12 October 2015

Black Tea Sponge with Honey Buttercream and Blackberry Jam

Things I noticed...

The leaves have lost their summer green glow. The autumn hues of red, browns and gold are in abundance and some of the trees have started to loose their leaves. But the sun is beating down, big and bright? It's that weird weather where you need to bring a jacket with you in the morning. But if you're still wearing it at lunch, you will get heat stroke. Having said that, the back garden has relished the sun and rain mixture and has grown wild and of it's own volition these past few weeks... and while it's a disaster to look out upon, has grown a fine abundance of blackberries.

That were quickly gobbled up by every blackbird in the country and I got about 8 good ones.

I clearly needed more for the jam and while I am all for the experience of blackberry picking, I didn't get the time and bought the bloomin' things in the supermarket. Yes.. YES... I know they are free from every bush by the road and ditch but I just didn't get the chance to go picking. You have to leave me off this one...

Now unless you've been living under a rock; you'll know that the Great British Bake Off is over.. Nadyia won and in the next few weeks or so, the Great Irish Bake Off is due to air. It's an entire autumn/winter of baking. I can't believe it. I opted to bake the Showstopper as my final entry into the Great Bloggers Bake Off with the lovely Jenny from Mummy Mishaps.

The premise was, three cakes that are quintessentially British. Not being British, I hadn't a breeze what was quintessential so I scribbled down what "British" was to me.

It wasn't much to be honest.. we share a lot of things in common, but The Queen, cricket, red telephone boxes, Victoria Sponge, Mrs Patmore and tea came out on top. Out of those, the following cake was born...

Soft Set Blackberry Jam (I made this up and it worked out!)

250g blackberries
125g sugar
2 tablespoons of water
1 teaspoon cornflour

Put the cornflour into the water and mix through. Put all of the ingredients into a pot over a medium heat and all to simmer down into a mush. Give it a few stirs every now and then. Allow to cool and thicken.

Black Tea Victoria Sponge

I made three cakes here. The recipe below provides enough for ONE, two layered Victoria Sponge. If you want to do what I did... I double and a half-ed it.. (If you get me?)

Prepare two 8 inch cake pans and pre-heat your oven to 180 C/350F or Gas Mark 4.

125ml of hot milk
Contents of three teabags
225g soft butter
225g caster sugar
40g plain flour
210g self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4  eggs at room temperature

Heat your milk in the microwave until hot but not boiling.
Add in the contents of three teabags and stir up. Allow to cool. The longer you leave the tea to infuse, the stronger the flavour.
Cream your butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
Dry whisk the flours and baking powder together. 
Add the eggs into the butter/sugar mix, one at a time and mix until the yolk has disappeared. 
Add half the flour to the mixture, then the milk and then the rest of the flour. Be careful not to over mix as you want it to stay nice and light and fluffy!
Divide the mixture between your two tins and pop into a pre-heated oven for 25-35 minutes or until golden on top or your cake tester comes out clear.
Allow to cool in the tins for about 5 minutes, before turning out onto a wire rack and cooling completely. 

Honey Buttercream Frosting

225g soft, unsalted butter
500g icing sugar
60ml honey

Beat the butter for a few moments until very soft and pale.
100g ish.. at a time, add in the icing sugar until completely mixed through.
Fold through the honey and leave to one side at room temperature until you are ready to frost your cake.

Putting it all together...

Sandwich the two layers of your cake together with some jam and buttercream an continue to cover the outside of the cake with another layer of buttercream.

Any left over jam... Lick it straight off the spoon, pop it on your morning toast or dip in a bread stick of two. You could put more on the cake too... I am simply providing you with options!

Clare and her absolute dote, Jacob are hosting the finals this week! Jacob is a junior baker, and his lovley Mummy Clare helps him write the blog! Be sure to stop by and see the other bakes the rest of the bloggers chose as their final entry!! It's going to be a tough choice for Jenny I am sure!

If you follow this link here... you will get all my blog posts for this years Great British Bake Off blog along! I had so much fun baking with such a talented group of bloggers.

I won Star Baker for my Croquemebouche Cupcakes and my Irish Cream Chocolate Tart. Here's hoping my Victoria Sponge can get me through finals!!


  1. OM many Goodnesessss!!!!!!!!!!! That cake is amazing!!! It looks and sounds so incredibly delicious! A British classic and a classic for anyone anywhere anytime!!! xx

    1. Amy I think you should come to my house and give me all that praise in person!! I feel I'd do well with a cheerleader like you in my kitchen!! :)

  2. Ooh wow Hazel, this looks so beautiful and delicious! I love the sound of the tea included in the bake it looks to have given the cake a wonderful colour. The pictures are amazing too :-)
    I'd not heard of the Great Irish Bake Off....shall we all start again and bake long with that too ;-)
    Angela x

    1. The tea gave the perfect colour Angela, and the longer it stewed the darker it got. I was a contestant on the second series of the GIBO, so will definitely be baking along with the third.

  3. That looks so tasty! A brilliant showstopper. X

    1. Thanks Rebecca, I am mighty proud of it!

  4. This is such a beautiful looking cake, I love the flavourings too!

    1. Thank you Carrie! The flavours are great together alright! Hazel x

  5. Oh this looks and sounds stupendous. I could murder a slab of it right now with a big pot of tea (it's twenty to 3-teatime). I love a sharp jam with the sweetness of sponge and the idea of tea in the song is genius and rather intriguing. I must give this a try (although I may just make one tier). Thankyou SO much for joining in with makesewbake by the way. You brought cakey joy to all involved.

  6. What a finale, this looks outstanding and so tasty x

  7. wow Hazel, what a truly beautiful cake. it looks so impressive and the flavours sound amazing. that gooey jam at the top really finishes the cake off beautifully.
    thank you so much for being a part of my bad along - your bakes have been lovely to drool over ha ha
    good luck with the final x

  8. This looks beautiful and your photography is great. I had to take my photos at night this week and the lightling is all off. The inside looks great too - I need to bring myself to cut mine!

  9. Absolutely stunning cake, Hazel! I love that you made your own blackberry jam too.

    I actually baked similar flavoured cupcakes last year although I put cream cheese in my honey icing. I really loved the subtle tea flavour in the sponge: http://whatdoyoumakeofmycake.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/black-tea-and-blackberry-cupcakes-with.html


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