Originally posted 10/03/2015
I’ve been sticking to lower fat/sugar bakes for the last couple of months as part of my new year (mostly) healthy eating regime but last weekend while back home at my parents’ I was desperate to just go nuts and make a proper double decker sponge with lashings of scrummy frosting. I’ve wanted to try a tri-colour Neapolitan ice cream inspired cake, with layers of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, for a while so this was the perfect time to give it a go. I’m really pleased with how it turned out and think it looks really pretty and cheery!
The frosting I used in this recipe is just egg white beaten with icing sugar plus flavouring and food colouring and this makes for a lovely light, almost marshmallow-like texture which is less sickly than buttercream. However, a word of warning: it starts to shrink and evaporate after 24 hours or so so if you’re making the cake in advance I’d recommend using buttercream icing instead as it will last much longer.
INGREDIENTS – makes 2 sponge layers of 8in/20cm diameter
For the cake:
- 225g/8 oz self-rasing flour
- 225g/8 oz caster/granulated sugar
- 225g/8 oz butter/margarine
- 4 eggs
- 2 heaped tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 50g/2 oz chocolate chips (optional but very yummy)
For the icing/jam filling:
- 1 egg white
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 1 tsp strawberry extract
- Few drops of red food colouring
- Handful of coloured vermicelli
- 4 tbsp (approx.) strawberry jam
For the cake:
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C (or 160 fan) and line the two baking tins with parchment paper.
- Whisk the butter/margarine and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until pale then whisk in the eggs.
- Fold in the flour and vanilla extract until a batter of a soft dropping consistency has formed.
- Separate half of the mixture into a second bowl and and fold in the cocoa powder and chocolate chips.
- Pour the mixtures one each into the prepared cake tins.
- Pop in the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes until a cocktail stick inserted into the sponge comes out clean.
- When baked, place on a wire rack and leave to cool before turning the cakes out of the tins. At this stage the cakes can be frozen for decorating at a later date if you wish.
For the icing & filling:
- Spread the strawberry jam generously onto the top of the cooled chocolate sponge and sandwich the vanilla sponge on top.
- Separate the egg white into a clean bowl and whisk with the strawberry extract until stiff peaks form while adding the icing sugar a few teaspoons at a time.
- Add the food colouring a couple of drops at a time and whisk again until you have your desired shade of pink.
- Spread the icing over the top of the cake using a palette knife – tap roughly with the palette knife to achieve the fluffy effect in the photo – and then sprinkle with rainbow vermicelli as a colourful finishing touch.