In my last post I showed a picture of Dr Thomas’ birthday cake that Angus the AGA City60 so effortlessly produced. A beautiful light and aerated sponge wrapped in chocolate with flowers on top. Here is how I made it and some tips on how to make it extra light in texture – the AGA way.
As a food writer and cookery demonstrator I know all to well the line from Calendar Girls that says to ‘warm the butter and sugar before making a cake and for special occasions go to Marks and Spencer‘. One problem, Peckham does not have a Marks and Spencer, even in the posh part where we live. There is a Marks and Spencer on the Walworth Road, but personally I prefer to sail past that road when I travel into town on the Number 12 bus. I do like to make cakes and the AGA City60 makes fabulous cakes. Well if Mary Berry uses an AGA at home and she is undisputedly the Queen of Cakes then of course Angus the AGA City60 can make cakes too.
Firstly what cake to make. Euro zone cake cultural confusion. German cakes are fantastic, when I have to visit Mother-in-law in Germany the concept is made much easier by the daily 4pm Kaffee und Kuchen. German cakes are elaborate, delicious and a visual explosion on the eyes. So much celebrated in Germany that when other shops are closed on a Sunday the cake shop is always open. So, what cake to make? I could go for the classic of Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte or Black Forest gateaux to you and me, but its über complex to make and it’s Swabian, Dr Thomas is Hessen so thats a no go (quite, I don’t know the difference either, but it’s like giving a Northern Irish man like myself Colcannon rather than potato Champ – regional variants). So, as we are in London (remember, Peckham – the posh part) I met Dr Thomas’ culture half way and cooked a Victoria Sandwich. Well, Queen Victoria had German ancestry I believe. Simples.
Recipe below, but the easiest way to get a moist light sponge is to weight out the flour and sugar into separate bowls. Take the eggs out of the fridge (I never understood why eggs go in the fridge at home, hen’s don’t lay eggs into a cool environment nor are they stored in a refrigerator in the supermarket). Eggs are protein and work best when at room temperature. Imagine getting into the shower and it’s cold, your body muscle contracts. Just like an egg in the fridge. But if the shower is warm your body relaxes, just like an egg out of the fridge. And you can move easier, just like said egg.
Place flour and sugar into the AGA City60 top oven set to Bake (remember the top oven works as both a Roasting or Baking oven) and place the sugar and flour into the oven for 5-6 minutes to warm through. This will provide a better rise on the cake. Whisk the eggs and sugar together until pale in colour and frothy and gently fold in the flour. Bake in an AGA Cake Tin lined with the fabulous Bake-O-Glide that is cut specifically for cake tins, remember its easier to wash and reusable too.
After baking, it’s time to decorate, cut the cake in half (don’t worry if it’s wonky, we are going to put chocolate around it) and spread with warmed jam. I warm the jam by placing the jar at the back of the AGA while the cake is cooking and then if I can’t get the lid off, I place this lid side down on the floor of the Oven for a few moments and it releases easily, not forgetting to use a cloth as its a bit hot!
After spreading the jam on top, it’s time to put the cake together and place a chocolate band around the cake. This not only looks fab, but is terribly easy to make. Take a long strip of AGA Bake-O-Glide, long enough to wrap around the cake and cover in melted chocolate (that has melted in a bowl on top of the AGA) and spread over the Bake-O-Glide, ensuring that the chocolate is taller than the cake. Wrap tightly around the cake, and fasten the top with a paperclip. Place into the fridge and in 10 minutes it will set. Remove paperclip, peel off the Bake-O-Glide and place some whipped cream on top of the cake.
Whipping cream is easy in a mixer, but to get voluptuous cream, finish off the whipping using a ballon whisk by hand. It makes all the difference, pile some fresh berries ontop to look like a German cake and top with flowers. Just stick them into the cake and it turns a normal sponge from drab to fab.
Last thing to do, get some cake glitter spray and spray all around the outside of the chocolate. There we have it, a floral “disco” cake.
Summer fruits sponge cake
5 eggs at room temperature
200g caster sugar, warmed
200g self raising flour, warmed
Filling and Topping
4tbsp raspberry jam
300ml carton whipping cream, whipped
1 punnet fresh berries
500g chocolate, melted
Cake glitter spray
Here’s how to make it……
Preheat the top oven to the Baking setting.
Place the sugar and flour and jam into separate bowls set on top of some kitchen paper around the top of the AGA or into the Baking Oven for 5-6 minutes to warm.
Crack the eggs into a cake mixer, add the sugar and with the balloon whisk attachment, whisk for 5 minutes until the mix is light and fluffy and you can see a trail in the mix from the whisk. Fold in the flour.
Line a 23cm (9”) springform cake time with AGA Bake-O-Glide. Pour the mixture in.
Place into the Baking Oven on the fourth set of runners for 25 minutes until the top of the cake springs back when lightly pressed. Turn out, allow to cool and slice in half.
Spread jam over the bottom half, place the other piece of sponge on top, add cream and fruit.
Cover a strip of Bake-O-Glide big enough to wrap around the cake with chocolate and wrap around the cake. Place into the fridge to set.
Peel off the Bake-O-Glide and spray with glitter spray if you desire. Place some fresh flowers into the cake.