Once upon a time in June my husband decided he will bake the birthday cake for our – then – four year old. I must say I was rather doubtful and had a back up plan in case things went slightly burnt, sloppy or in any other way inedible, yet the cake was as perfect as could be. The recipe is simple. The ingredients are seasonal. The cake is refreshing and not too sweet or not too heavy. The decorating is plain yet impressive. Making of the cake is the family team work by combining me baking the sponge cake by my grandmother recipe, Maciek cutting the layers with precision and decorating with perfection and Natasha helping all the way. We have been making the cake for many years to celebrate birthday, adding more candles and picking different colour of the ribbon, yet the taste stays the same and it never fails to please the guests.
300 g (or the equivalent of the weight of 5 eggs) icing sugar
240 g (or the equivalent of the weight of 4 eggs) flour
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease the 30 cm round spring form with butter and sprinkle with flour.
Separate the eggs into two large bowls. Beat together the egg yolks with the icing sugar until smooth and pale. Gradually add the flour – spoon by spoon and keep beating until well combined.
Beat the eggs whites in another bowl until stiff peaks form (you may dare to turn the bowl upside down to test). Slowly add the beaten whites into the mixture of yolks, sugar and flower. Stir gently until combined. Do not use the mixer at this stage.
Pour the sponge mixture into the spring form and put in the pre-heated oven for 40-45 minutes. The cake will rise in the oven and should fill the form to the brim.
After 40-45 minutes it should be golden brown and a tooth pick will come out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely (and ideally until the next day).
2 packets of strawberry jelly
500 ml double cream
500 g frozen strawberries
Prepare the jelly as per the instructions on the packet.
Chop the frozen strawberries and add them to the jelly liquid. It will instantly get cooler and begin to set.
In a large bowl whip the cream. Add the cold strawberry jelly mixture into the cream ans stir gently until combined. If it is still too runny you might want to put the bowl in the fridge for 10 minutes but be careful so that it does not become too thick and firm.
Now assemble the cake. Spread half of the strawberry cream on the bottom layer of the cake. Be generous. You will want a good centimeter of the cream filling. Gently place the middle layer of the cake and spread the remaining strawberry cream. Arrange the top layer and put in the fridge so that it sets nicely.
500 ml double cream
15 fresh strawberries
a large packet of lady fingers biscuits
Beat the cream until thick yet still smooth. With a spatula spread the cream on the sides and on the top of the cake. One by one arrange the lady fingers biscuits around the cake and secure with a wide ribbon.
Cut in half or slice the strawberries and arrange them on the top of the cake.