Strongbow Dark Fruits Cake

Perfect for any cider fans this summer.
My favourite drink for an afternoon spent in the beer garden, Strongbow Dark Fruits. And since I enjoy it so much I thought it was only appropriate to pear it with another favourite of mine, cake! That’s how the idea came to me.

There’s an element of the popular cider in every aspect of the cake, the sponge itself has a generous amount of the fruity cider. The syrup is made up of 50% cider and the buttercream has it in to.

Best served with an ice-cold glass of Strongbow Dark fruits and a pile of fresh berries and dusted with icing sugar.

You could use different fruit like blueberries or raspberries instead of or in addition to the other berries, but I opted for strawberries and blackberries. You could also use a different flavour jam, I think that blackberry or blueberry jam works the best but you can use whichever you like.

For the cake:
• 185g unsalted butter, softened
• 185g caster sugar
• 3 eggs
• 260ml Strongbow Dark Fruits
• 400g plain flour
• 2tsp baking powder

For the syrup:
• 50ml Strongbow Dark Fruits
• 50g caster sugar

For the buttercream:
• 115g unsalted butter
• 350g icing sugar, sifted
• 25ml Strongbow Dark Fruits
• Pink food colouring

For the decoration:
• Strawberries halved
• Blackberries
• Blackberry jam
• Icing sugar, for dusting

For the cake:
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C and line three seven-inch cake tins.
2. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
3. Add the eggs one at a time to the mixture (adding a spoonful of flour if it starts to curdle) beating well.
4. Then gradually add in the cider with the flour and baking powder until it’s all incorporated.
5. Divide the batter between the three cake tins and bake for 25-35 minutes. Should bounce back when lightly pressed and when a skewer/knife inserted is inserted and it comes out clean.
6. Once baked remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tins for 10-15 minutes.
7. Then remove from the tins and transfer to a wire rack to completely cool.
For the syrup:
1. Place the sugar and the Strongbow into a saucepan and bring to the boil then simmer for 2 minutes.
2. Then prick the cakes all over and brush the syrup all over the cakes.

For the buttercream:
1. Place the butter into a bowl and beat, then gradually add in the icing sugar and beat.
2. Next add the dark fruits and beat till creamy.
3. Take out a heaped tablespoon of the buttercream and add the pink food colouring to this.
4. Then marble this into the buttercream

To assemble:
1. Take one of the cakes and place on to a cake board.
2. Then add a thin layer of the jam and then a layer of the buttercream.
3. Place the second sponge on top of this and again, spread a thin layer of jam followed by a layer of the butter cream.
4. Next add the third and final sponge on to the cake and top this with a generous layer of the buttercream.
5. Then pile on the strawberries and the blackberries and then dust with icing sugar.

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