My friends allotment is awash with strawberries. Delicious plump, sweet, ruby-red berries – she could open a pick-your-own! She generously gave me so many (and some plants) that I had enough for this cake, the strawberry and mascarpone tart from a week or so ago and several jars of jam.
In the height of summer ripe strawberries are one of the loveliest things that you can eat, and of course you should have them with cream. This (slightly retro) gateaux shows them off perfectly with its layers of fluffy Genoese sponge and white chocolate cream.
100g plain flour
20g butter, melted
1 tsp almond extract
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp cornflour
125g white chocolate
toasted flaked almonds & extra berries to decorate
Preheat your oven to 180°c and grease and line an 8 inch springform cake tin.
Whisk the eggs and sugar until they are pale yellow, thick and fluffy and the whisk leaves a trail in the mixture (ribbon stage). This should take a few minutes in a stand mixer. Sift in half of the flour and carefully fold it in, be gentle – you don’t want to lose any volume. Repeat with the other half of the flour. Drizzle the melted butter and almond extract around the edge of the mixing bowl and fold again. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake the sponge for 25 minutes. It should be well risen and golden when it’s done. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Roughly chop the fruit and combine it with the sugar and cornflour in a small pan. Cook over a gentle heat for several minutes until you have a thick compote. Set aside to cool.
Melt the chocolate and leave to cool a little whilst you whip the cream to a soft peak. Gently whisk the cooled chocolate into this.
Carefully slice the sponge into three layers and place the bottom one on a serving plate. Spread a quarter of the chocolate cream over the sponge and then spoon on half of the compote. Repeat this layering with the second layer of sponge. Place the final layer of sponge on top and spread on half of the remaining cream, put the rest into a piping bag fitted with a round or star-shaped nozzle. Pipe this around the edge of the cake and pile some extra berries into the centre and sprinkle on some flaked almonds to decorate. Chill for an hour or two before serving.