For the sponge cakes
- 225g/8oz butter, softened
- 225g/8oz caster sugar
- 4 free-range eggs
- 225g/8oz self-raising flour
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
For the blackberries
For the spiced cream
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Butter and line 2 x 20cm/8in sandwich tins. Using a hand-held electric whisk or a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until very light and fluffy – it should be almost mousse-like. This should take a good 5 minutes.
Add the eggs, one at a time, with a tablespoon of the flour, mixing lightly between each addition, then add the remaining flour. Add as much lemon juice as necessary to give a dropping consistency, then divide the mixture between the two tins.
Bake in the oven for between 20–25 minutes, or until the sponge has shrunk away from the sides slightly, is springy to touch and a very light golden-brown. Leave to cool in the tins for at least 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack.
For the filling, put the blackberries in a bowl and sprinkle over the caster sugar and blackberry liqueur, if using. Leave to marinate for a short while – they will give out some juices.
For the spiced cream, whip the cream in a bowl, then fold in the icing sugar and spices – the cream needs to be just beyond the soft peak stage.
To assemble, pile the spiced cream onto one of the sponges. Top with the blackberries and pour over any juices. Place the remaining sponge on top. Dust with icing sugar or caster sugar and serve.
You could use spelt flour instead of plain flour for a slightly nutty flavour, which works really well with blackberries. If you do, add 2 teaspoons of baking powder.