A marvelous thing happened the other day – I was able to go outside without a coat! Since then there have been a few days where it has been warm enough to venture out without one (though certainly not every day!), the sun has been making a regular, much welcomed appearance, and last night it was still just about light at 8pm. All of this has left me in quite a cheery mood and very much ready for summer, and what better way to celebrate the changing of the seasons than with a suitably cheerful cake? This berry cider cake is exactly that; although it may be a little early for berries I just couldn’t resist buying some, more for their beautiful, bright colour than anything else!
I was sent a box of Waddlegoose cyder, a new cider from Aspall’s, to try; it comes in two varieties – apple, which is made with modern varieties of apple, such as Gloster 69, Zari and Gala which are bred to be crisp and flavoursome; and three berry, which includes blueberry, blackberry and raspberry and was the inspiration for this cake. Both ciders are very refreshing, crisp and easily drinkable and suited my palate perfectly; they are medium bodied – not too dry, not too sweet, which I find is especially a problem with a lot of the modern fruit ciders (like Koppaberg/Rekorderlig), they are tasty, but sickly sweet; not so with Waddlegoose three berry. I really enjoy both ciders, though the apple is my favourite, and very handily my partner prefers the three berry so there’s no squabbling!
I thought that the flavours of the three berry cider would be perfect for a cake and so this berry cider cake with mascarpone cream was born. The cake layers are made with cider (I used the Waddlegoose three berry but any medium to dry (hard/alcoholic) cider will do), which produces a lovely moist cake with a hint of apple flavour; it is a lightly spiced, not too sweet cake that works perfectly with the fresh berries and a generous layer of vanilla mascarpone cream. The mascarpone cream is amazing, I could happily eat a bowlful of it it is that good; it is also incredibly simple to make and again is not too sweet so the cake feels quite light and would be perfect for a spring or summer celebration; I took both the cake and cider along to a party at the weekend and they both went down incredibly well!
- 100g (1 stick) softened butter
- 100g (1/2 cup + 1tbsp) light brown soft sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 225g (1 + ¾ cups + 2tbsp) plain flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 150ml (1/2 + ⅛ cup) medium to dry (hard) cider
- 250g (9oz) full fat mascarpone
- 150g (1 + ½ cups) icing (powdered) sugar, sifted
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 100ml (1/3 + ⅛ cup) double (heavy) cream
- about 400-500g (14-18 oz) mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries and blueberries)
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Grease two 15cm/6in round tins and line the bases with baking parchment.
- Cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a spoonful of the flour with each one and mixing well after each addition.
- Sift together the remaining flour, the bicarbonate of soda and the cinnamon, add half to the butter mixture and begin to fold in until the mixture is gungy; fold in half of the cider, followed by the rest of the flour then the remainder of the cider.
- Divide the mixture between the tins (I use a scale for accuracy) and smooth it level. Bake for 25-30 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
- To make the mascarpone cream, beat together the mascarpone, icing sugar and vanilla extract with an electric mixer on a low speed until smooth. Add the cream, turn up the speed to medium and whisk just until the icing forms stiff peaks, be careful not to overbeat it.
- Trim the tops of the cakes to level them (I find that this cake tends to 'peak' quite a lot) and place one on a serving platter. Spread over half of the mascarpone cream and arrange some berries on top. Place the other cake layer on top, spread over the remainder of the cream and decorate generously with berries.
- This cake is best served on the day it is made. Store in the fridge if it is not being served within a couple of hours,
I was sent some cider to review but I was not paid to write this post and all opinions are my own.
I am sharing this with Saucy Saturdays hosted by The Flavour Bender, Take Two Tapas, La Petit Chef and Mid-Life Croissant, Fiesta Friday hosted by The Not So Creative Cook, Foodie FriDIY, Foodie Friends Friday, Friday Features, Bake Of The Week hosted by Casa Costello and Maison Cupcake,