Strawberry Summer Layer Cake

Extract from The Scandi Kitchen by Bronte Aurell.

In Sweden, this cake is called ‘Jordgubbstårta’ and it’s got all the flavours of a Nordic summer. Don’t be put off by the components: the process is surprisingly easy!

 Strawberry Midsummer Cak

 

Ingredients:

1 x quantity Crème Pâtissière , cooled in the fridge

Cake Layers:

3 eggs

90 g caster sugar

90 g plain flour

1 teaspoon vanilla sugar

20 g melted butter

Whipped Cream:

600 ml whipping cream

2 tablespoons icing sugar, plus extra to dust

1 teaspoon vanilla sugar

Assembling the cake:

75 g raspberry jam

600 g strawberries, washed, trimmed and sliced

3 baking sheets greased and lined with baking parchment

piping bag fitted with a star nozzle

SERVES 6–8

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6.

Trace 3 identical circles approximately 20 cm/8 in. in diameter (use a plate as a guide) onto the baking parchment-lined baking sheets. If you wish, you can bake the cake layers in two batches as they only need to be in the oven for a short while.

To make the cake layers, whisk the eggs and sugar until white and fluffy. The key here is to whisk for a long time to incorporate as much air as possible. Sift the flour and vanilla sugar into the egg mixture and fold, very carefully, until completely incorporated. Fold thoroughly but very gently in order to preserve as much air as possible. Lastly, add the melted butter and stir carefully.

Using a spatula, carefully divide the batter between the 3 circles and ensure the batter neatly fills the circles all the way around. Bake in the preheated oven until just golden brown and done – this will depend on your oven, but 5–6 minutes is usually fine. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely on a cooling rack. When cool, very carefully remove the baking parchment – if it sticks, wet the back of the paper a little bit and it should come off easily.

Whisk the whipped cream ingredients until stiff peaks form. Fold one-third of the whipped cream together with the Crème Pâtissière until completely incorporated (the remaining whipped cream is used to decorate the final cake).

To assemble the cake, place the first layer cake on the plate you wish to serve on. Spread a layer of raspberry jam, followed by a generous layer of the Crème Pâtissière mixture. Add a good handful of sliced strawberries, evenly spread out. Add another cake layer, then the raspberry jam, Crème Pâtissière and strawberries again, and place the final cake layer on top. Trim any excess cream away from the edges of the cake with a spatula. Using a palette knife, spread a thin layer of the whipped cream on the top of the cake. Add the rest of the cream to a piping bag and pipe carefully around the edge of the cake in an up-and-down motion until the sides are covered. If you do not have a piping bag, you can use the palette knife for this and just smooth the edges.

Finish by adding the remaining strawberries on the top of the cake. It doesn’t have to look too arranged – just scatter them so the cake is evenly covered. Dust with icing sugar.

Serve with lots of sunshine!

CRÈME PÂTISSIÈRE

Many recipes in Scandinavian baking use crème pâtissière – from layer cakes to baked goods and Danish pastries. This is a simple, quick and delicious version.

500 ml whole milk

1⁄2 vanilla pod

2 eggs

100 g caster sugar

30 g cornflour

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

25 g butter

Heat the milk in a saucepan together with the scraped out vanilla seeds. Add the whole pod to the pan, too, for extra flavour.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, cornflour and salt. When the milk reaches boiling point, remove the vanilla pod and discard, and pour in a quarter of the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking as you do so. Once whisked through, pour the egg mixture back into the remaining hot milk, return to the heat and bring to the boil, whisking continuously. Let it bubble for just under a minute. Make sure you whisk as it thickens.

Remove from the heat and add the butter, whisking in well. Pour into a cold bowl, then cover the top with a sheet of baking parchment to prevent a hard edge from forming as it cools down. Place in the fridge to cool completely.

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The Scandi Kitchen by Bronte Aurell

Published by Ryland Peter & Small

Photography by Peter Cassidy