Monday, 25 June 2012

Ginger & Blueberry Layer Cake

The recipe(s) for this cake seem rather involved, as a whole ensemble, but it was far less time-consuming than I had anticipated.

The flavour combinations are wonderful, and the frosting is reminiscent of a favourite cheesecake of mine. I found that the cake could have done with a touch more ginger, so would up the number of ginger slices in the syrup a tad. 


For the sponges, I used two rather shallow almost-8 inch cake tins. I was a little worried that they wouldn't be big enough, but the fit was perfect. You could also use a deeper pan, and bake the cake for about an hour.
After having soaked the sponges and allowed them to cool, I sliced them in half and refrigerated them for about 20 minutes or so. This was to ensure they were sturdy enough to handle when assembling. Fewer layers could also be made (e.g. you could just fill two sandwich tins with the batter and not slice the layers).

Recipe from Poires au Chocolat

Ginger & Blueberry Layer Cake

For the sponge
250g unsalted butter
250g caster sugar
5 eggs
100g greek yoghurt
335g plain flour
2tsp baking powder
3tbsp milk
For the ginger syrup
6 slices ginger (about 4mm thick)
100g caster sugar
100ml water
For the blueberry filling
250g fresh or frozen blueberries
100g sugar
1tbsp water
zest and juice of half a lemon
For the frosting
1.5cm fresh ginger
15g caster sugar
10ml water
75g unsalted butter
200g icing sugar
125g cream cheese
125g mascarpone
½ tsp ground ginger

A small punnet of blueberries, to decorate


1. Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/mark 3 and grease and line two 8 inch cake pans.

2. For the sponges, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until completely incorporated. Fold in the yoghurt, and once combined, sift in the flour and baking powder. Begin to fold in the flour and baking powder, add the milk, and continue to combine. Once homogenous, transfer to the cake pans and bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes (if baking in one deep pan, bake for 1 hour-1 hour 20 minutes). Once baked, the sponges should be golden, risen and a skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean. Leave the sponges to cool for 15 minutes before pouring over the ginger syrup.

3. For the syrup, place the ginger slices, water and sugar into a small pan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and leave to cool a little. Once the cakes have cooled for 15 minutes, poke the surfaces of the sponges all over with a skewer and pour the ginger syrup over the tops of the sponges. Leave the sponges to cool completely.

4. For the blueberry filling, heat the blueberries, lemon juice and zest, water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Pour into a bowl and leave to cool.

5. For the frosting, start by making another, more concentrated, ginger syrup. Chop the ginger into little chunks and heat gently with the caster sugar and water in a little saucepan. Once the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat and bring to the boil.  In a large bowl, freestanding mixer or food processor beat together the butter and icing sugar until the sugar is evenly distributed. Beat in the cream cheese, mascarpone and ground ginger and mix in the ginger syrup. Refrigerate to firm up a little before icing the cake.

6. To assemble, remove the sponges from the pans and slice in half. Place the sponges (without separating the new layers) into the fridge to become more manageable.  Sandwich up the layers of cake with the blueberry filling without spreading any on top of the top layer. Spread the frosting on the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with the fresh blueberries.

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