This light, moist cake, flecked with vanilla seeds from The Great British Bake Off is delicious on its own or with vanilla cream or red fruit compote.
- 2 medium free-range eggs, at room temperature
- 225g caster sugar
- ½ a vanilla pod
- 1 x 225g tub of clotted cream
- A good pinch of salt
- 200g self-raising flour
- Crème fraîche or double cream mixed with a few vanilla seeds, to serve (optional)
- You'll also need:
- A 20cm spring-clip tin or deep round cake tin, greased with butter and lined with greaseproof paper
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4).
Put the eggs and sugar into a large bowl.
Split the vanilla pod along its length with the tip of a sharp knife and scrape the sticky black seeds into the bowl (reserve some of the seeds to mix with the serving cream, if using).
Using an electric whisk or mixer, or a rotary whisk, whisk the eggs and sugar until they are very thick and mousse-like and the whisk leaves a thick trail when lifted out of the mixture.
Stir the cream until smooth, and gently stir into the mixture with the salt. Sift the flour into the bowl and carefully fold in with a large metal spoon. When thoroughly combined, transfer the mixture to the prepared tin and spread evenly.
Bake in the preheated oven for 50 mins – 1 hr, until the cake is a good golden brown and firm, and a cocktail stick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Leave for 5 mins to firm up, then carefully remove from the tin, discard the lining paper and leave to cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.
<strong>Top tip:</strong> Don't throw away the vanilla pod once you've used the seeds. The pod can be used to make vanilla sugar - just add it to a jar filled with caster sugar, or to infuse milk for a custard or ice-cream.