Great British Bake Off winner Jo Wheatley shares her never-fail sponge recipe in this layered cake with a zingy butter icing
- 175g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
- 300g golden caster sugar
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 75g self-raising flour
- 200g plain flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 75g cocoa
- 200ml soured cream, at room temperature
- 50g full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
- 250g unsalted butter, softened
- 500g icing sugar
- 150g full-fat cream cheese
- 3 very ripe passion fruits
MethodGrease and line the base of a 20cm springform cake tin with baking parchment. Beat the butter and caster sugar together until pale, light and fluffy – this is easiest using a freestanding machine or an electric hand-held mixer. Gradually add the egg, a little at a time, beating well between each addition.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie spice
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 3/4 cup canned pumpkin or mashed sweet potato*
- 2 Eggs
- 1/4 cup cooking oil
- 1/2 cup finely shredded carrot
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
- 1 recipe Buttercream Frosting, below
- 1 recipe Skillet fruit, below
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 8x8x2-inch square or 9x1-1/2-inch round baking pan; line the bottom of pan with waxed paper. Grease paper. Lightly coat pan with flour; set aside. In medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
- In large mixing bowl combine sugars, pumpkin, eggs and oil. Stir in carrot and buttermilk. Gradually beat in flour mixture; stir in walnuts. Transfer to pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely.
- Place cake on serving platter and top with Buttercream Frosting. Just before serving spoon on warm Skillet Fruit. Makes 8 servings.
- 1 tablespoon softened butter
- All-purpose flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 4 Eggs
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped, or semisweet Chocolate Pieces
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup dry marsala
- 3/4 cup whipping cream
- 1 15 ounce can pitted dark sweet cherries in heavy syrup
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Drained canned pitted dark sweet cherries (optional)
- For the sponge cake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease the sides and bottom of a 9-inch round springform pan with 2-1/2- to 3-inch sides, using some of the softened butter. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper. Butter the paper and flour the pan; set aside.
- In a small bowl, stir together 1 cup flour, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside. In a large heatproof bowl, whisk together 4 eggs and 3/4 cup sugar. Add 1 to 2 inches of water to a large saucepan or 4-quart Dutch oven; bring to boiling. Reduce heat. Set bowl with eggs and sugar over simmering water in pan, making sure the bowl does not touch the water. Heat and whisk the egg mixture constantly for 10 to 15 minutes or until egg mixture is thickened and nearly double in volume. Or beat the egg mixture with an electric mixer on medium speed for 5 minutes or until egg mixture is thickened and nearly double in volume. Carefully remove the bowl from over the heat. With a large rubber spatula, gently fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Spread batter into the prepared springform pan.
- Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until top of cake springs back when lightly touched and edges of cake just begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen and remove sides of pan; cool cake completely.
- For the zabaglione filling, in a small saucepan, melt the chocolate over low heat, stirring until smooth; set aside. Pour the cold water into a small heatproof custard cup or glass measure; sprinkle gelatin over the cold water. Let stand 5 minutes or until gelatin softens. Add 1 to 2 inches of water to a small saucepan; bring water to a simmer. Place custard cup or glass measure in simmering water (water should come about halfway up side of cup or measure). Stir until gelatin dissolves; set aside.
- In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk 4 egg yolks, 1/4 cup sugar, and Marsala until smooth. Add 1 to 2 inches of water to a medium to large saucepan; bring to boiling. Reduce heat. Set bowl with yolk mixture over simmering water in pan, making sure the bowl does not touch the water. Heat and whisk mixture for 5 to 10 minutes or until mixture has thickened and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the mixture registers 145 degrees F for 3 minutes or 160 degrees F, scraping bowl occasionally. (Watch temperature carefully at end to avoid lumps.) Or beat the egg yolk mixture with an electric mixer on medium speed for 10 minutes or until mixture has thickened and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the mixture registers 145 degrees F for 3 minutes or 160 degrees F, scraping bowl occasionally. Carefully remove from heat.
- Add the gelatin mixture to the egg yolk mixture and stir until combined. With a rubber spatula, gently fold the melted chocolate into the egg mixture. Let the mixture stand about 10 minutes or until cool.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat 3/4 cup whipping cream with an electric mixer or whisk until soft peaks form (tips curl). With a rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture.
- To assemble the cake, remove cake from pan bottom and peel off parchment paper. With a long, thin serrated knife, slice cake horizontally into two equal-size layers. Set the bottom layer, cut side up, back onto the springform pan bottom. Drain the cherries, reserving the syrup. Brush 3 to 4 tablespoons of the cherry syrup over the bottom cake layer. Arrange drained cherries on cake layer. Spoon zabaglione filling over the cherries, spreading evenly. Place top cake layer, cut side up, over zabaglione filling. Brush 3 to 4 tablespoons of the remaining cherry syrup over cake. (Discard remaining syrup.) Replace sides of springform pan. Cover cake and chill at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.
- To serve, in a large bowl, beat 1 cup whipping cream, 1 tablespoon sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer or whisk until soft peaks form. Remove the sides of the springform pan. Place cake on a serving plate. Spread whipped cream mixture over cake. Sprinkle with additional cocoa powder. Top with additional cherries, if desired. Cut the cake into wedges with a thin, serrated knife. Makes 12 servings
- 1 pound dried figs, stems removed
- 1 3/4 cups water
- 1 2-layer-size spice cake mix
- 1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
- 1/2 cup brewed espresso or strong coffee
- Sifted powdered sugar
- 1 recipe honey Hard sauce (see recipe below)
- 1 Honey fruit Compote (see Recipe Center)
- Preheat oven to 350 degreesF. Generously grease and flour a 10-inch fluted tube pan. In a medium saucepan combine figs and water. Bring to boiling. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 10 minutes. In a food processor (or half at a time in a blender) process until figs are chopped.
- Prepare cake mix according to package directions, substituting the fig mixture for the water. Stir in walnuts. Pour into prepared pan.
- Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan; set on wire rack placed over a shallow baking pan. Poke holes all over cake with a long-tined fork. Slowly spoon brewed espresso over cake. Cool to room temperature. Wrap in plastic wrap and store at room temperature up to 1 week. Before serving, sprinkle with sifted powdered sugar. Use a serrated knife to slice. Serve with Honey Hard Sauce and Brandied Fruit.