Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake

Someone once said “A celebration without cake is just a meeting.” How right they were. Whether it is birthdays, weddings, christenings, or any other form of celebration, cakes almost always feature. Recently Hawkshead Relish won Small Business Of The Year 2017. Having reviewed and used their delicious jams, chutneys and more recently spreads, I was absolutely thrilled for them. To celebrate their award I offered to make a cake featuring their best selling Raspberry and Vanilla Jam. Here is the Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake made in celebration of such an amazing achievement.

FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake.

Three layers of light, vanilla sponge, sandwiched together with vanilla bean buttercream and raspberry vanilla jam. Covered lightly, yet incompletely with the same buttercream. Most of all, giving a very ‘on trend’ naked finish to the cake. Finished with edible garden flowers that reflect the geographic location of Hawkshead Relish, situated in the historic village of Hawkshead within the English Lake District.

FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake in the sunshine.

Using locally sourced ingredients Hawkshead Relish do not use any artificial additives or preservatives. Completely free from nuts, their range is also suitable for vegetarians. Holding 50 Great Taste awards, each product is made in small batches using traditional methods. Resulting in outstanding taste and quality, from a family run business.

FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake layered with buttercream and the very best jam.

Using the Hawkshead Relish motto “Embellish with Relish,” it has been my pleasure creating recipes that include their products. While creating Red Onion Sausage Plait, the Red Onion Marmalade is a vital ingredient to the finished bake. So unique are the  flavour of chutneys and sauces, they deserve more than to be spooned on to the side of a plate. Since including relish within recipes, a whole world of flavour combinations became unlocked.

Recipe: Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake serves 14-16

  • To make the 3 cake sponges:
  • 275g/10oz Unsalted Butter + 100g/4oz both at room temperature
  • 275g/10oz Caster Sugar + 100g/4oz
  • 3tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey
  • 1/4tsp + 1/8tsp Sea Salt  – I use Maldon
  • 6 Large Free Range Eggs + an additional 3
  • 275g/10oz Plain White Flour + 100g/4oz
  • 2.5tsp Baking Powder + 1tsp
  • To make the buttercream:
  • 500g/12oz Icing Sugar
  • 250g/9oz Unsalted Butter softened to room temperature
  • 2tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
  • 2  Jars Raspberry and Vanilla Jam from – Hawkshead Relish
  • 2-3tbsp Very Hot Water from a recently boiled kettle
  • To decorate the cake:
  • A selection of organic, pesticide free edible flowers. Both mint and lavender flowers were sourced from our garden.

Method: Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan, gas mark 3

Making the cake:

You will need 3 x 18cm/7″ approx 7cm/2.5″ deep, loose bottom sponge tins. As most people own only 2, this method is written with that taken into account. Therefore, two separate bakes are included. First of all making the batter and baking two sponges. Followed by making the batter and baking one sponge. Finally, should you own and have oven space for three sponges to be made and baked together, simply follow the steps, using the total ingredients.

  • First of all, lightly butter the baking tins. Cover the base in baking parchment.
  • Into a large bowl add the first amount of sugar, butter and salt.
  • Whisk together until pale and creamy.
  • Next add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and 6 whole eggs.
  • Whisk everything together until combined.
  • Follow by sieving in the flour and baking powder.
  • Whisk the ingredients together until combined. Take care not to over beat, or the resulting cake will be tough.
  • Divide the cake batter equally between 2 greased and lined tins. If using the entire mix divide between 3 tins.
  • Place the tins in the top and centre of the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes.
FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
Preparing and baking the cake sponges.
  • When they have turned golden brown and spring back from a light touch the cakes are fully baked.
  • Remove from the oven, allowing each cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out on to a cooling rack.
  • Wash up one cake tin and follow the steps given to make a single sponge cake. Make and bake as before. Each of the 3 sponges must be fully cooled before icing.

Icing to create a naked cake finish:

During the cake icing process, chilling of the iced cake in a fridge is required. Therefore a cake board, or flat plate is needed for transferring the cake. Also a cake decorating turntable is helpful for ensuring a smooth even finish to the buttercream. Alternatively use a cake stand large enough to accommodate the cake board/plate. A palette knife and large piping bag are also required.

