225g butter, at room temperature
225g caster sugar
225g self raising flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla essence (you could use lemon, almond or orange if you prefer)
1 – 2 tablespoons milk, if required
Good quality jam for the filling
Icing sugar for dusting
150ml double cream (whipped)
Cream the sugar and butter together until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one by one and beat well.
Add a tablespoon of flour with each egg to help prevent the mixture from curdling. Also add in the vanilla extract or your chosen flavouring.
Sieve the remaining flour and baking powder and combine carefully with the butter and sugar mixture.
If you find that your mixture is a little stiff add the milk and combine.
Divide the mixture into 2 round cake tins which have been greased and the bottoms lined with baking parchment.
Place in the oven for 20 – 25mins or until the skewer comes out clean.
Remove the cakes from the oven and leave to cool in their tins for 5 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cakes are cooling whip the cream.
Spread one of the sponges with your chosen jam and then cover with berries.
Spread the other sponge with the whipped cream and place on top of the other sponge.
Cut out a shape of heart in the centre of piece of tin foil. The tin foil should cover the cake.
Sieve the icing sugar over the cut out heart and carefully remove the tin foil.
Enjoy on a slice on your favourite tea plate and with tea of your choice.
As an alternative to cream you could use reduced fat mascarpone which has been flavoured with vanilla (seeds from a vanilla pod give the best flavour) or you could use a traditional butter cream which is made by combining soften butter and icing sugar with a drop of essence/water.