Four Tier Chocolate Berry Cake

My Mum’s birthday, an excuse to make up a new cake recipe. With some berries in the fridge to use, my decision was easy. Chocolate Berry Cake. A four tier chocolate sponge cake filled with freshly whipped cream, berry curd, fresh strawberries and blueberries. The cake is covered in Swiss meringue butter cream, topped with berries and dusted with rose petals. 

Last years Swiss meringue buttercream wasn’t a huge success, so this year I followed Manon’s recipe to a T which turned out much better! I do think though, in hindsight, that I might prefer the taste of traditional buttercream. There’s always next year! 

As always, there’s a little making up as I go along with the recipe, so you may like to add more/less berries to the curd to suit your own taste! 

Ingredients for the sponge 

16 oz margarine
16 oz caster sugar
14 oz self raising flour
8 eggs
2 oz cocoa powder 

Ingredients for the berry curd 

5 egg yolks
100g sugar
300g mixed berries 

Ingredients for the icing 

5 egg whites
250g butter
350g sugar
Pink food colouring 

Extra ingredients 

150ml double cream
400g strawberries (for the middle and top of the cake)
300g blueberries (for the middle and top of the cake)
Edible rose petals to decorate 

Method for the sponge 

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease/line four 20cm cake tins
  • Whisk together the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy
  • Whisk in the eggs until fully combined
  • Sieve the flour and cocoa powder and fold bit by bit into the wet mixture
  • Pour the mixture evenly into the four tins and place in the oven for 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean
  • Turn out of tins and leave to cool on a wire rack
  • Once fully cooled, slice the dome off the top of each cake so your tops are level

Method for the berry curd 

  • Pop your egg yolks, sugar and mixed berries into a pan, whisk together and pop on a medium heat
  • Cook until the curd starts to thicken, then remove from heat and leave to cool

Method for the icing 

  • Add the sugar and egg whites to a heat proof bowl and heat over a Bain Marie for about 10 minutes or until all the sugar has dissolved
  • Whisk the meringue for 10 minutes then add the butter in cubes until you reach the desired consistency
  • If the mixture doesn’t come together and thicken, pop it in the fridge for 20 minutes then whisk again adding drops of pink food colouring until you reach your desired shade
  • When the icing is ready, add to a piping bag

To assemble the cake

  • Pop a splodge if icing on your board/plate to hold your bottom sponge in place
  • Pipe around the edge of the top of your sponge to hold your filling in
  • Whip your cream and add to a piping bag then pipe a full circle about two inches from the edge of the sponge
  • Slice a few of your strawberries and place either side of the cream circle then top with berry curd
  • Carefully place your second sponge on top and repeat the same steps but replace the strawberries with whole blueberries
  • Place your third sponge on top and repeat the steps using sliced strawberries
  • Place your final sponge layer on top and pipe your icing over the entire cake, smoothing the edges and top
  • Arrange your remaining strawberries on top and secure them with cream
  • Pipe a blob of cream on the top of the cake in the middle and cover with blueberries (to help secure them)
  • Sprinkle your rose petals all over the cake and serve!

If you’ve taken care with your layers, this sponge cake is as much of a delight on the inside as it is on the outside when you cut into it. With gorgeous cream, curd and berry stripes.