• 800g strawberries, halved and leaves removed (plus 100g for garnish)
• 150g sugar
• 150ml water
• 1 tsp ground black pepper
• salt, pinch of
• 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
- Hull and halve the strawberries.
- 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.
- Chill in the fridge until needed.
- Preheat the oven to 160°C/325F/Gas 3.
- Melt the butter.
- Whisk the eggs with the sugar until thick, pale and fluffy.
- Pour in the melted butter and yoghurt.
- 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.
- Bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. If the cake is browning too fast, cover it with aluminium foil.
- Remove from tin and place on cake rack.
- 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.
- 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.
- Whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla, until firm enough to ice the cake.
- 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).
- Using a pastry brush, dab the cake crumb generously with the sugar syrup.
- Spread a quarter of the cream on top of the crumb. Add a third of the macerated strawberries.
- Repeat, twice more.
- Top the cake with the fresh strawberries.
- Spread the rest of the cream around the sides.
- Serve within two days.