vanilla sponge layer cake with berries

i believe in fairy tales. like, i really just want to believe in them. i want to believe that there will be a happy ending, in love and in life. and i’m living life accordingly. see, i might not have found my match, and that’s sometimes a saddening fact. but i’m still living life best i can, i enjoy every day (momentarily, while you read this, i’m possibly at the beach in the south of france and enjoy sweet doing nothing, getting an indecent tan on my feet) and i make an effort to fulfil my dreams, on my own. i strive to be happy on my own. and, mostly – though in all honestly probably not everyday – i succeed.. i’m content, going solo, enjoy my fabulous friends and people who share my path. i believe giving up your dreams, i.e. dreams of the happily ever after, is for cowards. yes, it does takes courage to believe in fairy tales – though i’m convinced many people believe otherwise. but it takes courage and determination and self-assuredness and a lot of self-therapy (as a good, new friend of mine recently dubbed it. don’t you just like the expression?).
so, friends, go out today, wear a smile today (because you’re never fully dressed without it, right) and enjoy everything you have – while you never stop dreaming about everything that might be. life is sweet, like a cake with layers. some things come with the effort and the love you put into it (the flour, the good eggs, the nice butter… the whip of your hand… the berries fresh from the field). and somethings are left entirely to your imagination (or the tip of your tongue).
vanilla sponge layer cake with berries
recipe adapted from lily vanilli
sponge ingredients:
330g plain flour, sifted
320g caster sugar
1½ tbsp baking powder
pinch of salt
175g unsalted butter, room temperature
3 medium eggs
190ml whole milk
1½ tsp vanilla extract

3 cups mixed berries (i used strawberries, raspberries and blueberries)

buttercream ingredients: 
note: i made twice the amound indicated, and it looked nice but was immensely quite sweet
100g unsalted butter, softened
300g icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
75ml double cream
preheat the oven to 200c / 400f. in a bowl, whisk together the flour, caster sugar, baking powder and salt. beat in the butter until it is incorporated and the mixture appears to be evenly coated and looks like a fine crumble mix, about 2–3 minutes using an electric mixer on medium speed. add the eggs and beat, first on medium, then on high, just until incorporated. add the milk and vanilla and beat, on medium and then on high, until the mixture is smooth and combined; it will appear a bit lighter in colour, about 2–3 minutes. divide the mixture between the two prepared cake tins (mine were 24 cm wide, but i think a bit smaller would have been better maybe) and level out to the edges. bake in the oven for 25–30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean (i’ll bake it a litle less next time to maximise moisture). remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 
to make the vanilla buttercream, beat the butter alone for 4–5 minutes on high speed. add the icing sugar, vanilla and cream and beat on a low speed to bring it together, then turn up and beat on high for another 2–3 minutes. note: You can substitute whole milk for some or all of the cream; just add it slowly, as you may need a bit less.
wash the berries and pat dry with kitchen towel. use a palette knife or the back of a dessert spoon to spread some of the buttercream on the base layer, to cover. clutter with berries, liberally. andwich the layers together and repeat for the top layer.
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