Monday, July 14, 2014

Lemon Syrup Sponge Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese Icing and Berries

Lemon Syrup Sponge Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese Icing and Berries
It's been a crazy couple of weeks. I lost my tiny, ancient budgie who has been with me since I moved to Sydney and who I thought was going to live forever. I finally, FINALLY got my Ps, so have a newfound sense of freedom (don't judge, I lived right next to a train station for over 10 years so there wasn't much motivation to drive until recently). We bought a couch. So Anyway. This past weekend we had my cousin from Singapore visiting for her birthday, and I demanded to make her birthday cake.
Lemon Syrup Sponge Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese Icing and Berries
She requested anything with berries, preferably with sponge and cream cheese. So I made a simple vanilla sponge cake and soaked the sponge in a sticky lemon syrup, sandwiched it with one layer of raspberry filling and another layer of blueberry filling, and covered it in a fluffy whipped cream cheese icing, fresh berries and raspberry heart macarons. My original idea was to tint half the icing with blueberries to make it purple, and the other half with raspberries to make it pink and to ice the cake with an ombré effect. I did it, but the tinting was so faint that you can barely see it so it probably wasn't worth it.
Lemon Syrup Sponge Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese Icing and Berries
I'm still having issues with hollow macarons in my new oven, I'm going to have to keep experimenting to get the right temperature. It's driving me nuts. Anyway, it was one of the several things that I wasn't 100% happy about with this cake, but whatever it tasted great! Everyone was saying that they loved that the sponge wasn't too dry, the filling was super tasty and the icing tasted almost like ice cream! (Sneaky shot of the innards from my cousin) Surprisingly the whipped cream and cream cheese holds up fairly well at room temperature, the cake didn't melt at all (though it probably helps that it was friggin freezing). I think the icing worked particularly well with the sponge since both were quite delicate in texture and flavour, but the icing is so great that I want to try it out with some white cake next time. Happy Birthday P!
Lemon Syrup Sponge Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese Icing and Berries
Lemon Syrup Sponge Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese Icing and Berries
(makes a 3 layer 18cm (7") round cake, sponge recipe from Gourmet Traveller)
For the Lemon Syrup Sponge Cake:
Note: If you are new to sponge cakes make sure you click through to the Gourmet Traveller link above for extra tips. This sponge cake relies solely on the whipped eggs for leavening and it is important you follow all the steps carefully.
Sponge cake:
60g (about 4.5 tbsp) butter, melted and cooled plus extra for greasing tins
180g (about 1 &1/3 cups) plain/all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
6 eggs, at room temperature
165g (about 3/4 cup) caster/superfine sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  1. Make sure your eggs are at room temp and preheat oven to 180°C (350° F) (you may need to adjust to 160-170°C (340° F) for fan-forced). 
  2. Brush three 18cm (7 inch) round cake tins with melted butter, line base and sides with baking paper, grease paper with a little extra butter and then dust lightly with flour. 
  3. Triple-sift flour and set aside. 
  4. Whisk eggs, sugar and vanilla in an electric mixer until thick, pale and tripled in volume (about 7-8 minutes). Sift over flour in two batches, folding each batch in with a large metal spoon or spatula.
  5. Fold in melted butter. 
  6. Carefully pour equal amounts into prepared tins and bake until light golden and centre springs back when pressed lightly with your fingertip (about 20 minutes). 
  7. Pull cake gently away from sides of tin with your fingers or carefully loosen with a knife. Turn onto a wire rack, remove baking paper, turn back over swiftly and cool completely. 
Lemon Syrup:
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 2 lemons, about 1/2 cup
1 cup (about 200g) sugar
1/2 cup water
  1. Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves. 
  2. Increase heat slightly and allow mixture to come to the boil, then simmer for about 3-5 minutes to allow syrup to thicken slightly. 
  3. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Use a fork or skewer to poke holes over the surface of your cooled sponge cakes. Use a brush or a small spoon to carefully drizzle lemon syrup over the surface of all three cakes (you don't need to use all of it, just enough to generously cover the surface of all three). 
  5. Cakes can be wrapped in clingfilm and stored in the fridge overnight, until ready to assemble.
Lemon Syrup Sponge Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese Icing and Berries
For the berry filling:
300g (5oz) berries, fresh or frozen (I used 1 punnet raspberries to fill between one layer, and blueberries for the other layer)
1/3 cup sugar
4 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
2 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch) + 4 tsp cold water
  1. Place berries, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla in a medium saucepan and place on medium heat. Stir over heat until sugar dissolves. 
  2. Mix cornflour and water together in a separate small bowl then add to the saucepan and stir over medium heat until mixture thickens, about 3-4 minutes. Set aside to cool.
For the whipped cream cheese icing:
250g (about 9oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (about 100g) sugar
300ml (about 1 & 1/3 cups) thickened (heavy) cream
Optional: 1/4 tsp vanilla extract or 2-3 tbsp of berry filling from above to flavour icing
  1. Place cream cheese and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on high until smooth.
  2. With the mixer still running on medium speed, gradually add cream to mixture.
  3. Beat on high until mixture reaches stiff peaks, take care not to over mix or cream will split.
  4. Fold in vanilla or berry filling to flavour mixture.
To assemble cake:
  1. Place first cake layer on your serving plate or stand. 
  2. Spread a layer of berry filling over the top of the cake (I started with blueberry for the bottom layer and raspberry on top).
  3. Sandwich with another cake layer and repeat. 
  4. Crumb coat cake with cream cheese icing and chill cake for 15 minutes.
  5. Cover cake with remaining icing, smoothing with an offset spatula.
  6. Decorate with additional fresh berries and/or macarons (recipe here).
Lemon Syrup Sponge Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese Icing and Berries
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  1. That looks incredible! Love the heart macarons on top, so cute. :)

  2. I am sorry about your budgie! My heart is with you right now.
    I love the simplistic design of this cake! Berries and macarons do need anything special to make them so beautiful.

  3. Epic cake! Loooove it! You are so gifted at layer cakes!

  4. Wow!
    Nice and fabolous ;)

    El Secreto Endulzado

  5. This cake is something else! I bet it was delicious!
    So sorry to hear about your budgie by the way :(


  6. Ahhhhh this cake is so beautiful! Love the flavour too :)

  7. Sorry to hear about your budgie. Pets really do become part of the family. This cake looks so beautiful as always.

  8. Just ended up on your blog for the very first time. Sorry it took me so long (: Your birthday cake is quite an eye catcher, so I looked through a few of your earlier posts, and I love them! So, I guess I'll be back soon.

    Have a great day,

  9. It looks divine:) yummy

  10. this looks so delicious.. love the presentation - those macarons are so adorable!

  11. I think it's gorgeous, the little macarons on the top are so cute!

  12. you are SO stinking talented, steph!! love this and as always, love your technical descriptions and advice. <3


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