Tuesday, 21 August 2012

swedish strawberry cake

Nothing says summer to me like a Swedish strawberry cake.  I have memories of picking strawberries with my mum, desperately searching in each row of the red jewels for the biggest strawberry I could find. I have to confess that a large percentage of the days pickings always landed in my tummy before weigh in, but the rest would end up in this wonderfully summery cake. This cake does not poses the pretty spender of its princess cake cousin but what it does do is deliver bags of flavour.  The best part is that you do not have to be a seasoned cake expert to make it, the more rustic and amateur the cake appears the more endearing and characteristic the cake will look. The desired appearance is shabby chic, and what is more chic than a cake devoted to Wimbledon’s favourite pairing, strawberries and cream.
For the cake:
4 eggs
300g Caster sugar
1 tsp. of vanilla extract
2 tbsp. Corn or potato flour
200g Plain flour
6 tbsp. hot water
1 tsp. baking powder
For the vanilla cream filling:
2 Egg yolks
2 tbsp. Corn or potato flour
1 vanilla pod split lengthways
300ml Double cream
2 tsp. Vanilla extract
3 tbsp. Caster sugar

In addition you will need two punnets of strawberries (roughly 800g)
A tin of peaches in juice (this is for a non- alcoholic version)
150ml of amaretto liqueur, either one of these options are to moisten the sponge.

For the topping
300ml of double cream
2 tbsp. icing sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees and grease a 23cm cake tin and line with parchment paper to the base and sides.
Start with the cake sponge, combine the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract and whisk until the eggs double in volume and turn pale and fluffy. When you lift up the whisk, the mixture should leave a ribbon like trail. Sift the flours and baking powder together into the eggs and sugar, whisk until just combined and add the boiling water whilst whisking so that the eggs do not cook with the heat of the water.
Pour the batter into the tin and cook for 35-40 minutes, or until you can insert a metal skewer and it comes out clean.
Whilst the cake is cooking it’s time to make the vanilla cream.
Combine all of the ingredients into a cold pan (this is so that the eggs do not scramble, by introducing heat gradually will result in a smoother cream). Make sure that the vanilla pod is split length-ways and the vanilla seeds have been scraped out into the cream. On a low heat stir the ingredients with a whisk until the mixture is as thick as custard, this should take 5-10 minutes, do not let it boil. Sieve the cream into a bowl to remove any lumps and place in the fridge to cool.
When the cake sponge has cooled slice it into three layers, these will be quite thin but they are fairly robust. Slice one punnet of the strawberries into quarters. Take the bottom cake layer and place onto your desired cake platter. Drizzle the sponge layer with either the amaretto or the tinned peach juice, this depends on whether you want to be naughty or nice, this keeps the sponge moist Split the vanilla cream into two and spread the first layer with half, top this with half of the sliced strawberries. Top this with a second layer of sponge and repeat the process with the juice/amaretto, vanilla cream and strawberries. Drizzle the top layer of the sponge on both sides with your desired moistener. Place onto of the other two layers. Whisk the double cream, vanilla and icing sugar together for the topping, this should only reach soft peaks. Spread the cream over the final layer and decorate with the remaining half of the strawberries, I like to leave the stalks on the strawberries, I half some and keep some whole, this just adds to the rustic charm. To finish, dust the cake with icing sugar.

No comments: