White Currant Cake
I came up with the idea for this cake after searching for “white currant recipes” on Google and finding….not very many! In my garden, I have a number of long-established currant bushes in my garden. I always find lots of uses for the red currants and the black currants but always struggle to find recipes that make the most of the white currants.
Advice from the internet is that you can use white currants as a substitute for red currants. However, I wanted a recipe that would make the most of their pale, understated, opalescent beauty. My feeling was that a pale, minimal cake, simply decorated with fresh white currants, was what was needed in visual terms. To balance the creamy mascarpone icing, I made a sharp-sweet white currant compote to sandwich the layers of cake.
White Currant CakePrint
This cake is a pale and understated beauty with creamy mascarpone icing, a tangy white currant compote filling, and minimal decoration of beautiful opalescent white currants.
For the cake:
- 450 g butter (softened)
- 450 g caster sugar
- 8 eggs
- 450 g self-raising flour
- 7 tablespoons of milk
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence
For the white currant compote:
- 300 g white currants
- 180 g caster sugar
- 2 tablespoons of water
For the filling and topping
- 500 g mascarpone
- 200 ml double cream
- 3 tablespoons of icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 3 or four sprigs of white currants
- Set your oven to 180 degrees centigrade or Gas Mark 4.
- Cream the butter with the sugar. (I usually soften the butter for about 30 seconds in the microwave first as it makes it much easier!)
- Gradually add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture. If it looks as if it is going to curdle, add some of the self-raising flour.
- Once the eggs have been incorporated add the rest of the self-raising flour.
- Add the milk and vanilla extract.
- Grease three 19 cm Victoria Sandwich tins and then add the cake mixture.
- Bake your cakes in the oven for around 30 minutes. They are done when they are golden brown, springy to the touch and have shrunk away from the edge of the tin. You can test this by inserting a skewer in the middle of the cake – if it comes out cleanly with no mixture attached, your cake is done.
- Allow your cakes to cool on a rack before removing them from the tins or containers.
Method: White currant compote
- Wash the white currants and remove them from their stalks.
- Put the white currants, sugar and water into a saucepan. Gently heat to simmering point and then cook for one minute.
- Remove the currants from the sugar liquid and set aside.
- Bring the sugar liquid to boiling point and boil rapidly for 5 minutes.
- Return the currants to the sugar liquid and allow to cool.
Method: Filling and topping
- Whip the mascarpone, cream and vanilla essence with the icing sugar until the mixture is combined and forms soft peaks.
- Spread a quarter of the mascarpone mixture on top of one of the cakes which will form the bottom tier. Spread a half of the white currant compote on top of it.
- Place the second cake on top of the first one. Spread a quarter of the mascarpone mixture on top of this cake which will form the middle tier. Spread a half of the white currant compote on top of it.
- Place the third cake on top of the second one. Use the remaining half of the mascarpone mixture to coat the top and sides of the assembled cake.
- Decorate with the sprigs of fresh white currants.
- In the (unlikely) event that there is any cake left over, this needs to be stored in the fridge due to the cream icing. It will keep for a couple of days but, like all sponge cakes, it tastes better when it is freshly made.
Keywords: white currants, cake, victoria sandwich cake