Strawberry & Cream Cake

I love strawberries. They’re best eaten with cream or melted dark chocolates. British strawberry season usually starts from early June through to August. They’re sweeter and juicier when in season, and cheaper as well. Every summer I always bake a strawberry cake. They’re quite easy to make and easier to serve for a gathering or a party. I always use my most trusted  recipe from Delia Smith’s book, Delia’s Cakes. Did tweak it a bit this time by using pureed rather than cut up fresh  strawberries, and it smelled absolutely divine during and after baking. I also drizzled some melted dark chocolates and topped it with some chocolate covered strawberries.

Strawberries and Cream Sponge Cake

115g self-raising flour
½ level teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs
115g spreadable butter
115g golden caster sugar
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the filling and topping
200ml double cream
350g strawberries, hulled (apart from two of them)
1 dessertspoon caster sugar u a little icing sugar (to finish)

Kitchen kit
A 20cm by 4cm round sponge tin, lightly greased and base lined, plus a cooling rack

Pre-heat the oven to 170°C, gas mark 3.

Begin by sifting the flour and baking powder into a large roomy bowl, lifting the sieve high to give the flour an airing. Now just add all the other ingredients and, using an electric hand whisk, whisk for about one minute until you have a smooth creamy mixture that drops off a spoon easily.

Next, spoon the mixture into the tin, levelling it with the back of the spoon, and bake near the centre of the oven for 30-35 minutes or until the centre feels springy. Leave the cake in the tin for 5 minutes before loosening the edge with a palette knife and turning it out onto a cooling rack. Now peel off the liner, turn the cake upright and let it get quite cold.

To serve the cake, first whisk the cream in a large bowl until stiff. Next you need to place the cake on a flat surface and using a serrated knife carefully split it horizontally into two thin halves. Now, leaving the two halves stacked one on top of the other, divide the cake into quarters, then each quarter into two (so you have 8 wedges of sponge cake).

Remove the top layer of wedges and arrange the bottom layer on a serving dish, re-forming it into a round. Weigh out 200g of the hulled strawberries, and whizz them to a purée with one dessertspoon
of caster sugar. Now, spread half the cream over the cake and top with the remaining hulled strawberries (slicing any large ones in half and making sure the berries round the edges are showing). Spoon over the purée and cover with the other half of the cream, then re-form the top layer, making sure it lines up with the base. Dust the whole thing with icing sugar, then cut the reserved strawberries in quarters through the stalk and use to decorate the top of the cake.

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