Cardamon sponge with chocolate buttercream and white cherries

Sponge cake, not an ordinary sponge cake thou, this one is special. First of all this is the best sponge cake recipe, the one and only you will ever need. This sponge is lighter than air and so soft, just like cotton. I’ve made this sponge cake layers so many times, they always come out perfect. Instead of white sugar I use raw muscovado sugar, which gives that awesome caramel flavor and besides all other absolutely essential ingredients such as eggs and starch, you could add cinnamon, cardamon (the case of this cake) or other flavor of your choice, turning classic sponge cake into something special.
Secondly – chocolate. Yup, where to without chocolate. This cake is covered in chocolate buttercream, filled with delicious cream cheese buttercream and white cherry jam (Oh, yumm). Substitute other favorite jam for the cherry, but if you do have white cherry jam on hands, please use it, you will love it.

Cardamon sponge with chocolate buttercream and white cherries
Ingredients for the cake layers:
4 large eggs, at room temperature
160 grams raw muscovado sugar
160 grams wheaten cornflour (**read notes below)
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon cardamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
Ingredients for the cream cheese buttercream frosting:
100 grams unsalted butter, softened
100 grams cream cheese, softened
200 grams powdered sugar
A pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
100 grams white cherry jam (strained, save syrup)
Ingredients for the chocolate buttercream:
150 grams dark chocolate (70%), chopped
250 grams butter, at room temperature
140 grams powder sugar
A pinch of salt
For the chocolate ganache:
100 grams dark chocolate
50 ml. heavy whipping cream (sweetened or not, your choice)
1 teaspoon butter
Cardamon sponge with chocolate buttercream and white cherries Cardamon sponge with chocolate buttercream and white cherries
Prepare the cake layers:
Preheat your oven to 180C (350F). Grease and line 3 x 6inch springform pans with parchment paper.
***For these sponge layers you will need to use wheat starch, regular unflavored wheat starch. Don’t use the corn starch or corn flour, these don’t work for this recipe, trust me.
So, in a large bowl beat eggs and sugar until light, foamy, smooth, triple in volume and sugar is dissolved. It will take you about 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the power of your mixer.
When is the mixture ready: when you move the whisk attachment through the mixture, it will leave a trail behind that is visible for a few seconds before slowly dissolving back into the rest of the mixture (this is the so called ribbon stage).
In another bowl combine starch, bicarbonate soda, cream of tartar, cardamon and ginger. Stir to combine then add to the sugar-egg mixture and very gently stir with a rubber spatula.
Distribute batter evenly between the springforms and bake for about 18 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely to room temperature.
Prepare the cream cheese frosting:
Beat butter and cream cheese in a medium bowl. Add powder sugar and salt and beat until processed and fluffy. Add vanilla and beat for another minute to combine. Transfer frosting into a piping bag with a large plain tip and set aside for a few minutes.
Assembling Part 1:
In a small bowl combine the syrup from the cherry jam and a little bit of hot water. Add just a few tablespoons of water in order to make syrup a bit thinner.
As I told you in the beginning of this post, these sponge cake layers are extra soft, just like cotton, sweet and delicious, but as all sponge layers, they are a bit dry. I find them amazing as they are but some people prefer moister cakes, so my suggestion here is to moisten the cake layers with the syrup from the cherry jam. You can totally skip this step if you like classic texture of sponge layers, plus you know, they will absorb a little moisture from the cream cheese frosting, too.
So, place first cake layer on a cake platter. Using a spoon, moisten the cake layer by gently pouring little bit of the cherry syrup all over the surface, letting it to absorb completely before you spread the frosting. Don’t over use the syrup, cause these layers are very absorbing and if moisten too much they might fall apart.
Pipe one layer of the cream cheese frosting, then sprinkle a little bit of cherries and top with the second cake layer. Repeat all steps with the rest of the cake layers, leaving the top layer plain, only moisten, no frosting.
Put cake in the fridge for an hour in order for the cream cheese buttercream to firm up.
In the meantime prepare the chocolate buttercream:
Melt chocolate and let cool to room temperature as you stir it occasionally.
In the meantime beat butter and sugar in a large bowl until fluffy. Add a pinch of salt and cooled chocolate, and beat for a minute or so to combine.
*Make sure you have the cake ready and set by the time you are finishing up with the buttercream, because the more it sits the harder and thicker it gets, so it will be more difficult for you to spread it on the cake.
Assembling Part 2:
Take cake out of the fridge (cream cheese buttercream should be set) and cover the cake with the chocolate buttercream – top and sides.
Prepare chocolate ganache: combine all ingredients in a small bowl and heat until they all melt. Let ganache cool to room temperature, stirring often as it cools. Once it starts to thicken, but still liquid enough to be poured easily, just spread on top of the cake. Using a knife, gently spread it all the way to the edges and let some of it slide down the cake – this way cake will look even more delicious.

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