Early summer strawberry & walnut gateaux
Perfect way to start the onset of strawberry season, little bit of effort required for this, but well worth it if you are looking to impress your family or guests
- 250g Self-raising flour pre sieved.
- 250g Caster sugar (superfine)
- 6 medium eggs Approx 52g each
- 75g toasted walnut (Pop them into the oven for 6-8 min’ @180c until lightly coloured and blend to a fine crumb)
- 1Tsp Vanila extract
- Smidgen of salt
- Smidgen of well crushed java long pepper (Half a Pepper) (Pestle & Morter for me)
- 2 x Tsp maple syrup
- 500ml cream (Double)(heavy)
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 x Tablespoon Icing sugar
- 200g toasted flaked almond to decorate the sides.
- Smear with a little softened butter, then line the bottom of two 9inch-22cm spring form cake tins with parchment, dust a little flour around the edges and tap out any excess.
- Place the sugar, eggs & vanilla extract, salt, and pepper in a stand mixer with balloon whisk attachment, whisk on high until tripled in volume, pale light and fluffy, alternatively use a handheld mixer. You should be able to recreate a figure of eight while dropping some of the mixture from the whisk.
- Fold in the sieved flour, half at a time-using a metal spoon gently scooping the mixture from the bottom & around the sides to incorporate the flour, this will help from knocking out the air.
- Fold in the walnut crumb in the same manner, so that it is evenly dispersed.
- Pour into the cake tins evenly and bake in a pre-heated oven @170c fan, gas 3, 340f, for 25-30 minutes, they should be well risen, golden. Insert a skewer into the mixture, it should come out clean if the sponge is ready.
- Remove from the oven, drizzle over the teaspoons of maple syrup on each sponge, leave to cool in the tins slightly, remove and turn out onto a cooling rack.
- 250g washed and hulled strawberries cut into halves.
- 100ml water
- 50g Caster sugar
- 7g leaf gelatine pre-soaked in cool tap water for approx. 5 minutes until softened and jelly like.
- Place all the ingredients except the gelatine in a saucepan on a low to medium heat allowing the sugar to dissolve. Set to a slow simmer until strawberries are soft.
- Cool slightly, stir through the gelatine until dissolved, blend in a high-speed blender or use a stick blender until a smooth puree. Pass the puree through a fine sieve.
- To assemble the cake, slice the two layers in half evenly so you have four layers.
- Whip the cream with the icing sugar & lemon juice until firm peaks are achieved.
- Reline one of the cake tins completely with parchment, layer each sponge with the cream, finishing the top layer with a smooth and even layer of the cream (make sure to keep some of the cream to coat the outside of the cake) using an angled palate knife will make this easier.
- Gently pour on the cooled strawberry puree so that it is evenly distributed, leave to set in the fridge approx. 30-45 minutes.
- Gently tease away the cake from the tin, remove the parchment and place on a stand.
- Coat the outside of the cake with the remaining cream, in a smooth even layer, use the pallet knife or cake side scraper.
- Grab handful of almonds and gently with the palm of your hand adhere to the cake.
- Finish with swirls of cream using a piping bag and star nozzle, decorate with extra strawberries.
Perfect with a refreshing cup of tea. Enjoy.
Layering the sponge inside the tin will help to create that even shape-finish with a top layer of cream and strawberry glaze
Special thank you to Annie Fedor for decorating this strawberry cake.