Hello, just a quick post with a gorgeous cake. Oui, its time for the gâteau of gâteaux. And it is quite magnificent.
Chocolate velvet sponge, three layers of. Strawberries. Raspberries. Cherries. Blackberries. Chantilly cream. And the jam. The most delicious jam I have ever tasted inspired this whole gigantic cake. I bought it at the world’s cutest and best farm shop at Millets Farm – where they also have some very sweet goats, ponies, rabbits and the like. It is so good that I nearly shouted at my brother for taking some of my jam to eat on his scone – I mean, the nerve! – before I got a grip and realised that I could just go and buy some more (and maybe visit the goats, ponies, rabbits…). Its called Forest Fruit Jam (hence my original name for the cake) and contains, surprise surprise, strawberries, raspberries, cherries and blackberries.
This cake is big. It easily serves twelve, being triple layered and stuffed with cream and fruit. But it should probably be eaten on the day its assembled because of the potential landslide (cakeslide?) if the cream melts. That makes it the perfect thing for a garden party, summer barbeque, dinner with friends outside. If you do have leftovers, please store in the fridge, or do as I do and feed them to the rapid-metabolising hoovers that are my boyfriend and his brother.
Its always fun to serve things with more than one layer because they just always look so darn impressive!
Forest Fruit Gâteau
For the cakes:
200g dark chocolate
350 ml full-fat milk
250 grams caster sugar
125g unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
300g self-raising flour, sifted
For the filling:
3 tbsp. forest fruit jam*
300 ml whipping cream
A few drops of vanilla extract
1 tbsp. icing sugar, plus more for dusting
100g cherries, halved with stones removed, plus a few whole for decoration
100g strawberries, hulled and quartered, plus a few whole for decoration
*or jam containg any/all of cherries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries
For the cakes:
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and base-line 3 20cm/8″ cake tins.
Break the chocolate in to chunks and place in a small, heavy based pan with the milk and ⅓ of the sugar. Heat gently, stirring, until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and remaining sugar with an electric mixer for a few minutes until pale, light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the bowl between each addition, then mix in the vanilla.
Fold in the flour ⅓ at a time alternately with ⅓ batches of the chocolate mixture, until the batter is well mixed. Split the batter evenly between the three cake tins and bake for 23-25 minutes until the top springs back when gently pressed with a finger. Leave to cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Whip the cream, vanilla and 1 tbsp. icing sugar with an electric mixer until it forms stiff peaks.
Spread 1½ heaped tablespoon of jam over the flat underside of one of the cakes. Spread over ⅓ of the whipped cream, then scatter over a mixture of the fruit to cover. Place another cake on top with the flat underside facing up and repeat the topping. Place the final cake with the curved top facing upwards on top of the fruit. Spread with the remaining cream, then scatter a mixture of fruit over, including the whole strawberries and cherries. Dust the top of the cake with icing sugar and serve.