Recently, I was lucky enough to be invited to a jam-making
course at Vale House Kitchen with preserving queen Vivien Lloyd (click here for
my full report) and one of the jams we made was raspberry and vanilla, which
inspired me to bake this lovely cake. This is my twist on a light and fluffy
spongecake for afternoon tea with a bit of a difference – the cake is scented
with vanilla chai tea, which is sweet with a hint of spice, and then filled
with buttercream and homemade raspberry and vanilla jam.
|Homemade Raspberry & Vanilla jam - yum!|
About 180g granulated sugar
About 180g self-raising flour
Jam recipe makes 4
First of all, you need to make the jam. If you don’t
fancy going to the effort, you can of course just buy something suitable, but
it’s so much easier than you think and really satisfying, so I urge you to give
it a go. Preheat the oven to 140°C (130°C fan), weigh the sugar out into an
ovenproof dish, and place in the oven to warm.
Put the raspberries in a large deep pan, split the
vanilla pod and add the seeds. Gently simmer over a low-medium heat for about
five minutes, or until the fruit has almost completely broken down (there
should be no whole raspberries left). Remove the sugar from the oven and put
the jars in (without the lids), leaving the temperature as above. Add the sugar
to the pan and stir to dissolve.
Once the sugar has completely dissolved, turn the hob up
and bring the jam to a rolling boil, i.e. a vigorous boil that affects the
entire surface and can’t be stirred away (there’s no need to stir while it’s
boiling). Set a timer for 4 minutes and then test to see whether the jam has
reached setting point – dip a spoon into the jam and then hold the spoon up,
with the handle out to the side and one edge pointing down into the pan. When
the drips start forming into a semi-solid ‘flake’ before dropping off, the
setting point has been reached.
As soon as you get to this point, remove the pan from the
heat. Allow it to stand for two minutes, then use a spoon to scoop the foam off
the top and discard. Finally, give them jam a gentle stir and then pour into
the warm jars straight from the oven, filling them right up to the top. Seal
with clean new lids straightaway and leave the jars upright and undisturbed
until completely cold.
Preheat the oven to 190°C (180°C fan). To make the
sponge, weigh the eggs (shells on) and make a note of the weight. Break the
eggs into a bowl, add the same weight of margarine, and beat to combine – using
the same weight of other ingredients as eggs means that your cake will always
be light and moist, no matter what size the eggs are. Repeat with the sugar,
and the self-raising flour. Finally, add the baking powder, cut open the
teabags, and add the tea. Beat again to combine and then transfer to greased,
lined cake tins. Pop in the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes.
When the time is up, test the cake is cooked with a clean
fork or skewer, then allow to cool in the tins for five minutes before
transferring to a cooling rack.
When the cake is completely cooled, you can make the
filling. I don’t have a precise method for making buttercream, because it
depends how sweet you like it, so you just have to keep adding icing sugar and
tasting until it’s right – it’s a hard job eh! Pop a couple of large spoonfuls
of margarine in a bowl and add icing sugar a bit at a time, beating well to
make a smooth buttercream. Spread this on one half of the sponge and the jam on
the other, and sandwich together.