  • Into a large bowl add the softened butter and vanilla bean paste.
  • Sieve the icing sugar into the same bowl.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of very hot water from the kettle and start whisking the ingredients on a low speed.
  • Continue whisking until the buttercream has turned very pale and has a light, creamy consistency.
  • Place the cake board on to the cake stand.
  • Next, put a small dollop of buttercream on to the centre of the board. Spread the icing so that it is slightly smaller than the diameter of a cake sponge.
  • Lay the first sponge, flat side uppermost on to the board. The buttercream anchors the cake to the board, providing a stable base.
  • Spread 4 generous tablespoons of jam on to the cake. Leave a 2cm gap between the jam and the edge of the cake.
  • Next, take a separate sponge and add a generous dollop/4tbsp of buttercream to the top.
  • Using a palette knife, spread the buttercream evenly so that it covers the sponge.
  • Carefully lift and flip the sponge, placing it on top of the jam sponge, buttercream side facing down. See the photos below for guidance.
FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
Layering each sponge with jam and buttercream.
  • Repeat the last steps, with the remaining sponge. However, this time the sponge should be placed flat side down. Hence leaving the finished, stacked cake with a natural top.
FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
3 sponge cake layers stacked. Also covering the top in buttercream.
  • Spoon a generous amount/5tbsp of buttercream on to the top of the cake.
  • Again, using a palette knife, spread the buttercream so that it covers the top of the cake evenly.
  • Fill a large, disposable piping bag with the remaining buttercream. Snip the end of the bag to give a 1cm opening. A nozzle is not required.
FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
Covering the cake sides with buttercream.
  • The purpose of piping buttercream is to fill in any gaps. Similar to plastering, buttercream is added and then smoothed on to the cake sides. During this process buttercream will be added and then taken off. Resulting in a ‘naked cake’ finish.
  • Pipe the buttercream in between each layer of the cake, including the base and the cake board. Take care not to get jam mixed with the buttercream.
  • Holding a palette knife at a slight angle to the side of the cake, slowly turn the cake stand. As the buttercream spreads across the cake it will also accumulate on the palette knife. Scrape the palette knife against the side of the butter bowl to remove any excess.
  • Continue turning the cake, piping buttercream on to any bare spots, until the sides of the cake are roughly covered. See bottom left photo above.
  • The next stage is creating a smooth, even finish across the entire cake.
  • Fill a jug with very hot water. Wipe any buttercream from the palette knife and then place it in the hot water. Since the heat of the knife melts buttercream, it is very helpful in creating the smoothest finish.
  • Remove the palette knife, wipe off any water and then hold it flat against the side of the cake. Rotate the cake slowly. When you start to feel a dragging sensation, turn the knife over and repeat. Creating a completely smooth cake requires a lot of repetition of these steps. Repeat until the sides of the cake are smooth.
  • Now use the same technique for smoothing the cake top. As soon as the cake top is smooth, run a hot palette knife around the outside of the top cake layer. Creating a smooth top and sides is the aim.
  • While it is tempting to keep going, there does come a point at which the cake is satisfactorily smoothed. Part of the beauty of naked cakes, is their imperfect finish.
  • Clean off any buttercream on the cake board.
FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake before and after smoothing with a hot palette knife.
  • Chill the cake, uncovered, in the fridge for an hour. Chilling sets the buttercream prior to decorating.
  • Decorating a naked cake:
  • If using fresh flowers it is important to decorate the cake on the day it is to be served.
  • While the cake is chilling prepare the flowers for decoration. Remove lower leaves on stalks and trim flowers so that they can sit on top, or to the side of the cake.
  • Decorate using your chosen flowers. It is important to consider the cake from every angle whilst decorating.
FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
Roses and herbs reflect the rural and natural products made by Hawkshead Relish.

Finally the Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake is ready to be served.

FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake.

Store any leftover cake, floral decorations removed, in an airtight container, ideally refrigerated.

If you have enjoyed this Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake recipe, you may also like these:

Lemon Drizzle Whipped Cream Filled Giant Doughnut

FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
Lemon Drizzle Whipped Cream Filled Giant Doughnut.

Toffee Cookie Base Chocolate Cheesecake

FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
Toffee Cookie Base Chocolate Cheesecake

Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake

FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake.

Celebrating a special event, such as Hawhead Relish’s achievement, with cake, marks the occasion. Other desserts such as cheesecakes and pavlova’s can also make an impressive alternative. Especially as different dietary requirements may need catering for. All Pavlova recipes on Feasting is Fun are specifically gluten free, for that very reason. Including as many people in a celebration is always important.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun creating your feast.

Sammie xx

Hawkhead Relish kindly supplied the used in this recipe. All opinions, views, content including photography are my own. No part of this post may be reproduced without the express written permission of its owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Chocolate Heart Cake

If you love someone and they love chocolate –  THIS is the cake to bake for them – Chocolate Heart Cake.

Chocolate Heart Cake the perfect way to show someone you love them www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Heart Cake the perfect way to show someone you love them www.feastingisfun.com

So my hubby’s birthday was at the start of the year AND I didn’t make him a birthday cake.

I Know!!!!

We still had nearly a whole Christmas cake left and we had chocolate, in all it’s delicious forms, everywhere. Hubby wanted a chocolate cake for his birthday, I was struggling with the remnants of Christmas past that were, increasingly, threatening to take over every cupboard and side table in the house.

Breath……in……..and…..out.

Phew I was in danger of being over dramatic there?

What a difference a week makes.

3 teenagers and hubby had made significant inroads, on the chocolate abundance. Time to bake cake. Chocolate cake!

It was late.   Delayed.   Belated.   Not on time.

There was no getting away from it, I needed to pull out all the stops and come up with an I Love You and I’m sorry it’s late, birthday cake.

Pretty sure I nailed it with this fudgy, moist, rich, Chocolate Heart Cake.

