If you ask me to go for a run with you or join in with a game of Rounders I would politely decline. I am not very sporty. I am not sporty at all, in fact. That doesn’t mean, however, that I am not a good sport. If you were to ask me to help with your charity event I would do what I could. If you asked me to bake a cake for your charity event, then I would probably be planning it in my head before I had even come to the end of, “Yes, I’d be delighted to.”
When my colleague asked if I would bake a cake to be raffled off as part of the school’s fundraising for this year’s Sport Relief I was more than happy to help out. For Comic Relief last year I made a Red Velvet Cake as I felt the colour tied in with the charity’s logo. This year I stepped away from chocolate and went fruity instead.
I decided to use one of my favourite recipes from Ruth Clemens, behind The Pink Whisk. She is just such a lovely woman and her recipes are always so reliable. In this case it was her Raspberry Ripple Cake that I baked. I have made it a few times as a traybake in the past and thoroughly recommend it.
The cake itself is a light sponge swirled with a fresh raspberry purée. The two layers are sandwiched together with a combination of cream cheese, double cream, icing sugar and the same raspberry purée, and it is so delicious and light.
On the outside I made a regular buttercream but flavoured it with raspberry and some freeze dried strawberry pieces. I have never used the flavouring before and was very pleased with the flavour that it gave. Next time, I would blitz the freeze dried strawberries for 30 seconds in a blender in order to make them a fraction smaller, but I did want visible pieces to be thought the icing.
I coated the cake with the icing and chilled it for an hour before decorating it.
I had previously prepared some fresh strawberries with a drizzle of melted white chocolate; a relatively easy yet effective decoration. I also coloured some white chocolate red with a fat soluble colouring for the first time. I added a couple of drops of the raspberry flavouring for the hell of it, and set it aside in a disposable piping bag.
Once the cake was firm to touch I drizzled the red chocolate on the top of the cake to emulate the strawberries, but in reverse, then arranged the fresh fruit on the top along with a few white chocolate truffles. I gave it a final sprinkling of edible sparkles and stopped there.
I hope it raises lots of money for a worthy cause. At least I know that whoever wins it will be one of my friends that I work with. I have included a recipe for the buttercream at the bottom of the post.
Raspberry and Strawberry Buttercream
250g of butter
350g of icing sugar
5 drops of raspberry natural flavour (I bought mine from Lakeland)
A tube of freeze dried strawberries (I bought mine from Sainsburys and the packet contains 6g)
Whisk the butter and icing sugar until pale and fluffy then blend in the other ingredients.