Iced-Lemon Strawberry Cake

June 2012

Written by Sybil Kapoor, baked by Helena Pollard

This is an interpretation of the Strawberry Gateau created by Constance Spry and Rosemary Hume that was served at the lunch they cooked for the 1953 Coronation guests in the Great hall at Westminster School. It's best made on the day of eating.

For the sponge
  • Sunflower oil for greasing
  • 85g caster sugar plus extra for dusting
  • 85g plain flour sifted plus extra for dusting
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 medium eggs
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

For the strawberries
  • 450g ripe strawberries stalks removed and finely sliced
  • 3 tbsp of elderflower liqueur
  • 2 tbsp of icing sugar

For the lemon icing
  • 170g icing sugar sifted
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice

To decorate
  • A few curls of lemon rind

Heat the oven to 180c / fan oven 160c / Gas mark 4

For the sponge
  • Lightly oil 2 non-stick, 16cm diameter victoria sponge tins. Line the base of each tin with baking paper, brush again with oil and dust with sugar, then flour
  • Sift flour and salt into a bowl. If you have an electric whisk, beat until the mixture is pale, thick and leaves a trail when you remove the whisk. If you are whisking by hand, whisk in a bowl placed over a pan of just-simmering water and once it reaches the right consistency remove from the heat and continue to whisk until cool.
  • Using a metal spoon gently fold the flour and lemon zest into the mixture. Divide between the cake tins.
  • Bake in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes or until golden and slightly shrunk from the sides of the tin. Test by lightly pressing the cake with your fingertips. It will spring back leaving no indentation if cooked.
  • Allow to cool in the tin placed on a wire cake stand. After 5mins remove from the tin, and leave until cold. Once cold peel off the baking paper.
  • Place the first sponge bottom side up on a serving plate. Spoon all the strawberry mixture onto the sponge. Gently press the other sponge baked side face down on top on of the strawberries

For the strawberry filling

While the cake is cooking macerate the strawberries, place in a separate bowl and mix in the liqueur and icing sugar to taste (Remember that the cake will be quite sweet once iced)

For the lemon icing
Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, using a wooden spoon mix in the lemon juice so it forms a thick icing. Spoon over the top of the cake, and let it slowly drizzle down the sizes. Leave until set - This will take a couple of hours, then decorate with Lemon rind.

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