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Spiced strawberries and cream cake

Spiced strawberries and cream cake

Strawberries and cream are a match made in heaven. Combined with the sound of Wimbledon on the TV, you pretty much have my memories of British summers.

There’s no better way to celebrate the summer bounty of strawberries than with a beautiful layer cake. I like to throw in some black pepper into the classic strawberry and cream mix. It might be a bit unconventional but it certainly works, trust me!

Rachel Khoo

Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook: London

BBC Lifestyle

Ingredients

Spiced strawberries:

• 800g strawberries, halved and leaves removed (plus 100g for garnish)
• 150g sugar
• 150ml water
• 1 tsp ground black pepper
• salt, pinch of

Cream cake:

• 3 eggs
• 125g sugar
• 300g plain flour
• 1 tbsps baking powder
• 75g butter, melted
• 150g plain yoghurt
• salt, pinch of
• 750ml whipping cream
• 1 vanilla pod
• 100g sugar

Preparation method

Spiced strawberries:

  1. Hull and halve the strawberries.
  2. Place the water, sugar and black pepper in a pot and bring to a boil. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Take off the heat and add the halved strawberries.
  3. Chill in the fridge until needed.

Sponge:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/325F/Gas 3.
  2. Melt the butter.
  3. Whisk the eggs with the sugar until thick, pale and fluffy.
  4. Pour in the melted butter and yoghurt.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients before mixing into the rest of the ingredients. Don’t over-mix or you’ll end up with a heavy cake. Pour the mixture into a 19cm/7.5in cake tin.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. If the cake is browning too fast, cover it with aluminium foil.
  7. Remove from tin and place on cake rack.
  8. Leave to cool for 30 minutes before slicing. If you have a plate with a lip on it, place the whole cake upside down on the plate and use the edge of the plate to guide the bread knife across in a straight line, removing the peaked top (you can discard this). Repeat this process to end up with three layers of cake.
  9. Run your knife along the vanilla pod, slice through the middle and scoop out the seeds with the back of the knife. Add to the cream.
  10. Whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla, until firm enough to ice the cake.

Assembly:

  1. Start assembling with the top part of the cake on the bottom (by using the bottom part on top, you will create a smooth finish).
  2. Using a pastry brush, dab the cake crumb generously with the sugar syrup.
  3. Spread a quarter of the cream on top of the crumb. Add a third of the macerated strawberries.
  4. Repeat, twice more.
  5. Top the cake with the fresh strawberries.
  6. Spread the rest of the cream around the sides.
  7. Serve within two days.