whisk together the eggs and sugar using an electric whisk until pale and increased in volume.
- Whisk in the vanilla sugar and baking powder. Add in the flour and continue whisking before melting the butter in a pan with the water. When the butter has completely melted, pour into the batter and continue whisking until everything is well mixed.
- Pour the batter into the prepared tin and then place into the preheated oven. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, testing by sticking the cake with a fork or small skewer after about 25 minutes. Remove the cake when the skewer comes out clean.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes in the tin before carefully turning out and allowing to completely cool on a wire rack while you make the whipped ganache.
- Pour the cream for the filling into a small saucepan, and break the chocolate into small pieces and add to the cream. Place over a gentle heat and stir regularly until the chocolate has completely melted and combined with the cream.
- Place the ganache into the refrigerator for an hour and once it is completely cool, whip it until thick like whipped cream.
- Slice the now cool cake carefully into three layers using a long knife. Sandwich each layer together with half of the ganache, dropping some blueberries into the filling on each layer as you go.
- Finally, whip the cream for the topping until stiff and spread liberally onto the top and sides. Decorate the cake with the raspberries and blueberries and enjoy!