I’m not great at keeping on top of calendar days but I recently found out the tomorrow Is National Tea Day, and as it happens to be the Queen’s birthday as well, it’s only fitting that I share few delicious cake recipes that will taste oh so delicious when paired with tea.
This vanilla cake recipe is made by the whisking method, using eggs, sugar and flour with NO FAT AT ALL. It will be wonderfully light and aerated and is best enjoyed on the day it is made. It’s layered with a smooth Italian meringue and fresh berry compote.
This cake recipe makes makes a 20cm (8 inch) round cake.
groundnut oil, for greasing
6 medium eggs
190g (6¾oz) golden caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
190g (6¾oz) plain flour, sifted
200g (7oz) Fruit Compote
(see page 19)
1 quantity of Italian Meringue
To add more flavour to the cake, add the zest of 1 orange before adding the flour.
- Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas 3. Grease and line the base and sides of 3 x 20cm (8 inch) round sandwich tins with non-stick baking parchment.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the caster sugar and the vanilla bean paste in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water just until the sugar dissolves and reaches a temperature of 40–45°C (104–113°F) – check with a thermometer or your fingers – it should feel like a hot bath.
- Remove from the heat and transfer to an electric mixer. Continue to whisk at maximum speed for 15 minutes until the batter cools and thickens and triples in size.
- Add the flour, 2 tablespoons at a time, and gently fold in with a metal spoon or rubber spatula until fully combined. This will help to avoid lumps without overworking the sponge.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared tins and bake for 25–30 minutes until risen, golden brown and springs back when pressed.
- Transfer to a wire rack. Leave the cake to cool for 5 minutes in the tin, then turn out and leave to cool completely.
- To serve, place the base on a cake plate, and spread with half the Compote. Fill a large piping bag with an open star nozzle and fill with the Italian Meringue. Hand pipe one-third of the meringue in a large circle from the centre outwards. Repeat with the next layer of sponge. Once the final layer of sponge is in place, finish with the Italian Meringue. Use a blowtorch to colour and caramelize the meringue on the top layer.
Best eaten fresh on the day it is made. Not suitable for freezing.