It was my Dad’s birthday last week so thought I’d bake him a cake. I hardly ever baked for him when he was alive, probably because I was off doing twenty-something things, like drinking white wine spritzers and flying kites.
Although looking back, I don’t think I even started baking until after he died. I remember becoming quite obsessed with it actually, I even sent myself on a rather serious pudding and baking course in Dorest and applied for the second series of The Great British Bake Off (your loss Mary Berry). Baking was and still is a nice distraction on days like his birthday. So six years on, I decided to make him a tropical twist on the classic Victoria Sponge. So happy birthday dad, this one’s for you.
Apricot & Passion Fruit Cake
Serve 8-10 / Takes roughly 50 minutes + cooling and icing time)
200g butter (at room temperature)
200g self raising flour
200g golden caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Dash of milk
4 large eggs
3 passion fruit
1 tsp vanilla extract
300ml double cream whipped
3 heaped tbs of icing sugar
Apricot jam 2 tbs one on one sandwich
1. Preheat your oven to 200° (180° fan). Line the bottom of a round baking tin with baking paper and grease the sides with butter. I use a 20cm cake tin.
2. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla extract in an electric mixer on a medium speed, until light and fluffy (you can do this by hand if you like, I’m just lazy.)
3. Up the speed and add one of the eggs and a tablespoon of flour, this stops the mixture from curdling, once combined add the second egg with a tablespoon of flour and so on and so fourth.
4. Add a dash of milk and continue to add the flour bit by bit until you have a thick silky batter. Spoon into your cake tin and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, cover with foil and pop back in the oven for another 10 minutes. (This stops the cake getting too brown on top but still cooks it through.) Once the cake is springy to the touch and cooked in the middle it’s done (test this by spearing the cake with a sharp knife and see if it comes out clean. If it doesn’t, it may need a few more minutes in the oven.)
5. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning it out carefully onto a cooling rack. Once cool, you can either ice the cake immediately or wrap it in cling film and ice it later. I like to make cakes in the evening and ice them the next morning but it’s up to you.
6. Cut your cake in half lengthways so you have two cakes, you’re essentailly making a Victoria Sandwich. (Don’t over think cutting the cake, just get a big knife and do your best, doesn’t matter if it’s a bit wonky, mine was.)
7. Make the filling by pouring the double cream and vanilla extract into a large bowl and whisking it until it thickens. (Be careful not to over whip the cream, as you still need to combine the other ingredients which can be tough if the cream is too firm.)
8. Cut the passion fruits in half and spoon out the insides of two of the passion fruits into the cream, save the other passion fruit. Mix into the cream along with the mascarpone and 3 heaped tablespoons of icing sugar until you have a think glossy filling. Yum!
9. Spread the bottom layer of your cake with half of your cream filling and the other with apricot jam (like a large scone). Scoop the last passion fruit out onto the cream and Sandwich both cakes together.
10. Finally top with the rest of the cream and serve. Brilliant.
If you’ve had a go at making my cake or any of my recipes I’d love to hear about it. @corrieheale firstname.lastname@example.org