My recent obsessions: gelatine, any involving fresh berries, and Rose Levy Beranbaum, the god-like (to us bakers) author of "The Cake Bible". All three somehow combined in this not-too-elegant but oh-so-delicious berry cake which really hit the spot with my co-workers today.
This messy but summery creation is based on Rose's easy and delicious White Velvet butter cake as well as one of her stabilised whipped cream recipes. I ended up using only one of the two baked layers - the second can be eaten plain or used for whatever your heart desires. Try not to eat all of the cream before it ends up on the cake. It's all too easy.
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup milk
- 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 300g caster sugar
- 300g cake flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 170g butter
- 2 greased and parchment-lined 9" baking tins
- 2 1/2 teaspoons gelatin
- 1 cup strained blackberry jam
- 2 cups double cream
- Caster sugar, to taste
- 1 tablespoon Chambord, if you have it
To make the cake: Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix together the egg whites, 1/4 cup of the milk and the vanilla. Sift the flour into a large bowl, combine with sugar, salt and baking powder. Mix for 30 seconds, then add the butter and the 3/4 cup milk and mix again at high speed for about 2 minutes. Start adding the vanilla-egg-milk mixture in batches. Distribute the batter between two greased pans and bake 40-50 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the cakes comes out nearly clean. Cool completely on a rack.
To make the cream: Strain about 1 cup of good quality black currant jam through a fine seive - you may have to really push it through! Combine 1/4 cup of the jam, 1 tablespoon water and the gelatin in a heatproof bowl and let stand for five minutes. Pop into a microwave and heat for a few seconds until the gelatine is dissolved, then stir into the remaining strained jam. Start whipping the whipping cream until soft mounds form. Begin adding the jam in 3 batches, until stiff peaks have formed. Pour the mixture over the cooled, unmoulded cake and pop in the refridgerator to set completely, preferably overnight. Decorate with fresh berries when ready to serve.