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Gooseberry and Elderflower Layer Cake

Layers of zesty elderflower sponge sandwiched together with tart gooseberry compote and lightly whipped elderflower cream make up this delicious nod to the British countryside. Bake it for a special mid-summer occasion or round off a Sunday lunch with a generous slice.

Ingredients:

  • 275g soft butter
  • 275g caster sugar
  • zest 1 lemon
  • 5 eggs
  • 275g self raising flour
  • 3-4tbsp elderflower cordial

For the gooseberry compote:

  • 500g fresh (or frozen and defrosted) gooseberries
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 50ml water

For the elderflower cream:

  • 600ml double cream
  • 4-5tbsp elderflower cordial
  • 1-2tbsp icing sugar

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170c. Grease and line two 8 inch cake tins.
  2. Place the butter, sugar and zest in a large bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment) and cream together until light, pale and fluffy.
  3. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition to ensure they are fully incorporated. Now tip in the elderflower cordial and briefly mix once more to distribute it evenly through the batter.
  4. Sift over the flour and fold in with a large metal spoon. Split the mixture between the two prepared tins and level out. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted.
    While the cakes are baking, make the gooseberry compote. Put the gooseberries, sugar and water in a saucepan and gently heat, stirring occasionally, until the fruits are soft and a loose compote has formed (10-15 minutes).
  5. When the cakes are ready, leave to cool completely in the tins. While they cool, make the elderflower cream. To do this simply whisk together the cream, cordial and sugar until soft peaks form.
  6. Once all your elements are cool, assemble the cake. Spread a generous layer of compote and several dollops of elderflower cream between each sponge, then finish with a few sprigs of elderflower for a simple, effortless summer pudding.

Enjoy!

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Easy Peasy Chocolate Fudge Cake

Sometimes you just can’t beat the classics, so I decided it was about time I shared my tried and tested chocolate cake recipe. Simple but delicious, this chocolatey treat is a guaranteed crowd pleaser and can be jazzed up for parties or left plain for a tea time treat- go on, give it a try!

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For the fudgey sponge, you will need: 350g plain flour, 1tsp bicarbonate of soda, 2 tsp baking powder, 400g caster sugar, 80g cocoa powder, pinch salt, 1tsp espresso powder, 3 eggs, 160ml vegetable oil, 250ml milk, 100g dark chocolate, 150ml boiling water

Grease and line two small cake tins. Preheat the oven to 180c (fan).

Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, caster sugar, cocoa powder, salt and espresso powder.

In a jug, whisk the eggs,vegetable oil and milk. Pour into the dry mixture and combine thoroughly.

Take the dark chocolate and melt in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Leave to cool for a few minutes then fold into the mixing bowl with the other ingredients.

Add the boiling water a splash at a time, mixing carefully until thoroughly combined.

Split the mix between the two cake tins and place on the middle shelf of the oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes until springy.

Leave the cakes in their tins to cool for ten minutes then remove and leave to return to room temperature on a wire rack.

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While the sponges are cooling, making the frosting with: 600g icing sugar, 125g soft butter, 6tbsp milk, 100g dark chocolate, 50g cocoa powder.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water then set aside to cool.

Sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder into a large mixing bowl then cube in the soft butter. Add the milk. Using an electric whisk, mix together the ingredients, then add the melted chocolate and whisk again until completely smooth. If the frosting is too stiff just add some more milk until the desired spreadable consistency is achieved.

Take your sponges and cut them in half horizontally, leaving you with four layers. Frost between the layers then cover the outer edges. Sprinkle with chocolate shavings for a simple finish.

Enjoy!