Summer may be here but that doesn’t mean you can’t have cake.
One of the last things you may want during the summer is a slice of cake, let me help you there. When its warm, of course you don’t want a slice of cake thats overly sweet, instead you want something light – thats where this berry fresh cream cake comes into it.
This was a birthday cake for a family member, who prefers fresh cream to buttercream, I mean who wouldn’t? For the past 8 years, its been a Black Forest gateau (a classic, check out my latest version here). Instead, this year, option for something similar but different. Thats where this cake came from… I may have taken a easier route, with vanilla sponges and glazed fresh fruits for the decoration but sometimes, keeping things simple actually pays off – if they’re executed well, of course.
So, this cake consists of 3 layers of pillowy soft sponge cake, brushed generously with vanilla simple syrup (this helps to keep the cake moist and add even more vanilla flavour, in a subtle way), filled and coated with freshly whipped, slightly sweetened cream – not forgetting the strawberry jam, of course. Finished with a coating of dark chocolate, a fresh cream rope boarder around the upper outer edge and a section of fresh fruit, brushed with apricot glaze to keep them preserved.
Anyway, let’s get started, shall we?
Vanilla Cake (6″x3 layers).
350g butter, at room temperature.
350g granulated sugar.
6 large eggs.
350g plain flour.
2.5 tsp baking powder.
2 tsp vanilla extract.
Strawberry jam (as much or as little as you’d like).
1 litre double cream (whipping cream will also work).
75-150g icing sugar.
1-2 tsp vanilla extract.
Coating and finishing:
200g dark chocolate, grated.
Fresh berries (I opted for strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries but use whatever you’d like).
35-50g apricot glaze (just for brushing the fruits with).
Before you get started on the recipe, you’ll want to do some prep work. I like to start by weighing up all of my ingredients, followed but lining my cake tins with parchment paper rounds in the base of the tin, preheating my oven to 180˚c/350˚f and getting any equipment I may need, such as a stand mixer and spatula ready.
To start, place the butter and granulated sugar into a mixing bowl, beat together on a medium/high speed until they are well combined, you’re roughly looking for something thats light and fluffy in both colour and consistency. Depending on the climate you live in, will play a role in how quickly this is achieved.
Now is the perfect time to give the bowl a good scraping down, this is just to incorporate any bits that may not have been fully worked in from earlier on.
Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well in-between each addition. You’re looking for a nice and smooth mixture, not something that has split and/or curdled. Don’t forget to add in your vanilla extract, once the eggs have been added.
Give the bowl a good scraping down, this is again just to incorporate any bits that may not have been incorporated earlier on.
In no particular order, add the plain flour and baking powder and mix on a low speed to start with, working your way up to a medium/high speed, just until you have a smooth cake batter.
Take the batter and divide it equally between 3×6″ cake tins. To achieve a more accurate result, feel free to use a pair of scales but if you’re feeling brave, do it all by eye. Spread and level off all of the cake batter and then transfer into the preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes (or until a tester comes out clean, when inserted into the centre).
While the cakes are baking in the oven, now is the ideal time to make the simple syrup.
Into a pan/pot, place water, sugar and vanilla extract. Place onto the hob and bring to a boil – once it reaches a boil, remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature before using. This can be made in advance and stored in a airtight container or mason jar until needed.
Once the cakes are baked and out of the oven, allow to cool before removing from the tins snd transferring onto a cooling rack.
Whenever you’re ready, level your cakes, so you remove the dome from on the top. This will make your cake look so much more level and concise – especially on the cross section once cut into the cake. Don’t throw away those domes, eat them or freeze and use for cake pops or cakesicles.
For the cream, take a large bowl and place in the double cream, icing sugar and vanilla. Mix on a high speed, keeping your eye on the mixture as cream will look as if its not thickening at all, until it thickens, quickly. The last thing you need to do it overwhisk, you’ll end up with butter rather than cream. You’re looking for stiff peaks and no more than that. Transfer the cream into a piping bag fitted with a nozzle of your choice.
Once you have the cakes baked and cooled, the cream whipped, chocolate grated and strawberry jam ready – you can start the assembly process.
To start, take your plate/stand/board and smear a small amount of the cream into the centre of it. This will act like the glue, keeping the cake secured in place. Place your first layer off cake on, pressing it down just to secure it in place.
Now layer on the cream, generously and dollop into the centre a voluptuous about of the strawberry jam – the more the better right. Never under fill a cake, you won’t regret it. Remember this is a celebration cake, so don’t be stingy with the filling – repeat until you have used all of your cake layers up.
Coat the entire cake in a generous layer of cream, again, don’t be stingy with any element of this cake – its a celebration at the end of the day.
Pipe the cream all around the outside and top of the cake, then smooth and level it out as best you possibly can, then take the grated chocolate and apply it to the sides and top of the cake.
With the leftover cream, place into a piping bag fitted with an open star piping tip and pipe a rope boarder around the top outer edge.
Place in your fruit, in any order you’d like, then go ahead and glaze the fruit with some of the warmed apricot glaze, then place in the fridge and chill until needed. Once you have decorated, its best for this cake to be consumed within 24 hours – due to the cream spoiling.
That’s all for today guys, I hope you enjoyed. If you did, don’t forget to share this recipe with your family and friends and enjoy it. I’ll be back soon with another blog post and YouTube video, so join me then. In the meanwhile, don’t forget to check out my other social’s – Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube. The YouTube tutorial will be linked down below.