To mark this weekend's celebrations, we asked Jane Lewis, aka Baked by Jane, to make us a special jubilee-themed cake.
She came up with a beautiful strawberry Victoria sponge, topped with marzipan and custard buttercream. This cake looks and tastes like British summertime, and we think you'll be royally impressed with her creation.
We recommend eating a big slice of this cake with a cup of Anthracite, whose fruity notes pair stunningly with cake.
What You'll Need:
- 225g Unsalted Butter Softened
- 225g Caster Sugar
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Paste
- 4 Medium Eggs, Beaten
- 225g Self Raising Flour
- 200g Caster Sugar
- 200g Water
- A few strips of pared lemon zest (optional)
- 375g full fat milk
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- 5 egg yolks
- 95g caster sugar
- 45g plain flour
- 250g Unsalted Butter At Room Temp
- Large punnet of Strawberries, hulled and sliced in half vertically. Tip- Try to choose a punnet where they are a similar size, this makes it neater when you build your cake.
- 200g marzipan
- Icing sugar for dusting
- A few fresh berries
- 8 Inch Cake Tin, Greased and Lined with non stick Baking Paper
Serves 10 generous slices
Pre-heat oven to 160 ℃ fan oven.
- Place the butter, vanilla paste and caster sugar in a mixer bowl and cream together until pale in colour. With the mixer still running add the egg a little at a time, scraping the bowl down in between additions. Once all the egg has been added, slowly fold in the flour until just combined. Pour the mixture into your lined cake tin and bake in the centre of the pre heated oven for about 45 minutes—when it's cooked it should spring back when you touch the surface of the cake and be shrinking away from the sides slightly. If you aren’t sure, insert a wooden skewer and it should come out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
- While your cake is baking, make your sugar syrup. Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer until all the sugar has dissolved. While your cake is still warm brush with the sugar syrup and leave the cakes to cool completely. Store the rest of the sugar syrup until needed. I usually bake my cakes a day ahead so they are easier to layer up without breaking. If you're baking and assembling in the same day, once cool, wrap and put them in the fridge; they will firm up and you can handle them more easily.
- To make your pastry cream, put the egg yolks into a bowl and whisk in the sugar, beat until pale, then whisk in flour. In a small saucepan bring the milk and vanilla paste to a simmer and then pour the hot milk over the egg, sugar, and flour mixture.
- Pass the custard through a fine sieve back into the saucepan, whisking constantly, and bring back to a simmer. Whisk for a few minutes until the custard has thickened. Remove from the heat and transfer the custard to a dish, cover the surface with cling film or baking paper to prevent a skin forming, leave to cool completely. Note–you will need your custard to be at room temperature to be able to whisk in the butter.
- Once your custard has cooled add it to a mixer bowl and whisk until it’s loosened slightly; you want it to look like the consistency of mayonnaise. While whisking add the softened butter piece by piece. You will probably have to scrape the bottom of the bowl with a spatula in between additions. Whisk until quite light in colour and all the butter has been incorporated. It should be nice and smooth at this stage.
- To assemble the cake, unwrap your sponges, slice in half horizontally—I use a wire cake leveller. Brush each cut layer with more of your sugar syrup.
- I find it easier to build the cake in the tin you baked it if it has a loose bottom. Line the sides of the tin with a strip of baking parchment so you can de-mould the cake easily once set. Place the first cake layer cut side up in the cake tin, line the edge with your halved strawberries facing outwards all the way round the edge of your sponge. Pipe or spoon in a layer of custard to hold your strawberries in place then place more sliced strawberries on top of the custard filling. Put the remaining custard on top and level it as best you can; I give the tin a few bangs on the counter to knock any air bubbles or gaps out. Place the last sponge on cut side down, press it gently into place. Wrap the whole thing up and pop it in the refrigerator, it is best set overnight but you could definitely assemble in the morning and un-mould it later in the afternoon. You just need to give the custard buttercream time to set a bit firmer.
- Roll your marzipan between two sheets of baking parchment, using a little icing sugar if it’s sticky. Once it’s reached about 3/4mm thickness, pop that in the fridge to firm up; it makes it easier to cut. Once firm, take one layer of parchment off and cut a circle the size of the cake, cut round the tin as a template or a cake board to get it neat. You can now use the piece of paper the marzipan is still on to easily transfer onto the top of your chilled cake.
- Take your cake from the fridge when ready to display, and unwrap. Pick up your marzipan on the parchment paper and flip it over to transfer onto the top of the cake. Slowly peel back the paper, leaving your marzipan on top of your cake. Give it a dust of icing sugar if you like and decorate with a couple of fresh strawberries.
Cake is best served when it’s been out of the fridge for half an hour to an hour, but I do store this one in the fridge because of the custard-based buttercream. Just bring it back up to temperature to enjoy at it's best. The cake is always best enjoyed on the day but it will keep a couple of days if kept well wrapped and chilled.