These little cakes were created for an informal gathering of friends. I wanted something light, full of flavour and quick to make. They also look quite special without suggesting great effort. If raspberries are not available blueberries or blackberries would also work well – just be sure to change the jam accordingly.
This quantity makes 22-24 sponges. (Do not overfill cups as sponges will double in size).
Equipment: I x 12 cup mini sandwich tin with straight sides. Lakeland stocks these and they are identified as ‘mini victoria sandwiches’. They are loose bottomed. Grease each cup with some butter.
Preheat oven to 180C/gas 4
- 225g unsalted butter
- 225g caster sugar
- 225g self-raising flour
- 4 large free-range eggs at room temperature
- ½ tsp of vanilla extract
- 1 ½ tsp of lemon essence or lemon oil
- 1 tbls milk at room temperature
Crème Chantilly & Topping
- 1 pint/600ml of double cream – very cold from the fridge
- 120g of sifted icing sugar
- 1 tsp of vanilla essence – or lemon essence / oil
- 300g fresh raspberries
- Jar of raspberry jam – seedless if possible, but with seeds is fine
Put soft butter into a mixing bowl and beat for 1 minute with a hand-held mixer. Gradually add in the caster sugar and continue beating for up to 4 minutes until mixture is very fluffy in texture. Break eggs into a bowl and whisk lightly to break them up. Add 1 egg approx at a time to the creamed mixture and beat in fully. Continue in this way until all eggs are incorporated. Add essences and blend in. (Should mixture show signs of curdling, add in 1 tablespoon of the sifted flour to restore it. This shouldn’t happen if the eggs are at room temperature).
Sift flour and add to the creamed mixture. Use a large metal spoon of rubber spatula to mix together. Add the milk to lighten the texture and blend in. Be gentle as over-vigorous mixing will remove a good deal of air from the sponge. Stop folding when there are no streaks of flour showing – and check there are no pockets of flour at the base of the bowl ‘hiding’ under the mixture. Spoon or pipe into the prepared tin. Fill to halfway full. Transfer to middle rack of preheated oven and bake for 20-23 minutes. They will be golden when cooked and springy to the touch and will double in size.
Remove from oven and leave for a few minutes to contract from sides of tin. Using the loose-bottomed base, turn out each one onto a cooling rack.
Regrease tin and proceed as for first batch.
Cut in half when cold. Fill with Chantilly cream as recipe below, alternating with a whole raspberry between pipings and top with a rosette of cream and a raspberry (see photo).
In a large bowl, whisk cream to soft peaks. Stop and add icing sugar and essence. Beat a little longer but slowly to avoid over-beating and graininess. Tip: it is better to finish beating whipped cream using a hand-held whisk so that you have control – even a couple of extra whisks of the blades can result in over-beating.
Cut each mini-sponge in half with a sharp knife. Pipe stars of whipped cream round edge, leaving a small space to insert a raspberry between. Put 1 teaspoon of seedless raspberry jam in centre. Place other half on top. Finally, pipe a rosette of Chantilly cream on top and put a whole raspberry in centre. Dust with icing sugar and transfer to serving tray.