STRAW­BERRY & PAS­SION­FRUIT MILE-HIGH LAYER CAKE

Woman’s Day (Australia) - - Food To Love -

SERVES 12 PREP 50 MINS COOK 1 HOUR + COOL­ING

250g but­ter, soft­ened 2 cups caster sugar 1 tsp vanilla ex­tract 4 eggs 2 cups plain flour ¼ cup self-rais­ing flour ¾ cup milk 750g straw­ber­ries 1 tbsp ic­ing sugar

PAS­SION­FRUIT CREAM

600ml thick­ened cream 2 tbsp ic­ing sugar ¹⁄ cup pas­sion­fruit pulp 3

MERINGUE FROST­ING

²⁄ cup caster sugar 3 1 tbsp glu­cose syrup 2 tbsp wa­ter 3 egg whites 1 tbsp caster sugar, ex­tra

1 Pre­heat oven to 160°C. Grease and line the bases of 3 x 20cm round sandwich cake pans.

2 In a large bowl us­ing an elec­tric mixer, beat but­ter, caster sugar and vanilla un­til light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Fold in sifted flours and milk, in two batches. Di­vide mix­ture evenly into pans.

3 Bake cakes 35 mins un­til a skewer in­serted into the cen­tre comes out clean. Cool in pans 5 mins be­fore turn­ing, top-side down, onto racks to cool.

4 PAS­SION­FRUIT CREAM

In a small bowl us­ing an elec­tric mixer, beat cream un­til soft peaks form. Stir in sifted ic­ing sugar and pas­sion­fruit.

5 Re­serve 10 of the straw­ber­ries, thinly slice re­main­ing berries. Split cold cakes in half. Place one cake layer, cut-side up, on a plate or cake stand, spread with one-fifth of the pas­sion­fruit cream, top with one-fifth of the sliced straw­ber­ries, then an­other cake layer. Re­peat lay­er­ing, fin­ish­ing with a cake layer.

6 MERINGUE FROST­ING

In a small saucepan, stir sugar, glu­cose and the wa­ter on medium heat un­til sugar dis­solves. Bring to boil, boil 3 mins or un­til syrup reaches 116°C on a sugar ther­mome­ter (or when a tsp of syrup, dropped into a cup of cold wa­ter, forms a soft ball when a small amount of mix­ture is rolled be­tween your fin­gers). Re­move from heat to al­low bub­bles to sub­side. Mean­while, in a small bowl us­ing an elec­tric mixer, beat egg whites un­til soft peaks, beat in ex­tra sugar un­til dis­solved. With mo­tor run­ning, pour in hot syrup in a thin, steady stream. Beat on high speed 5 mins un­til mix­ture is thick.

7 Spread frost­ing over top and side of cake. Just be­fore serv­ing, dec­o­rate with re­served straw­ber­ries and dust with sifted ic­ing sugar.

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