TIME FOR TEA
Celebrate the Easter weekend with showstopping cakes and traditional scrumptious treats
Fabulous cakes and Easter treats
SERVES 6 FOR THE COMPOTE
250g strawberries, washed,
hulled and quartered 1tbsp caster sugar
1 point of a star anise
A few drops of lemon
FOR THE SPONGE
200g softened butter 200g caster sugar 4 eggs
200g self-raising flour 1tsp baking powder 2tbsp milk
TO FILL AND DECORATE
200ml double cream
50g icing sugar, plus extra
1tsp vanilla bean paste
(or vanilla extract) 4 small strawberries Crushed freeze-dried
YOU’LL ALSO NEED
2 x 16cm-diameter
1 Preheat the oven to 200°C/
180°C fan/gas 6. Grease the two cake tins and line with baking paper. Put the quartered strawberries in a bowl with the 1tbsp caster sugar, stirring to coat, then set the fruit to one side to macerate.
2 Put the softened butter and
200g caster sugar in the bowl of a freestanding mixer and cream together until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. Crack the eggs into a separate jug and beat. With the mixer running, add a little of the egg mixture at a time, letting it combine before adding more. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl between each addition.
3 Sieve together the self-raising flour and baking powder into a separate bowl, then sieve again directly over the mixing bowl. Add the milk and beat together until everything combines.
4 Divide the batter equally between the 2 prepared tins, levelling out the surface of each with the back of a spoon. Bake for 40min or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Turn out of the tins, remove the baking paper and leave the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack.
5 Meanwhile, make the strawberry compote. Tip the macerated strawberries and any juices into a small pan. Add 1tbsp water and the star anise (if using), and bring to a simmer. Cook gently for 10min or until the berries start to collapse and the juices turn syrupy. Add a few drops of lemon juice to sharpen, then transfer to a bowl and leave to cool.
6 Whip the double cream, icing sugar and vanilla into soft peaks, transferring to a piping bag if you have one. Cut the 4 small strawberries into pieces and set both aside. Slice the very top of each cake off to create an even surface, then spoon the strawberry compote and the syrupy juices over the surface of one half.
7 Top the strawberry compote with most of the softly whipped cream and place the other cake on top.
Dust the cake with icing sugar. Cover with more cream, piping it on if you wish, then decorate with the fresh strawberry pieces, a sprinkling of freeze-dried strawberries and crystallised flowers, if using.