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. Six years on, I decided to make him a tropical twist on a classic Victoria sponge. So happy birthday dad, this one’s for you.
Apricot & passion fruit cake
Serve 8-10 / Hands on time 40 mins / Total time 1 hr + cooling and icing / V ❄
You’ll need: Electric hand whisk and a 20cm cake tin
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
2 tbs apricot jam
1. Preheat an oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400F/gas mark 6. Line the bottom of a round baking tin with baking paper and grease the sides with butter.
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.) 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 another tablespoon of flour and so on.
3. Add a dash of milk and continue to add the flour bit by bit until you have a thick silky batter. Spoon into a cake tin and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, cover with foil and continue to bake for a further 10 minutes (this prevents the cake getting too brown on top). Once the cake is springy to the touch and a skewer comes out clean the cake is done. If it doesn’t, continue to bake for a few more minutes.
4. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. Once cool, you can either ice the cake immediately or wrap it well in cling film and ice it later.
5. Slice the cake in half lengthways so you have two cakes, you’re essentially making a Victoria Sandwich – don’t over think it, just take a big knife and do your best, doesn’t matter if it’s a bit wonky.
6. 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.
7. Cut the passion fruits in half and spoon out the seeds of 2 straight into the cream – save the other passion fruit for later. Add the mascarpone and 3 heaped tablespoons of icing sugar until you have a think glossy filling. Spread the bottom layer of your cake with half of your cream filling and the other with apricot jam, as it it were a giant scone. Scoop the last passion fruit out onto the cream and sandwich both cakes together.
8. Finally, top the cake with the rest of the cream and serve.
If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.
V – Vegetarian
❄ – The sponges is suitable for freezing. Wrap in several layers of clingfilm and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost fully before icing.