Tuesday, January 28

Raspberry Sponge Cake

Valentine's Day Easy-Peasy Raspberry Sponge Cake

Let me just put this out there: 
I love raspberries and desserts with raspberries. 
I like them on salads and with breakfast cereal or oatmeal. 
But wait, I love them with ice cream too!

This could go on forever……

This is a pretty vertical recipe, meaning you can use many different types of fruit.  Blackberry is wonderful and another of my favorites,  but try apples for autumn, it delicious too. 

And this is a perfect dessert to serve after a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner.  Or serve it to guests at a tea party, dinner party, book club or garden party, etc.
But serve it…… all of it…… to other people.
Do not make it,
and then eat nearly the entire thing,
over a two day period.
Do Not……

Sponge Cake History:
The sponge cake is thought to be one of the earliest made of the non-yeasted cakes.  
Gervase Markham, an English poet and author, recorded the earliest sponge cake recipe in English dating back to 1615.

Queen Victoria:  The Victoria Sponge Cake was named after Queen Victoria, (1819 - 1901) who loved a slice of sponge cake, made with a raspberry and vanilla cream filling, with her afternoon tea. I've read that people think she was fat or stout, but nearly all women in that era were built as she was, which was fashionable at the time.
Queen Victoria is also credited with popularizing English Christmas Traditions.

Passover:  Since sponge cakes are not leavened with yeast, they are popular dessert choices for the Passover Feast. Typically, Passover sponge cakes are made with matzo meal, matzo flour, or potato flour, since raw wheat products may not be used.

Raspberry Sponge Cake Recipe

¾ cup unsalted butter (at room temp)
*¾ cup superfine sugar
3 large eggs (beaten)
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
1 ½ cups self rising flour
*Pinch salt
*1 1/2 cup raspberry jam or 1 can raspberry pie filling
1 - 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
Fresh raspberries, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 2 - 8-inch round cake pans and line bottom with parchment paper.
Cream butter and sugar together in a medium bowl until the mixture is pale in color and is light and fluffy. Add the slightly beaten eggs, a little at a time, mixing after each addition.
Add the vanilla.  In a separate bowl, sift the flour and salt.
Carefully add flour to sugar/butter mixture, folding it in with a spoon or spatula.
Divide the stiff batter evenly between the cake pans and smooth out with spatula.

Divide batter between cake pans.  Batter will be stiff

Place cake pans on the same shelf in the center of the oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and beginning to pull away from edges of the pan.
Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly for a couple of minutes.
Remove from pans onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

Bake until golden brown

When cool, place one cake on flat serving dish or plate.  Spread jam or pie filling on top. Then put the second cake on top of first cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Just before serving sprinkle top with confectioners’ sugar.  Decorate the top of the cake or each individual piece with an additional dollop of jam and fresh raspberries if desired.

Dust with confectionary sugar first if desired then add raspberry jam between layers and fresh raspberries.  


Tips and Suggestions:

*Superfine Sugar:  If you do not have superfine sugar on hand, pour granulated sugar into a food processor and blend. Make sure to cover the processor with a dish towel as there’s usually escaping sugar dust.

*Pinch of Salt:  A pinch of salt means the amount you can pinch between your index finger and thumb

*Vanilla: Vanilla was not in the original recipe but it does improve the flavor.

*Jam and Pie Filling:  
I use my own homemade Raspberry Freezer Jam, but if homemade is not available, use a fruit jam or pie filling such as Strawberry, Apple or Blackberry.
Many premixed pie filling have additives, preservatives and are mostly high fructose corn syrup.  I have used Comstock brand, (which is pretty good), Oregon Fruit Products and some Natural store brands.

Our Book Club, Bookworms Literary Guild, is reading Romeo and Juliet for our February meeting.  
I think I'll whip this up to serve with a hot cup of coffee or tea.


Other Posts:

Aunt Janey's Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Easy Banana Cream Pie

Lemon Bars


See how she leans her cheek upon her hand.
O that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch that cheek.
(Romeo and Juliet, 2.2)
My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.
(Romeo and Juliet, 2.2)

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