Vanilla bean and blackberry cake
Makes 3 x 6 inch cakes. Serves 8 to 10 people.
Vanilla bean cake
290 grams of plain flour
3 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
150 grams of unsalted butter (softened)
300 grams of caster sugar
1 tablespoon of vanilla bean paste
5 egg whites
310 grams of whole milk
150 grams of frozen blackberries
1 teaspoon of caster sugar
Juice of half a lemon
Swiss meringue buttercream
525 grams of caster sugar
300 grams of egg whites
750 grams of unsalted butter (softened)
2 teaspoons of vanilla bean paste
Purple gel food colouring
Make the vanilla bean cake
- Preheat your oven to 180C
- Grease three 6 inch cake tins and line with baking paper.
- In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until smooth.
- Add the caster sugar to the butter and cream for 3 to 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- Slowly add the vanilla bean paste and egg whites to the butter and sugar mixture. Mix until combined.
- Add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk until combined.
- Evenly divide the cake batter between the three prepared cake tins.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out of the centre of the cakes clean. Set aside to cool.
Make the blackberry compote
- Combine the frozen blackberries, sugar and lemon juice in a medium saucepan and cook them over a medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, ensuring to stir occasionally. Remove from heat and leave to cool.
Make the swiss meringue buttercream
- Combine the sugar and egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Place the stand mixer bowl over a saucepan of water to create a double boiler. Ensure that the water does not touch the bottom of the stand mixer bowl.
- Heat the sugar and egg whites to 70 C, stirring occasionally with a whisk.
- Once at temperature, transfer the stand mixture bowl to the stand mixer. With a whisk attachments, beat the eggs and sugar on a high speed until stiff peaks are formed.
- Change the whisk attachment to a paddle attachment. Add the butter slowly on a low speed.
- Add the vanilla bean paste and food colouring. Combine well.
Assemble the vanilla bean and blackberry cake
- Take around a cup of the buttercream and fold it through the cooled blackberry compote to create blackberry buttercream.
- Once the cakes are completely cooled, level them to ensure that the tops of the cakes are flat.
- Using a small amount of buttercream, affix one cake to a cake board or plate.
- Spread half amount of the blackberry buttercream on the first cake. Repeat with the second layer of the cake.
- Use the buttercream, frost the top and sides of the cake, smoothing with a scraper.
- Using a small round tip, pipe details on top. Finish with sprinkles, if desired.