After the success of the Triple Chocolate Cake of Death, another colleague at work got wind that I can make a decent cake when I put my mind to it and enquired if I could make one for her up coming wedding anniversary, being in a nice mood for a change and never one to turn down an opportunity to bake, I agreed and began pondering what to make.
The brief was even vaguer than the chocolate one with the brief for this bake just simply 'cake'. Very helpful that. normally my go to flavour in cakey form are Lemon or chocolate, usually with raspberries but....British Strawberries are in fine form at the moment and there are some fine varieties floating about.
My advice when buying them are to give them a sniff, if they smack you round the head with strawberry aroma, get them bought and eaten but do it quickly because they are usually at the peak of their powers and will go off very quickly.
To go with the strawberries, I decided to opt away from the usual dark chocolate and go the other end of the spectrum with a white chocolate butter cream. I also decided to move away from a strawberry jam filling and go for a deliciously gooey and sticky strawberry compote which would help show off the strawberry flavour instead of just being very sweet.
Main Cake ( two 8 inch tins)
6 eggs - weigh in shells to find their weight then use this measurement for the following.
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Little cake (one 4.5in tin)
1 egg, as above weigh in shell to find the weight.
tiny drop of vanilla extract
450g strawberries, hulled and chopped in half or quarters.
4 tbsp Caster Sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice.
White Chocolate Buttercream
500g Icing sugar
300g White chocolate
milk (if needed)
100g white chocolate
Punnet of strawberries
Cook each cake separately. For each cake, beat all the ingredients together in a bowl until a smooth cake batter is formed and the mixture easily falls off a spoon. Divide the mixture between the two lined and greased cake tins equally or pour the mixture straight into the lined and greased little cake tin. Level out and place in a preheated oven at 160C(fan) for about 45 minutes for the big cake and about 20-25 minutes for the little cake. Check they are done by inserting a skewer into the middle to see if it can be removed clean. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
Place the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice into a saucepan, heat gently until the strawberries start breaking down, stop cooking when it is syrupy but there are still decent lumps of strawberry in there. set aside and leave to cool.
Cling film a flat movable surface, such as a chopping board. melt the chocolate, in a bowl, over a pan of simmering water. once melted pour over the clingfilm and spread into a thin even layer, place in the fridge to cool and set.
White Chocolate Buttercream
melt the white chocolate using the above method and set aside. beat half the icing sugar with the butter until smooth, continue beating in the sugar until all is combined and smooth. pour in the white chocolate and beat until well combined. If very thick then add a tsp of milk until at the required consistency. If too thin, add more icing sugar to thicken it.
Trim the cake and make it even so it doesn't lean to one side. On the bottom layer pipe or spoon a barrier of buttercream around the edge.
Spoon the compote into the centre, try and avoid lots of syrup and add mainly the strawberries. The remainder can be spooned over individual slices.
Apply a crumb coat of buttercream to the big cake and the little cake separately and place in the fridge to set for about 10 minutes.
Completely cover the big cake with butter cream and place the little cake on top and cover that as well.
Hull and half strawberries and attach around the cake and the top of the cake.
Slice the layer of set chocolate into shards and place around the top of the cake at angles.
Serve with the remainder of the compote.