STRAWBERRY & PASSIONFRUIT MILE-HIGH LAYER CAKE
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
600ml thickened cream 2 tbsp icing sugar ¹⁄ cup passionfruit pulp 3
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.