I promised I would blog about my Raspberry and Coconut Sponge Cake, so here it is. I was a-sitting' in a well-know American coffee chain named after a well-known literary character, Stitching and Bitching away and munching on a square of OK, but not amazing, sponge cake with a topping of thick white icing, raspberry jam and desiccated coconut; when I realised I could make something similar, but 794 times more yummy. It's very simple:
For the cake:
8oz caster sugar
8oz self raising flour
4 large, free range eggs.
1 tsp vanilla extract.
For the topping:
Icing sugar (I don't weigh it, but I'm going to take an educated guess at 80z/200g, depends on the size of your cake(s))
Splash of water/lemon juice
Good quality raspberry jam (I swing between Frank Cooper's and Tiptree's)
Desiccated coconut (or, indeed, any kind of shaved coconut, toasted or untoasted as you desire)
1 square tin, measuring approx. 23cm x 23cm, buttered and floured
OR 2 sandwich tins, buttered and floured
OR cupcake papers and tin, makes about 12 large/18 small.
This batter will make one largish square/rectangular single layer cake, or a slightly smaller two-layer round sponge, or little baby cupcakes, or, indeed, huge mama muffin-sized cupcakes. Entirely up to you. Tis the beauty of this versatile Everyday Cake Batter.
What You Do:
Cream butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time, beating well between each one, sift in flour in three stages, beat in vanilla.
Take whatever tins you are using and butter well, then sprinkle over a light dusting of flour to prevent any sticking. Belt and braces. Spoon in your batter, give a shake and a tap to level out, then bake at 180 degrees centigrade for between 20 (for cupcakes) and forty (for tins) minutes. Lick the bowl. The cake is ready when you can lightly press the surface and it springs back atcha.
Leave to cool in the tin for five minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack and leave until completely cold. (Obviously, if you are making cupcakes, just take them out of the tin after five minutes and place upon the rack.)
Then comes the fun part.
If you have a two layer sponge, this is where you can stick it together with a generous spread of the jam. Then, to the icing.
Sift the icing sugar into a small bowl, then add in a splash of water/lemon juice at a time until you get a thick but pourable liquid. You want to be able to cover the surface of the cake, but not have it run away so much that more ends up on the counter than on the cake, and therefore, in your mouth. Pour/spoon over your cake. Spread it about with a spoon/palette knife/whatever until the surface is covered. Any drips down the edges just add to the charm. Once that has set (about 30 minutes), take a couple of tablespoons of the raspberry jam and melt over a low heat in a saucepan with a splash of water, stirring constantly. You don't want this to boil, just become liquid again, so it really only takes a minute or two. Pour over your cake, then sprinkle from on high with the coconut. Et voila.
This is the cake I made yesterday. It is my go-to recipe. I made the single layer version, but I don't have a picture of it. However, I do have have photos from late last year when I made the cupcake version:
Give me a Hom, another Hom and a Nom.
The fab thing about this batter is that it is so versatile. You can add anything to it. Choc chips, nuts, banana, cocoa powder, cherries, coffee, lemon......whatever takes your fancy. The even greater thing about it is that if you need to increase/decrease the quantities, all you have to remember is the Golden Rule: one egg to every 2oz of flour, butter and sugar. Just increase/decrease the cooking times accordingly. This is why I find it easier to work in ounces, even if it is a bit retro old skool classic these days. This is also due to the genius of my mother, who has been making awesome sponge cakes this way since the dawn of time, and even probably before that. Cheers Ma.