I always love inventing recipes. So I decided to make a plain sponge cake and then experiment from there. It was my friend’s birthday so this was the perfect baking opportunity! I had made some honeycomb in the week using Lorraine Pascale’s recipe. I always love her recipes for their simplistic yet superior nature. She always makes things look easy on her cooking programmes. Have a go yourself at the recipe. It is easier than you think. You just have to make sure you are well organised (baking tray lined and ingredients measured out) and then you can get going. It is also worth to note that when you heat the honeycomb ingredients in a saucepan, the colour of the mixture must be a deep amber colour. It is tempting to take it off before this happens and I warn you this will only result in a sticky toffee consistency….which is not what the dentist ordered! I also find electric hobs easier for this recipe as the gas hob flames sometimes lick the sides of the pan and this disrupts the mixture.
Once you have made the honeycomb, lets get started. The vanilla sponge is inspired by Lorraine Pascale but I have added my own twist in the vanilla cream and honeycomb topping.
4 eggs 200g caster sugar
200g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp milk
2-3 tsp vanilla essence (I love it!)
3 tbsp caster sugar
3 tsp vanilla essence
300ml double cream
250 mascapone cream
A generous couple of handfuls of honeycomb
Two 20cm (8in) cake tins
- Line your two cake tins with a circle of parchment paper each. Grease the sides of the tin also. Weigh out all our ingredients ready and preheat your oven to 180oc.
- Cream together the butter and sugar. Sometimes if the butter is stubborn I put it in the microwave for a few seconds. A sneaky trick when you do not have time to beat it!
- Add the vanilla essence and the eggs one at a time so that the mixture does not curdle. Keep beating while adding the eggs.
- Add the flour and baking powder gradually beating continuously. Try not to mix the mixture too much. My gran always told me never to mix cakes for too long as they loose their fluffiness. Her cakes were always so light.
- Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for 25-30 minutes at 180oc.
- When the cake is cooked leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack for the remainder of the cooling.
The cream can be made ahead of time and then stored in the fridge but if you are making it along with the cake that is fine too. If taking out the fridge, allow the cream to come up to room temperature before spreading, so that it is easy to apply.
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, except for the honeycomb.
- Wisk until thickened and spreadable consistency. An electric whisk is easier!
- Crush the honeycomb into bite size pieces. You can do this in a plastic bag with a rolling pin. Try to vary the sizes to make it interesting. And keep some chunky pieces for scattering.
- When the cake is cool, divide the cream into two and spread half on one cake. Add half the honeycomb sprinkled evenly on top.
- Place the second cake on the other and then add the rest of the cream on top. Sprinkle the rest of the honeycomb in the centre, leaving a outside cream border, so that a honeycomb mound is formed.
- It is ready to serve! Delish! If transporting to a friend’s, save a bit of cream to glue the cake onto the plate that the cake sits on. This makes sure it does not wriggle around in the car!