Thursday, October 25, 2018

Helen Goh's Raspberry Bitters Cake

It was Tim's birthday recently, and I wanted to make him a special cake all of his own.  White chocolate and raspberry are Tim's favourite flavours, so I wanted to make a cake for him featuring either or both of these flavours.

Serendipitously, on the day that I was considering cake recipes, Helen Goh published a recipe for Raspberry Bitters Cake in the Good Weekend magazine in the newspaper.  Perfect!  Cake selection made.

And what a handsome cake it is with its raspberry-glazed top.  Helen was more enthused about the base cake, a spiced genoise-style cake.  However, I had a "fight" with the cake.  Version 1 sank in the middle, so that when I attempted to cut it into two layers, I ended up with  a single thin layer and a crumbly mess.  Given that this was meant to be a special occasion cake, I couldn't leave it there, so I went and bought more butter and stepped up to the plate for version number 2.  This time, I didn't risk cutting the layers, and instead made two sandwich cakes - no cutting required.  And ironically, they did not sink.

So that I could taste the cake, I made my own baby cake in  dariole mould:

This cake is delicious!  The lightly spiced sponge cake layers harbour raspberries macerated in Angostura bitters, and are sandwiched together with whipped marscapone cream.  A ruby red glaze made of icing sugar, raspberries and more Angostura bitters flows over the top of the cake, and a few more raspberries are used to decorate the top of the cake.

If you are keen on trying this cake for yourself,  you will need:


250g unsalted butter, cubed
peel of an orange

1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 star anise
6 cloves
3 eggs
225g sugar
140g plain flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt 


200g fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons Angostura Bitters
350ml whipping cream
100g marscapone
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons icing sugar 

100g raspberries
160g icing sugar
1 tablespoon Angostura Bitters
1 tablespoon glucose syrup

Put the raspberries and Bitters from the filling into a small bowl and soak for an hour or overnight.

When you are ready to make the cake, preheat your oven to 190C.  Grease and line a 23cm round cake tin. Put the butter, orange peel, cinnamon, vanilla, star anise and cloves in a small saucepan over low heat. Once the butter has melted, remove the pan from the heat and leave to infuse until just lukewarm, then strain the butter through a sieve and discard the spices.

Put the eggs and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and whisk until smooth and pale.  Sift over the flour, baking powder and salt, and fold into the eggs with a rubber spatula until almost incorporated.  Finally, slowly fold in the butter. 

Spoon the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes or until cooked through. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool completely in the tin on a wire rack.

To make the glaze, put all of the ingredients into a food processor and blitz until smooth.  Sieve the glaze to remove the seeds and store in the fridge until needed.

To make the filling, whisk the cream, marscapone, vanilla and icing sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer until soft peaks form.  Chill in the fridge until required.

Once the cake is completely cool, turn it out of the tin and slice it in half to create two layers.  Put the bottom half of the cake onto on a cake board, and cover it with the raspberries soaked in Angostura bitters. Spread the cream filling over the raspberries, then top with the second cake layer. 

Pour the glaze over the top of the cake, then decorate with extra raspberries.

Slice and enjoy!


Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Sounds like such an interesting sounding cake with the bitters!

Johanna GGG said...

I love lemon lime and bitters but never had bitters in a cake - quite curious