These cakes look almost like souffle pancakes, delicate sponge bursting open with lightly whipped cream and strawberries. The secret is the sponge; instead of using normal flour, I use cornflour. This helps along with the butter to make the sponge pliable and very soft, easy for folding.
- 8 medium free-range eggs
- 280 g caster sugar
- 70 g plain flour
- 140 g salted butter, melted
- 500 g small, sweet English strawberries, hulled
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 5 chopped mint leaves, chopped
- 2 tbsp icing sugar, heaped plus extra to dust
- 254 ml double cream, very lightly whipped
- Preheat the oven to 220C, Gas 7.
- Line two Swiss roll tins, about 38 x 28cm, with silicone paper.
- Whisk the eggs, salt and caster sugar together until they are thick and creamy and hold their own weight (meaning that when the whisk is lifted and drawn across the top of the froth, the trail stays on top for at least 10 seconds).
- Fold in the sieved flours and then the melted butter.
- Spread onto the lined Swiss roll trays, then bake in the oven for about 6-8 minutes, until set and very slightly shrunken away from the sides of the tray.
- Immediately turn the trays out onto clean tea towels; the sponge should fall out of the trays cleanly.
- Flick about 2-3 tsp / 10-15ml cold water over the back of the silicone paper and spread over lightly with your fingers.
- Carefully peel away the paper taking care not to rip the sides of the sponge away, then leave to cool.
- Meanwhile, cut the strawberries in half lengthways and lightly fold about three-quarters of them together with the vanilla powder and icing sugar into the lightly whipped cream.
- Using a saucer or a plate as a guide, cut two circles out of each of the sponges, The trimmings can be used for trifles, Tiramisu or ground up, and they will freeze perfectly.
- Half fill the sponge circles with the cream, mint and strawberry mixture, fold over to make a nice full split, dust with unrefined icing sugar.
- You can, for extra effect, heat a skewer and brand the icing sugar in a criss-cross fashion.
- Serve any extra cream and strawberries separately. A great afternoon tea cake.
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