Ahhh… Chenny made good on her promise! A year ago she promised Kit she would bake a cake for her birthday, and boy did she deliver!
Kit’s birthday Sunday started off very pleasantly, with family brunch at Cafe Brunetti in Singapore. It was our first time eating there, and we’re so glad that we did! Their gelato ice cream is one of the best we’ve tried in Singapore. Their gelato comes in fantastic flavours, like Cherry Mania and Orange Custard; flavours that make us envious and wish that that we had thought of it ourselves. Of course we ate ‘proper’ food as well, but naturally the gelato was the highlight for us : )
After brunch, we took a stroll to work off the calories. We ended up in the Tanglin supermarket, where Mum got very excited when she spotted more turkeys for sale.
Would just like to mention that roasting turkeys is (one of) Mum’s specialities, and even though we were still 3 weeks from Christmas, she decided to heck it and roast a turkey for Kit’s birthday too. It was an underhanded tactic to entice Kit to eat meat (Kit is a pescatarian but makes an exception only on Christmas when she gives in to her carnivorous side and indulges in Mum’s Christmas turkey). Mums have their ways!
So the dinner menu was roast turkey, lemon chestnut dressing (sounds a bit odd but it actually tastes pretty awesome), seafood gumbo, black organic wild jasmine rice with pistachios and cranberries, and a salad of brussel sprouts, chicory leaves and Parmesan shavings. Yum!! No leftovers at all! : D
As for the cake, Mum suggested using a prize-winning sponge cake recipe from her beloved Australian Women’s Weekly. We were a little dubious at first as the recipe only uses 2 tablespoons of flour, but then realized how intriguing it was so off we went : )
We decided to layer the cake with strawberries and blueberries, swathed with whipped cream. Pleased to report that it turned out wonderful, even on the first bake! And not too sinful too, as the cake doesn’t have any butter or oil in it. An even better reason to have multiple slices! : )
So here’s the recipe, adapted slightly from Natalie Dick’s Prize-Winning Sponge Cake (published in the Australian Women’s Weekly).
Victorian Sponge Cake with Whipped Cream & Mixed Berries
2 heaped teaspoons of plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 level teaspoon cream of tartar
Cornflour (to fill above ingredients up to 1 cup)
4 eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup (165g) caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
Filling and Topping
300ml whipping cream or heavy cream
1 tablespoon icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 punnet (approx 450g) of fresh strawberries
1 punnet (approx 250g) of fresh blueberries
1. Preheat oven to 190°C (170°C fan-forced). Grease (use canola oil spray) two 20cm round cake tins, ensuring you grease the sides of tin well so sponge rises neatly.
2. Put plain flour, bicarbonate of soda and cream of tartar in a 1 cup (250ml) measuring cup. Fill the remainder of the cup with cornflour.
3. Beat eggs and sugar on a high speed for 7 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat for 30 seconds to combine.
4. While eggs are beating, sift flour mixture three times onto greaseproof paper.
5. Turn mixer to lowest speed and gently add flour mixture and beat for 1 minute until smooth. Divide mixture between two well-greased 20cm round cake tins. Place in oven on centre shelf and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until sponge springs back when touched or sponge is coming away from side of tin.
6. Take sponges out of oven. Place baking paper on wire cake racks to cover. Turn sponges out from tins onto the wire racks. Allow sponges to cool completely.
1. Remove the green tops of half of the strawberries and slice them lengthwise about 1/4 inch thick. The remaining strawberries (keep the nicer-looking ones) are for decorating the top, and slice those into halves.
2. Whip the cream, icing sugar and vanilla essence until you have a smooth whipped cream.
3. Place one sponge cake on a serving plate. This is the base. Spoon half of the whipped cream on to the base sponge cake and smooth to the edges using an offset spatula, leaving about 1.5cm for the cream to spread to the edges once the 2nd layer is on.
4. Top the whipped cream with the slices strawberries and half of the blueberries.
5. Place the second sponge on top of the berries, and spoon on the remaining whipped cream to the edges using an offset spatula.
6. Decorate the top with the remaining strawberries & blueberries, or as desired.
1. Intensify the strawberry / fruit flavor by spreading a layer of jam on top of the cream & before the fruit. Home made jam made with overripe fruits (e.g. peaches, apricots, plums, etc) would be lovely, but store bought jam is fine too.
2. It’s better to grease & line the bottom & sides of the cake time with baking paper. Due to the sponge’s lightness, we found that the sides still stuck to the tins.
3. A light dusting of icing sugar on top of the cake would be a nice finishing touch. : )