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Vanilla, Earl Grey and Raspberry Heart Cake

Servings: 15 people

Ingredients

The Vanilla Cake

  • 340 g of butter at room temperature
  • 600 g of sugar
  • 2 vanilla pods seeds scrapped
  • 6 eggs at room temperature
  • 185 g of buttermilk at room temperature
  • 185 g of sour cream at room temperature
  • 560 g of flour
  • 2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of salt

The Raspberry Jelly

  • 5 gold-strength gelatine leaves
  • 500 g of frozen raspberries
  • 50 g of sugar
  • 100 ml of water

The Earl Grey Custard

  • 500 ml of milk
  • 5 Earl Grey tea bags
  • 100 g of egg yolks save the whites
  • 120 g of sugar
  • 50 g of cornflour
  • 50 g of butter at room temperature
  • 4 gold-strength gelatine leaves
  • 200 g of heavy whipping cream

The Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 270 g of eggwhite
  • 500 g of sugar
  • ½ tsp of vanilla seeds
  • 680 g of butter at room temperature
  • Pink food colouring

To Decorate

  • Sugar pearls
  • Maraschino cherries

Instructions

The Vanilla Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 170°C and grease and line 3 heart-shaped cake tins.
  • Using an eclectic mixer, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla for 6 minutes, or until pale and creamy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  • In a jug, combine the buttermilk and sour cream and set aside.
  • Sift the flour, salt, and baking powder into a large bowl and set aside.
  • Once the eggs are combined, reduce the mixer speed and add half the flour, followed by half the milk mixture. Mix until just combined then add the remaining halves. Be careful not to overmix at this stage or the cake will be too dense.
  • Divide into prepared cake tins and bake for 40 minutes or until you can insert a knife and it comes out clean.

The Raspberry Jelly

  • Place the gelatine in a bowl of cold water and set aside.
  • In a sauce pan, heat the frozen raspberries, water and sugar. As the raspberries defrost, crush them up with a wooden spoon. Continue to cook on medium low heat until it becomes a sauce-like consistency (approximately 10 minutes).
  • Remove from the heat and whisk in the gelatine.
  • Pour through a sieve into a plastic container roughly 15x20cm and place in the fridge to set.

The Earl Grey Custard

  • In a small saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. Pour into a container, add the tea bags, cover and place in the fridge overnight to infuse. If you’re short of time, allow to infuse for at least an hour.
  • Remove the tea bags, squeezing out as much milk as possible, then pour the milk back into a saucepan and heat slowly.
  • Meanwhile, place the gelatine in a bowl of cold water and set aside.
  • In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour.
  • Pour half of the hot milk over the egg yolks, whisk quickly to combine then pour back into the saucepan. Whisk continuously until thick and bubbling. Once the first bubble appears, whisk for one minute more then remove from the heat.
  • Add the gelatine (discarding the water) and the butter. Whisk until smooth then cover and place in the fridge to cool.
  • Whilst cooling, whisk the cream until stiff peaks form.
  • Once cool, transfer into the bowl of your electric mixer and beat until smooth, add the cream and mix again until combined. Set aside.

The Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • In a large bowl over a bain-marie, whisk together the sugar and eggwhites. Continue to whisk as it heats to approximately 70°C or until all the sugar has dissolved.
  • Pour the hot mixture into the bowl of your electric mixer and beat on medium/high speed until it cools to room temperature.
  • Add the vanilla and colouring, then with the mixer on high speed start adding the butter one cube at a time. The buttercream will at first look curdled, but keep mixing and it will become smooth.
  • Finally use a spatula to knock out any air bubbles and to smooth the mixture.
  • Place ¼ of the buttercream into a pipping bag fitted with a large smooth tip and set the rest aside.

To Assemble

  • Place one layer of cake on the plate you want to present it on (it’s difficult to move once iced). Take the pipping bag, and pipe a ½ inch border of buttercream around the cake.
  • Fill the inside with the earl grey custard, smoothing it out so it’s the same height as the border.
  • Take the jelly and cut it into small squares. Place a handful into the custard layer.
  • Add the next layer of cake and repeat these steps.
  • Add the third layer and using an offset spatula neatly cover the whole cake in buttercream. Place in the fridge until the buttercream has hardened, then apply another coat.
  • Fill a pipping bag fitted with a large star tip with remaining buttercream and pipe the “star border” around the top and bottom.
  • Finally decorate with pearls and maraschino cherries.