They’ve worked hard for two years, swotting furiously in the lead up to their exams and now, with the results in, it is time to celebrate. And what better way than a homemade cake?
Shake off the table cloth, dress your farmhouse table, line up the fabric dining chairs and decorate the dining room with fresh flowers to celebrate exam success – and, of course, to enjoy a slice of delicious cake, served with bubbles.
Passion Fruit, Chocolate & Coconut Roulade
- Oil or butter for greasing
- 150g dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
- 6 large eggs, separated
- 170g golden caster sugar
- 25g cocoa powder
- 25g ground almonds
- 250g tub mascarpone
- 400ml double cream
- 85g icing sugar
- 125g lemon curd
- 3 ripe passion fruits, flesh scooped out
- 75g coconut flakes, toasted
- Start by heating the oven to 180 or gas mark 4. Grease a swiss roll tin, 33 x 23 cm and line with baking parchment. Grease the parchment too.
- Place the chocolate in a glass bowl over a simmering pan of water, making sure the water does not touch the bowl. Leave to melt, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- In a large, clean bowl, whisk the eggs whites until they form soft peaks.
- In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until the mixture is pale and thick.
- Add a spoonful of the whipped egg whites to the yolk mixture, folding in gently. Add the remaining egg white, in this way.
- Sprinkle the cocoa powder and the ground almonds into the mixture and continue to fold in gently, taking care not to knock the air out.
- When combined, spread the mixture into the tin and bake for around 15 to 18 minutes, until springy to the touch.
- Whilst the sponge is still warm, turn out onto a flat surface and remove the baking parchment but leave it sitting loosely on the surface when you come to roll up the roulade. With a sharp knife, make an incision about one centimetre in from the short edge. Don’t cut all the way through, just break the surface of the sponge.
- Rolling the sponge from one short end to the other, roll it as tight as you can, using the parchment to stop it sticking.
- Leave to cool, rolled up whilst you combine the mascarpone and the icing sugar in a bowl. Carefully unroll the sponge and spread this sweetened mascarpone mixture on the sponge, leaving a border of about 1.5 cm all around. Drop blobs of the lemon curd across the surface along with the flesh of the passion fruits.
- Re-roll the roulade as tightly as possible and dust with a little icing sugar. Cut into thick slices and seeing as it is a celebration, pull up one of the wooden dining chairs and serve with a dollop of cream!
Rosewater and Raspberry Sponge Cake
Rosewater is available to buy in most major supermarkets and can be found in the baking aisle. It adds a subtle flavour but use sparingly as too much gives a pungent perfumed flavour.
For the cake, you will need;
- 225g unsalted butter softened and extra for greasing
- 225g caster sugar
- 4 medium, free range eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 225g self-raising flour sifted
For the rose cream filling
- 150ml double cream
- 1 tsp rose water
- 4 tbsp. raspberry jam
- 150g raspberries, slightly crushed
For the drizzle icing
- 175g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
- A few drops of rose water
- A handful of raspberries for decoration
- Heat the oven to 180 or gas mark 4. Lightly grease two 20cm round cake tins and line with baking parchment.
- In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs a little at a time along with a spoonful of sifted flour. Add the vanilla extra and whisk in the remaining flour.
- Divide the mixture between the two cake tins and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Turn out and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Make the filling by whisking the cream to soft peaks, adding the rose water little by little.
- Place one cake on a plate and smother the top with the cream mixture. Place the other cake layer on top.
- Mix the icing sugar, 2 tbsps. of water and a few drops of the rose water, along with the juice of crushed raspberries and mix. Drizzle the mixture over the cake and decorate with a few raspberries. Enjoy at the farmhouse kitchen table sitting on either a dining bench with back so you can sink back into it, or lean forward to grab the last slice!
Blueberry & Coconut cake
For vegetarians, this cake is perfect with plant oils used instead of animal fats.
- 250ml rice bran oil, plus extra for the tin
- 3 eggs
- 225g caster sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 300g self-raising flour
- 50g desiccated coconut
- 175ml soya milk
- 140g fresh or frozen blueberries, plus extra to serve
- icing sugar, to dust
- Heat the oven to 180 or gas mark 4 and grease a 22cm ring tin (like a large ring doughnut tin)
- Whisk together the oil, eggs, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Combine the flour and coconut and alternately fold into the flour mix with the soya milk. Start and end with the flour.
- Spoon a quarter of the mix into the tin. Add the blueberries to the remaining batter and then spoon this into the tin.
- This cake will need a slow bake of around an hour or until the skewer comes out clean. If it browns too quickly on top, cover with foil.
- When cooked, allow the cake to cool a little and then turn out onto a wire rack. Allow it to cool completely.
- Dust the cake with icing sugar and serve in slices with extra blueberries and a dash of cream.
Enjoy the cake and celebrations with family and friends gathered around your reclaimed wood dining table, dressed with a pristine white table cloth and pretty serving plates and cake forks. Celebrating the successes in life is important, so enjoy this time with family and friends.