Summer Strawberry Gateau – Fraisier Cake

Strawberry Fraisier Cake

The cake making an appearance for Emily’s Birthday 2014

Summer Strawberry Gateau:  This stunning Strawberry Gateau is perfect for a summer occasion and is guaranteed to impress any crowd . It requires some effort, but it’s well worth it. It makes an annual appearance in the Cook household, at every birthday occasion.

Serves 6-8

The cake:
125g caster sugar
4 large eggs
2 lemons, the finely grated zest of
125g self-raising flour
50g butter, gently melted and cooled

Creme patissiere:
400ml milk
1 Vanilla pod
3 eggs + 1 yolk
125g caster sugar
75g cornflour
100g butter
Lemon syrup:
75g caster sugar
2 lemons, the juice of
To finish:
200g white marzipan
100g dark chocolate, for piping if desired
600g strawberries, regular size, rinsed and hulled
Icing sugar

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease, flour and line base of 23cm round loose bottom cake tin.
2. Put sugar, eggs and lemon zest into large bowl over pan of simmering water on medium heat. Whisk with electric hand whisk until pale and doubled in volume. Remove and cool. 3. Add half the flour through a sieve, fold in gently, then gradually fold in remaining. Carefully fold in melted butter.
4. Pour into cake tin and bake for 25 minutes until golden. Cool initially in tin then turn out onto cooling rack.

5. For the crème patissiere, split the vanilla pod and add, with vanilla seeds, to milk in large heavy-based saucepan. Bring to boil then remove from heat.
6. Whisk eggs with sugar and cornflour until blended. Through a sieve pour milk into egg mixture, whisk to combine then pour into clean saucepan. Over a medium heat stir constantly (to avoid lumps) for about 4 minutes until it thickens then whisk until smooth and very thick (for piping). Stir in butter and mix well. Cool then chill until cold and set.

7. For lemon syrup put sugar and lemon juice into a small saucepan with 70ml water. Heat gently to dissolve, then boil rapidly for two minutes. Cool.

8. Roll a thin disc of marzipan and draw round the cake tin base to create a 23cm circle then chill.
9. Slice cake in half horizontally.
10. Place a sheet of parchment paper, acetate or cling film around the cake tin then put one layer of sponge cake into tin. Liberally brush sponge with half the lemon syrup. Gently squash cake down with back of a spoon to push edges directly against sides of tin – this is important to create a defined edge.
11. Reserve some strawberries for decoration then halve the remaining maintaining a similar height size. Place cut sides of strawberries around edge of tin only, fitting snugly and pressed against lining.
12. Fill a piping bag with the crème patissiere and cover exposed sponge cake, piping gaps to top of strawberries.
13. Half the remaining strawberry halves and set on top of crème. Pipe remaining crème patissiere on top to cover then level with a knife.
14. Place other sponge cake on top with cut side uppermost, brush with the remaining lemon syrup, then press down quite firmly so that it pushes against the lining.
15. Lay chilled marzipan circle on top and put back in fridge to set. To serve remove cake from fridge and very carefully remove cake from tin and lining. Place onto serving plate and decorate with reserved strawberries and a dusting of icing sugar. A chocolate decoration can be piped if wished.

Enjoy served chilled.

Recipe adapted from Mary Berry.