Chocolate Heart Cake an expression of true love in cake form. www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Heart Cake an expression of true love in cake form. www.feastingisfun.com

Too near Christmas and this cake would have been too much. Deeply chocolatey and slathered in a smooth, yet decadent chocolate ganache, accented with little white chocolate hearts. This Chocolate Heart Cake is perfect for all true chocolate lovers.

Chocolate Heart Cake happiness was easy to find in a single bite of this cake! www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Heart Cake happiness was easy to find in a single bite of this cake! www.feastingisfun.com

Very fortunately for me, my wonderful husband was happy to wait for his cake. Not only is he the one and only true love of my life, he is the kindest, most patient, loving man I have ever known.

Girls don’t settle for second best, or never give proper attention to the man you are with – in the hope that someone better will rock up. When you find someone who loves you, for you, with all their heart, hold on tight and never let go.

Just sayin’.

Back to all matters cake. I was going to wait until Valentine’s Day to post this recipe, then I remembered my heart tin, which I bought very cheaply, in the January sales last year.

So if you like this cake, want to make it and see a heart tin in the sales, grab that bargain!

Chocolate Heart Cake candles, singing and merriment. The ingredients of a successful birthday cake www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Heart Cake candles, singing and merriment. The ingredients of a successful birthday cake www.feastingisfun.com

Recipe: Makes 1 Chocolate Heart Cake – serves 10-12

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature, plus a little extra to grease the tin

225g/8oz Light Soft Brown Sugar

4 Large Eggs – I use free range

150ml/5fl oz Sour Cream

1tsp Vanilla Extract

125g/5oz Plain White Flour

75g/3oz Cocoa Powder – I use Callebaut

2tsp Baking Powder

1/4tsp Salt

75g/3oz Dark Chocolate

75g/3oz Milk Chocolate

150ml/5fl oz Double Cream

50g/2oz White Chocolate

Method: Preheat oven to 175C/160C fan

Grease the pan and line the base with baking parchment.
Grease the pan and line the base with baking parchment.

Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.

Crack the eggs into a jug, gently whisk to break up.

Add the sour cream and vanilla extract to the eggs and stir to combine – wet ingredients.

Place the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into a sieve  – dry ingredients.

Sift one third of the dry ingredients into the creamed sugar and butter.

Add half of the wet mixture to the bowl.

Mix gently until combined.

Repeat the addition of dry and wet ingredients.

Mix until combined and then slowly mix in the last of the dry ingredients.

 

Spoon the chocolate cake batter into the heart tin.
Spoon the chocolate cake batter into the heart tin.

Place the cake into the oven and bake for approx. an hour.

The Chocolate Heart Cake is baked when it springs back after being lightly pressed. www.feastingisfun.com
The Chocolate Heart Cake is baked when it springs back after being lightly pressed. www.feastingisfun.com

Don’t worry if there is a slight jiggle to the cake, as long as it springs back when pressed.

Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes.

Chocolate Heart Cake turn the slightly cooled cake out, bottom side up, onto a cooling rack.
Chocolate Heart Cake turn the slightly cooled cake out, bottom side up, onto a cooling rack.

Take care when turning this cake out, as it is very moist, with an almost ‘brownie like’ texture.

Allow the cake to cool completely before decorating.

Place the double cream, milk and dark chocolate into a heat proof bowl set over a double boiler see here for detailed photos.

Stir constantly, removing the bowl from the heat when the chocolate is two thirds melted.  Keep stirring until all the chocolate is melted into the cream.

Set aside until slightly cooled and thickened.

Place the Chocolate Heart Cake onto a board or cake stand.

Pour the slightly cooled, thickened, chocolate ganache onto the cake.
Pour the slightly cooled, thickened, chocolate ganache onto the cake.
Smooth the ganache over the top of the cake, allowing it to just edge over the sides.
Smooth the ganache over the top of the cake, allowing it to just edge over the sides.

I used the back of a spoon, however, a palette knife would have given a smoother finish. Note to self!!

Melt the white chocolate, in a small heatproof bowl, in the microwave, set to medium. Nuke in 20 second bursts, stirring after each one, until the chocolate is two thirds melted.  Remove from the microwave and continuously stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

Starting at the centre of the heart dip, drip, using a teaspoon, a small circle of white chocolate onto the cake. Approx. 1cm diameter.

Using a cocktail stick and starting just above the circle, drag the stick through the white chocolate to create a wispy heart accent.

Creating the wispy heart decoration.
Creating the wispy heart decoration.

Add as many heart accents as you like. The overall cake will look better if decorated in a symmetrical pattern.

Move the cake to a cool place to set.

Chocolate Heart Cake who will you make this cake for? www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Heart Cake who will you make this cake for? www.feastingisfun.com

My husband was thrilled with his birthday cake.

It not only looked fantastic, but tasted deeply chocolatey too!

Do you enjoy baking for loved ones and if so what do you like to bake?

If you like this Chocolate Heart Cake, here are some others you may enjoy:

Chocolate Sparkle Cake

Marbled Chocolate Bundt Cake

Malted Marbeled Chocolate Cake

I hope you have fun making and baking delicious cakes for all your loved ones.

Sammie xx

 

 

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