Thursday, 10 November 2011

Raspberry Ripple Cake

Today is my friend's birthday. I wanted to make an extra special birthday cake for her which we celebrated at the weekend. Warning this is a slightly long, rambly post but it was quite an effort making this cake!

I was really excited to receive my new book The Boy Who Bakes by Edd Kimber and decided I would make something from it. The first recipe is 'my ultimate chocolate cake' and I thought can't go wrong with a chocolate cake and it looks amazing so this is what I will make. Then I turn the page and see raspberry ripple cake. I got really excited and decided that I would make this instead.

Part 1 - the sponge went well. It rose beautifully and I could tell it was going to be light and moist. This recipe requires you to separate your eggs and fold in the egg whites at the end. 

Part 2 - frosting. Disaster part 1! This is my first time making essentially what is a cooked buttercream frosting where you have to whip the egg whites then add boiling sugar syrup and continue whipping. I'm not sure where I went wrong as the frosting turned out lumpy and almost curdled? Or like the fat had separated? I don't know how else to describe it. I used fresh eggs from the market and I tested the eggs for freshness before using. Does anyone have any idea/suggestions/tips about this? 
However the next morning, I kept whipping the frosting and the white chocolate frosting became nice and smooth but the raspberry half remained slightly lumpy.

Part 3 - decoration -Disaster part 2 - I ambitiously planned to make a sugar collar after seeing it on Lorraine Pascale's baking show on BBC. Sadly, it didn't quite work and yet Lorraine made it look so easy on TV! It didn't really set and as I was running late I decided not to wait and just bring the cake as it was. I piped some jam on top to have some sort of decoration. Sometimes less is more, right?

Fortunately, the cake itself turned out well. Everyone loved it including the birthday girl. It was a really light and moist sponge and I loved the jam between the layers. The frosting was not too sweet and quite smooth. I will definitely make this cake again but probably only for a special occasion as it was quite an effort and when I've left myself enough time. On the plus side, no one has been taken ill after eating this cake! 

If you're still reading, thank you for staying with me till the end. It really does end well :) To depart from tradition, I will not be posting the recipe on my blog as I think it would be nice to support Edd Kimber by buying the book and I can definitely recommend it. Don't let my attempt put you off, its not the recipe, it's the baker! Look out for more baking with recipes from the boy who bakes. 



 cooking the sugar syrup for the frosting using my new thermometer 

 spreading jam between the layers 

 my 3 tiered cake 

 you can just see the raspberry frosting below- its supposed to be swirled for the raspberry ripple effect but I really didn't like the texture or look of the raspberry frosting so decided to cover it up. 

 I love the layers! 

 My attempt at 'graffiti collar' for the cake. Perhaps I didn't boil it to the right temperature or just needed to wait for it to set. 


  1. Ooh this looks lovely, I like your jammy swirl on the top. Definitely a cake to be proud of. I also had problems the first (and last so far!) time I tried to do cooked frosting. I think the main problem was that I didn't own a cooking thermometer and my frosting turned out all gloopy!

  2. The cakes looks delicious. I am sure the cake was perfect for the birthday girl.

  3. Well it looks great! I made this cake a couple of weeks ago but didn't make the frosting as I knew it would be a mess. I think last time I tried it was all lumpy too but the next day whipped up smoother so that's wierd too!

  4. I've never been brave enough to try a layer cake, but this one sounds and looks delicious.

  5. I don't think I've ever made that kind of frosting before. Sometimes when I make swiss meringue it curdels, which happens when the butter is too cold (solved by popping the bowl in the microwave on defrost for 10 seconds at a time).

  6. This is beautiful, love how tall it is!

    Nom! x

  7. What a lovely cake. I just luv the jam layers. I have never try a cooked buttercream before but swiss meringue buttercream is quite tediuos to make too. I made swiss meringue for my ruffle cakes & according to Whiskid that we have to continuesly whisking the cream even it curdels. The butter should be at room temperature as well.

  8. Oh wow, this looks magnificent. Forget baking disasters, your cake is a complete triumph. The sponge looks so light and airy. I've tried making Italian meringue and it didn't work very well either - I couldn't get it to go stiff enough. Keep telling myself I should try it again, but somehow keep managing to put that day off! I do know though, that egg white are best whipped when the egg is quite old - newly laid eggs are not meant to be good for meringue.

    AND you are trying to tempt me to get another baking book - sigh!

  9. I've heard that with that type of buttercream you have to use really good quality butter, otherwise it curdles, as you described. This happened to me all the time until I found this out! If you didn't like cooking with the hot sugar, you can just whisk the granulated sugar in with the egg whites as you would with a traditional meringue. The cake looks great to me though!

    1. I did use good butter if I remember but I'll bear that in mind. I have since tried whisking granulated sugar in egg whites for swiss meringue buttercream and it works a dream so it's probably time to revisit this cake!

  10. This is making me so hungry! It looks too pretty to eat though :p


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