Strawberry and elderflower cake

The day I made this cake (a few weeks back), It happened to be strawberry season kicking in. I just had a flashback of those "Birthday cakes" I enjoyed when I was a teen.


Since génoise (a sponge-like cake) was the 3rd thing I learned to make after crepes and shortcrust dough (or maybe fourth if we count the baked caramel flan), I can easily track this recipe as back as 24 years ago (I started proper baking at the age of 12).

This only thing new in it would be the Elderflower cordial which I have really come to know about during the last 2 years.



I also came to try Victoria sponge very lately and although it's tasty and keeps well at room temperature for a few days, I still stick to my genoise formula especially when the cake will end up in the fridge. Génoise is lighter and I like its texture..

So today's cake is a génoise , a syrup, jam, a berry fruit and whipped cream, isn't that easy and yet formula that makes any crowd happy (unless this crowd has a problem with cakes to begin with, namely people on diet, but then they won't be reading a cake recipe would they)?

That little green bit is lime zest, optional


Ingredients
Makes 1 cake, 10 inch diameter
Prep: 20 min - baking: 30 min

Genoise
  • 120 g of all purpose flour, sifted
  • 120 g of fine sugar
  • 4 eggs 
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 30 g of butter (melted)
Syrup
  • 4 tbsp of elderflower cordial (replace with 2 tbps of orange blossom water or rose water)
  • 3 tbsp of water

Garnishing
  • 250 g of fresh strawberries
  • 2 to 4 tbsp of strawberry or raspberry jam
  • Zest of a lime or lemon (optional)
  • 200 g of single cream for whipping
  • 3 tbps of icing sugar (to taste)
  • A few drops of lemon juice
  • Fine zest of 1/2 lemon (or a few drops of vanilla extract)



Preparation

Preheat the oven at 180 degrees C and cover a 10 inch springform or a round pan with a parchment paper (or just butter and dust the pan with flour). 

Syrup

Heat water and the elderflower cordial for 5 to 7 min. Set aside to cool

Genoise

There are 2 ways of making the genoise:

1/ We start by making a sabayon, which comes to beat the eggs with sugar over bain-marie for about 10 min until it becomes foamy, cream and almost triples or quadruples in volume. They we fold in the flour delicately and finish with the melted butter (cooled).

2/ This method is documented with picture in my previous post (in French): We will skip the bain marie and beat egg yolks with 3/4 of sugar, flavouring (zest here) for about 10 min until the mix becomes foamy and doubles or triples in volume. Then we delicately fold in (using a spatula) the egg whites beaten with 1/4 of the sugar and the pinch of salty. We add the flour in batches and mix in delicately from bottom to top in a circular motion until all is combined and without damaging the texture hardly earned (the air). The butter is then added at the end and mixed it.

Both methods will need you to bake the genoise for about 30 min until it's nicely golden from the edges and springs back at the touch (or if you insert a skewer it comes out clean).

Set aside to cool on a cooling rack.

Whipped cream

Mix all ingredients and beat the cream until stiff and holds properly. Cover and keep in the fridge until you need it. You could also use it straight away.

Assembling the cake

Devide the cake horizontaly in 2 layers. Brush each layer with the syrup.


Smear one layer with strawberry or raspberry jam. Then give a layer of cream. Next, place the fruits around (as much as you want really). You can also drizzle some jam again and finish with a hint of zest (optional).

Put back the top layer of the cake and smear the whipped cream all over. Finish with some strawberries and other decoration you fancy which can fit in.


Keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, Serve at best cold or just 10 min after taking out of the fridge.



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