raspberry ripple cake - xmas week 2020

I recently purchased A Year of Simple Family Food by Julia Busuttil Nishimura, having loved her first cookbook called Ostro. When leafing through the book I spied her version of a no-bake Raspberry Ripple Cake made with butternut snap cookies. I was sold but with a packet of Savoiardi in the cupboard, I decided to adapt the recipe to use what I had.

This is not too dissimilar to the mangomisu I made a few years ago, so I knew the sponge fingers would work instead of the buttersnap cookies. They are less sweet though so I've increased the sugar quantity in the filling accordingly. Julia's recipe didn't dip the biscuits in liquid but as that's what I've always done with sponge fingers I quickly dipped them in milk before assembling the cake.

Julia's use of crème fraîche instead of mascarpone in the cream filling was a brilliant move and one I'll be using again as this recipe is a keeper. Here’s the recipe for you which makes a large loaf (I used my favourite USA Pullman pan from Everten) which will serve 6-8 people.

Raspberry Ripple Cake - adapted from a Julia Busuttil Nishimura recipe.
600mls pure cream
200g crème fraîche
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
40g icing sugar, sifted
250g raspberries, fresh or frozen and partially defrosted
1 tbs caster sugar
The finely grated rind of 1 lemon
18 small sponge fingers or 250g of sweet biscuits
½ cup full fat milk
To serve
Raspberries and a selection of other berries if you like
White chocolate shards
Line the base and sides of a loaf pan with plastic wrap or foil, with plenty overhanging. Place to one side while preparing the filling.
In a large bowl whip the cream, crème fraîche, vanilla bean paste and the icing sugar until stiff peaks form.
In a small bowl combine the raspberries with the lemon rind and the caster sugar and crush with the back of a fork. Test for sweetness and add more sugar if your berries are very tart.
Spread a thin layer of the cream mixture over the base of the lined tin. Quickly dip the sponge fingers into the milk, draining any excess then place over the cream to form a layer. Top the layer of sponge fingers with another layer of cream followed by half the raspberry puree. Gently smooth. Spread over another thin layer of cream then repeat the layers until you’ve used all the sponge fingers finishing with a layer of cream. Hold back about ½ cup of cream mixture as you’ll use this to finish the cake. Enclose the cake with the overhanging plastic wrap or foil and place in the fridge overnight.

An hour or so before serving, place the cake still in the tin in the freezer to firm the layers to make it easier to cut. You might need to warm the outside of the tin with a warm cloth to make it easier to remove from the tin. Unwrap the overhanging plastic wrap or foil and place your serving dish over the tin and invert. Lift off the loaf tin then remove the plastic wrap or foil.
Use the remaining cream to cover the top and sides of the cake if you wish, but I preferred the look of the layers so left the sides naked. Decorate the top of the cake with the extra berries and white chocolate shards. Serve immediately.
Honestly this was as delicious as it looked - surprisingly light, creamy and fruity. Definitely a showstopper of a dessert. 

That was the final bake, if you can call it that, for Xmas week 2020. It's been a tough year for many reasons so I'll be taking a well earned break from the kitchen for a few weeks but will be back in the New Year.

Bye for now, 


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