Layered raspberry sponge cake with vanilla mousseline

For the ultimate special dessert cake, try Michael Caines' amazing combination of fresh raspberries, crème pâtissière and almond sponge
By Michael Caines
Layered raspberry sponge cake with vanilla mousseline
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8-10
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes plus 4 hours chilling
  • Effort: hard


For the stock syrup

  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 50 ml crème de framboise liqueur

For the crème pâtissière

  • 500 ml full-fat milk
  • 1 vanilla pod, split, seeds scraped out
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • 30 g plain flour
  • 15 g cornflour

For the joconde sponge

  • 140 g icing sugar
  • 140 g ground almonds
  • 40 g plain flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 egg whites
  • 30 g unsalted butter

For the vanilla mousseline

  • 1 leaf gelatine
  • 250 g fresh raspberries
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • cream, whipped
  • dash crème de framboise liqueur

To serve

  • 500 g fresh raspberries
  • icing sugar, for dusting


1. For the stock syrup: put the caster sugar into a heavy-based saucepan with 200ml water and stir over a medium heat until the sugar is completely melted. Remove the syrup from the heat and allow to cool. When completely cool, stir in the crème de framboise and set aside until ready to use.

2. For the crème pâtissière: bring the milk to the boil in a saucepan with the split vanilla pod and seeds, then remove the pan from the heat and allow to infuse for 5 minutes.

3. Cream the egg yolks and the sugar together with an electric whisk, then add the flour and cornflour and mix until smooth.

4. Pour 200ml of the warm milk into the creamed eggs and flour and mix it in, then stir in the remaining milk. Transfer the mixture back into the saucepan, bring to the boil, stirring continuously, and cook for 1 minute.

5. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve, then transfer to the fridge and leave to chill until ready to use.

6. For the joconde sponge: Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Line 3 oven trays, each 24 x 40 x 2.5cm, with baking paper.

7. Put the almonds and icing sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer, add the flour and whisk at medium speed until well combined. Add the whole eggs, one by one, mixing well after each addition.

8. In a separate clean bowl, whip the egg whites until soft peaks form.

9. Heat the butter in a small saucepan until melted.

10. Pour the almond mixture into the whipped egg whites and fold in with a spatula. Stir in the melted butter.

11. Pour the mixture onto the 3 prepared baking trays and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool, then remove the baking paper and cut out 3 circles, using a large, deep chefs ring, approximately 160mm in diameter.

12. For the mousseline: soak the gelatine leaf in a little cold water until soft.

13. Put the raspberries and icing sugar into a food processor and pulse until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a small, heavy-based saucepan and stir over a medium heat until reduced to a jam-like consistency. Push the mixture through a sieve you should have about 100ml of coulis.

14. Squeeze the excess water from the softened gelatine and stir the gelatine into the warm coulis until it has dissolved.

15. Put 300g of the prepared crème pâtissière into a bowl, then add the raspberry coulis and a dash of crème de framboise and whisk together well before gently folding in the whipped cream.

16. Transfer the mixture into a piping bag and use immediately.

17. To assemble the cake, place the chefs ring onto a flat cake stand or plate to use as a mould. Put one of the sponge circles into the mould, brush liberally with the stock syrup, and then pipe a thin layer of mousseline onto the sponge. Decorate with one-third of the fresh raspberries and then pipe a little more mousseline on top before adding the next layer of sponge.

18. Brush this new layer with syrup and repeat the layering process, eventually finishing with the last layer of sponge.

19. Decorate the top of the sponge with the remaining mousseline and raspberries. Transfer the cake to the fridge and leave to chill for 3-4 hours.

20. To serve, remove the ring mould (using a burner to heat the outside a little to make it easier to remove), then dust with icing sugar.

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