I could not stop taking pictures of this cake. Isn’t it a beauty?
I love it, not only because it’s babelicious (a total babe, and delicious), but because it epitomises my favourite kind of recipe. This is just the kind of thing I love to cook, love to think about, love to eat.
The construction is simple; it’s a standard Victoria sponge, that British classic butter cake. It’s got something fruity and something creamy in the middle, so in that regard it’s a total classic.
But, but, it’s not exactly a classic. It’s the level-up version. Plain whipped cream or butter cream filling is good…but tangy and rich whipped sour cream is better alongside the rich buttery cake.
Fresh strawberries or jam are good…but this crazy, complex blackberry curd is better, a more luxurious partner to the cake and cream. Like a , smooth, sharp jam but made of velvet.
And all of a sudden, instead of a classic afternoon tea cake, we have something that’s interesting, unusual and intriguing. It’s not so unfamiliar as to be off putting, and it’s just different enough to pique the appetite.
And did I mention it’s really really ridiculously good looking? Not even I could screw this up.
And I’m such a klutz I have fallen over just from standing still.
If you’re having this for afternoon tea, I think Earl Grey would be the perfect tea to serve alongside. The bergamot would compliment the blackberry curd beautifully.
But I don’t really know anyone who has afternoon tea these days. I wish we could all sit down at three in the afternoon and sip a pot of tea together! We’d eat all the cake, scones, and tea sandwiches we could handle. But life is crazy busy, and that’s good too.
In reality, the time when I would serve this cake would be either after lunch on the weekend *treat yo’ self*, or as a celebration cake! For example:
You passed that class? Congratulations, have some cake!
You’re having a baby? Congratulations, let’s eat cake!
You’re going to mow the lawn this weekend? Sounds like cake-time to me!
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler did something/anything? CAAAAAKE!
The sun came up? Again?! Cake time.
So as you can see, it takes something pretty momentous to get me to indulge.
When do you eat cake? All the time? Or just most of the time? And what’s your dream birthday cake, because I gotta tell you, this is pretty close to mine, although having said that, I’m pretty sure I’d sell my car for a slice o’ this.
Don’t be a stranger, now!
- 80z (200g) blackberries (frozen is fine)
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 + ½ sticks (150g) butter
- 9 oz (150g) caster sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 6oz (175g) butter
- 6oz (175g) sugar
- 3 eggs
- 6oz (flour)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2-3 tbsp milk
- ½ cup (125ml) sour cream
- ½ cup (125ml) heavy cream
- First, make the blackberry curd. Place the blackberries and lemon juice in a saucepan and cook until the blackberries begin to soften. Mash with a potato masher, to get out as much juice as possible, and then press this through a sieve into a heat-proof mixing bowl.
- Add the butter and the sugar to the berry puree in the bowl, and place the bowl over a pan of simmering water (this is called a bain marie). Heat, stirring until the butter is melted, and then add the beaten eggs and continue heating until the mixture thickens. Place in the fridge to chill.
- To make the cake, preheat the oven to 180C, and grease and line an 8in/18cm cake tin.
- Beat the butter and sugar together until very pale and fluffy.
- Continue beating and add the eggs, one by one, mixing well after each.
- Fold through the flour, and enough milk to achieve a soft dropping consistency.
- Spoon the batter into the tin and bake for 30-35 minutes of until the cake springs back when pressed lightly.
- Unmould the cake and place it on a rack to cool completely.
- To assemble the cake, whip the sour cream and cream together to soft peaks.
- Slice the cooled sponge in half and slather with the whipped cream and blackberry curd. Leave to chill in the fridge for at least an hour, if you are after neat slices, and serve with any leftover curd.