I have many exciting recipes planned or executed and waiting to be typed up and posted. Sadly, actually getting round to writing the posts takes much more work (or feels like it) than the creations themselves. Quite often, I have ideas for non-food blog posts, but they’ve gone by the time I actually sit down to write them. This recipe is a fine example of my create-to-write-up problem – I made the cake and took the photos way back in December last year and I’m only posting it now (what a slacker!).
I first made this cake in the summer of 2009 for my brother’s birthday. He had requested a cake with blueberries and on my second try (the first involved a lemon and blueberry disaster) I came up with the recipe below. And it was good. Then my husband suggested using raspberries instead of blueberries so I tried making it again with the substitution. And it was even better. But the best thing about this cake is the icing. The recipe below makes a bit more than is needed, so you can spoon a bit extra on top of each slice or just eat it straight out the bowl (I certainly won’t tell and neither will the numerous members of my family who are guilty of the same…). As always, a cup in the recipe below is a 250 ml one, and measurements involving less than a full cup involve rough guesswork through the glass of the 250 ml cup.
Ingredients for the cake:
2/3 cup margarine
1 2/3 cups white sugar
3 1/2 (three and a half) dessertspoons vanilla essence
3 cups self-raising flour
3 cups of frozen raspberries (or blueberries or any other berries you have handy)
Ingredients for the icing:
1 400g tub of cream cheese (I think I used full cream)
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla essence
To Make the Cake:
1. Put the oven on gas mark 5 to pre-heat and grease your cake tin (I think the one I used was an 8-inch one).
2. Separate the egg yolks from the whites and then beat the whites until stiff and then put aside the egg whites for later.
3. In a new bowl, cream the margarine and sugar together until light and fluffy.
(Please pretend there’s a lovely picture of the creamed margarine and sugar here. Thank you.)
4. Add the vanilla essence and egg yolks to the creamed margarine and sugar mixture, adding a little at a time (about one yolk) and mixing thoroughly before adding the next bit.
5. Sift the flour and salt into the mixture and fold in gently.
6. When the flour is mixed in, fold in the beaten egg whites.
7. Place half the mixture in the greased cake tin, and then sprinkle half the frozen raspberries over the top of the mixture. Use raspberries straight from the freezer – this doesn’t seem to work very well if you let them thaw before using them. Press some of the raspberries down into the mixture very gently – this will help spread the raspberries through the different levels of the cake.
8. Add the other half of the cake mixture to the cake tin and top with the remaining raspberries. Again, push some of the raspberries down into the mixture slightly to spread them through different levels of the cake.
9. Finally, bake the cake in the pre-heated oven until golden-brown and cooked through. This takes about an hour and a quarter. When the cake has cooked, place it in the tin on a cooling rack in the tin for a couple of minutes and then carefully remove from the pan and leave to cool completely. If some of the raspberries are stuck to the bottom of the pan when you try to remove the cake, gently run a spatula, or even a knife, under the cake to loosen it.
To make the icing:
1. Start making the icing right after putting the cake into the oven. To make the icing, put the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla essence into a bowl and beat together with an electric beater.
2. When the icing ingredients are fully combined, cover the bowl with clingfilm and put it in the fridge whilst the cake cooks.
3. As the cake cools, remove the icing mixture from the fridge and beat it with an electric mixer until it is stiff and easy to spread. When the cake is cool, ice it with the cream cheese icing and decorate however you wish.