I don’t usually crave cake but when I do, I try to scout out interest from my girlfriends to see if I can “share” the calories around. It’s really hard to bake a cake for one so I prefer having a whole group of us. The more the merrier (for my waistline). So today I invited my friend, Judy, and her husband over for afternoon tea. They are also fans of my two cats, Duke and Duchess.
Prep time 30 mins
Bake time 20 mins
For the spongecake
5 eggs, separated
120g caster sugar
110g self-raising flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder (extra for dusting)
For the cherry filling
1 x 415g can of pitted black cherries, drained and juice reserved
For the cream filling
300ml thickened cream
1 tbsp icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 180C and prepare a 23cm round cake tin (It can also be slightly smaller or bigger, doesn’t matter just check your cooking time +/- 5 minutes). In preparing the tin, I just put a round layer of baking paper at the bottom and greased the sides. It’s just as easy to just grease all round, especially if you have those nifty non-stick type tins.
In a large bowl , beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Then gradually add the caster sugar and mix well. Then gradually add the egg yolks and milk, mixing well.
Sift the self-raising flour and cocoa powder into the mixture and mix slowly (so the flour doesn’t fly in your face – not that this has ever happened to anyone, right?)
Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 20 minutes. I have a temperamental (and well overdue for an upgrade) oven which can’t tell the difference between 20 minutes and 30 minutes so I often end up with very ‘dry’ and ‘overcooked’ cakes. This time I used my sense of smell to help me determine that the cake was ready (and sure enough, the cake tester came out clean and it was just a perfectly cooked shade of brown instead of black). Whippee!!
Once the spongecake is cooked through let it cool on a cooling rack. Meanwhile, you can start making the filling.
Mix the cherry juice, corn starch and sugar in a small saucepan until dissolved. Then gently bring to the boil, stirring continuously. As soon as the mixture darkens and thickens, take it off the heat and let it continue to cook in its own heat until the sauce is cooked. This happens really quickly once it starts!
Stir the cherries into the sauce mixture and let it cool.
In a clean bowl, beat the whip the thickened cream and icing sugar until stiff.
Once the sponge cake has cooled, cut it in half and fill with the the cherry mixture and whipped cream. Place the other half of the sponge cake on top and dust with cocoa powder. You can serve immediately or let it chill for a few hours.