Valentine Strawberry Gâteau
by Tarla Dalal
Added to 107 cookbooks
This recipe has been viewed 12412 times
Strawberries and cream… that classic combination. It's the top-of-the-charts dessert in my home during the season. Introduce a light 'n fluffy sponge cake into the equation, and you've got a real winner. Win compliments (and a few hearts of course) this Valentine's with a freshly baked sponge cake smothered in strawberries and whipped cream…And the garnish? More strawberries of course! I've cut it into a heart shape for Valentine's…you can play around with any shape that you like quite easily, with a paper stencil placed on the cake. If I'm in a hurry I buy readymade sponge cake…you just can't go wrong, with strawberries and cream to dress it all up!
- Sieve the flour, baking powder and soda bi-carb together.
- Mix the flour mixture, condensed milk, melted butter, essence and 75 ml. water and beat well.
- Pour the mixture into a greased and dusted 6" diameter heart-shaped tin.
- Bake in a hot oven at 200°C (400°F) for 10 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 150°C (300°F) and bake for another 15 minutes.
- The cake is ready when it leaves the sides of the tin and is springy to touch. When ready, remove from the oven and leave aside for 1 minute. Invert the tin over a rack and tap sharply to unmould.
- Cool the cake and slice into 2 parts horizontally, using a serated bread knife. Keep aside.
- Combine the cream, sugar and vanilla essence in a clean, dry bowl and whisk until it doubles in volume and forms soft peaks.
- Keep aside of the cream for the topping.
- Mash the strawberries lightly. Add the powdered sugar and keep aside for a few minutes.
- Mix the strawberries with of the whipped cream. This has to be done gently as over-mixing whipped cream can cause it to curdle.
- Sprinkle some soaking syrup over one part of the sponge and spread the strawberry and cream mixture over it.
- Place the other half of the cake on top, sprinkle the soaking syrup over it and spread a layer of whipped cream.
- Pipe the border of the cake with a little cream using a star nozzle.
- Garnish with the strawberry fans.
- Chill and serve.
- In hot weather, whisk the cream over a platter of crushed ice.
- Be careful not to over-beat the cream, as it can separate into butter!
- VARIATION : Chocolate lovers can use a chocolate sponge instead of a plain sponge.
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