Strawberry ‘Bah Humbug’ Sponge

This cake is a bit of a bah humbug to the Christmas puds and mince pies everywhere at the moment, but despite its summery nature, this is the brief for my third entry into theĀ ‘Cake of Your Life’ competition at work for tomorrow. So if you fancy something a bit different for the cold winter evenings, then here is the recipe:

Ingredients:
250g unsalted butter
250g caster sugar
1 and 1/2 tsps vanilla essence
4 large eggs, beaten
250g self-raising flour
200ml double cream
2 tbsp icing sugar
Handful of strawberries to decorate (optional)
3 tbsps strawberry conserve
1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees/gas mark 5. Grease and line three 8″ cake tins
2. Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla essence until light and fluffy
3. Gradually beat in the eggs, beating well between each addition
4. Sift half of the flour into the mixture and gently fold in using a metal spoon or rubber spatula. Sift in the remaining flour and fold until just blended
5. Divide the mixture between the cake tins and smooth the top with a knife
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and well risen
7. Leave to cool and in the meantime whip the cream with 1 tbsp of icing sugar until it forms soft peaks
8. Spread the bottom two cakes with strawberry conserve and then whipped cream and sandwich together
9. Sift icing sugar over the top layer and decorate with halved strawberries

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