June 25, 2021
This fun and festive cake is best made with strawberries bursting with flavour at the peak of the season. This is considered a Genoise Sponge Cake which requires some technique, for a simpler sponge cake with the same visual impact, you can try this Simple Sponge Cake.
2 lemons, preferably organic and well washed
1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
500 ml heavy cream
1/4 cup (30 g) confectioner's sugar
1-2 pints fresh strawberries
Freeze dried strawberries (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter two 6-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
In a mixing bowl of a standing mixer, combine eggs and sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. The eggs should look white and shiny. Reduce to medium speed and whisk for 3 minutes and then whisk for 5 minutes on the lowest speed until no bubbles are visible. The eggs should have reached the ribbon stage, when you lift up the beater the eggs should fall back into the bowl in thick ribbons. Gently scrape the eggs into a large metal mixing bowl.
Sift the flours several times until light and fluffy. Place butter in a small pot and place over low heat. When half way melted remove from heat and swirl to melt the remaining butter.
Sift flour one final time over top of the eggs and with a rubber spatula, gently fold in the flour trying not to deflate the eggs. Transfer a few tablespoons of the mixture into the melted butter and stir together with a spoon, then fold it back into the remaining egg/flour mixture.
Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans and drop the pans against the table to pop any air bubbles. Slide pans into the preheated oven. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes until the top is just starting to turn golden brown and a tester comes out clean. Remove from oven and drop again on a heat resistant surface (this prevents the middle from sinking in). Cool cakes on a cooling rack for 10 minutes and flip upside down to remove from pans.
To make the lemon syrup, use a vegetable peeler to peel off wide strips of lemon skin from both lemons. Try to get only the yellow part as the white pith will make the syrup bitter. Juice both lemons into a small pot and add sugar, heat together on medium high heat until it comes to a boil. Once boiling, turn down heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 3-5 minutes. Add lemon zest and turn off heat, set aside to cool. Remove the zest. This recipe yields more syrup than needed, and extra syrup can be stored in the fridge and used to sweeten beverages, drizzle over pancakes or make lemonade etc.
To whip cream place mixing bowl and beaters in the fridge to chill for 10 minutes. Pour in the heavy cream and confectioner's sugar and whip on high speed until soft peaks are reached. Set aside.
Slice about 1/2 pint of strawberries into thin, round slices and place on a cloth or paper towel to absorb excess liquid. Roughly chop remaining strawberries and place in a bowl.
To assemble cakes, remove the parchment paper from the cakes. Lay the first cake on a serving plate and brush abundantly with lemon syrup. The lemon syrup adds flavour and also will keep the cakes moist. With an offset spatula, spread a layer of whipped cream over top and add the chopped strawberries. Cover strawberries with whipped cream and smooth out with an offset spatula. Place the second cake on top and brush with lemon syrup. Cover the entire cake with whipped cream. Place strawberry slices all over cake and if desired, crumble freeze-dried strawberries on the top and sides.
Allow cake to rest for at least 4 hours or overnight for the cake to soak up all of the flavours.