I was lucky enough to get the Primrose Bakery recipe book for my birthday last year, and have been working my way through the recipes ever since. For Christmas I also got a good food processor and all the trimmings, so I now have no excuse not to be baking with every inch of my spare time. One of the first things I wanted to try was their Strawberry Cake, and having given it a couple of goes I've amended the recipe a little to make it better (in my opinion anyway).
(for the sponge cake)
. 3 large eggs (have a 4th spare just incase)
. 210g self raising flour
. 25g cornflour
. 1 tsp baking powder
. 225g unsalted butter (can use margarine if you like)
. 225g (or just a regular punnet) of fresh strawberries
. 1 tsp of vanilla extract
(for the butter icing)
. 70g unsalted butter (can use margarine but you will get a runny mixture)
. 350g icing sugar
. 60ml semi skimmed milk (cannot use skimmed as it won't have enough dairy in it)
. 50g finely chopped strawberries
(for the centre)
. 1/2 a jar of strawberry jam, good quality
. 100g of strawberries, sliced - for the centre and to decorate
Firstly, prepare the butter-cream icing (to allow it to cool in the fridge whilst the sponge is cooking). Simply put the butter into a bowl and stir, gradually adding in the sugar. Once you have got any lumps out, pour in the milk and the strawberries. Mix until the mixture is even, and even you lift the spoon out if shouldn't drip - if so add more sugar. Put into the fridge for later.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and prepare two 20cm baking tins. Next (if you can, use a food processor - failing that then be prepared to mix hard!) put your butter into a large bowl/food processor and pour in the brown and caster sugars (brown is good for fruit cakes - you can change this to combining the weights of both sugars for golden caster sugar if you want). Mix until even, don't let it get too soft. Continue to mix and spoon in the flour tablespoon and corn flour (vital as absorbs the moisture of the fruit) at a time, and add the vanilla extract.
Once the mix is even again, crack in each of the eggs at a time - if once the you have added the 3rd it still looks a little doughy, add a 4th. The mixture should be quite runny. Finally, add in the strawberries and mix until even.
Separate the mixture into the two baking tins and put in the oven for 20 minutes. Test if the sponge is ready by putting a knife into the centre of the sponge - if the knife comes out clean then it is ready. Take the sponges out, allow to cool and then take the base sponge and cover in jam, to taste. Then place the sliced strawberries on top.
Take the butter icing from the fridge and spoon 1cm thick on top of the strawberries, and then place the top sponge on top. Put icing on top, as thick as you would like, and you should have enough to cover the sides if you wanted it to. Eat straight away - will last a good few days.
South Molton St Starving