Another cake! This one was a birthday cake for one of my friends, a sweetheart who adores anything French and speaks the language well (we have been learning it together since we were 10 years old…..!). As you can see it was strawberry season when it was made….. It’s a tad more complicated than my usual cakes and slightly more ‘francais’ so if all the components seem a little over the top altogether, then just adapt and take what you will from it 🙂
It looks pretty anyway! Although I have to admit I used food colouring for the pink icing, something which I am not usually fond of doing…..
Anyway, here is the recipe!
Chelsea’s Strawberry Genoise Cake
30 g cornflour
35g butter, melted
2 Tbsp sugar
30g seedless jam (raspberry)
1 egg white
Pinch of cream of tartar
Some plain icing on top if you want.
(I used ½ cup icing sugar with some hot water and pink food colouring)
Jam to fill
Strawberries to decorate
Edible leaves to decorate
Begin with the genoise. Place a large metal or glass bowl over a pot of boiling water, and preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Grease a 20cm diameter cake tin) if it has a removable bottom then don’t forget to line it too!). Don’t forget to melt the butter.
Place the eggs and sugar in the large bowl and whisk, whisk, whisk! Keep whisking until the batter is thick and pale. You should be able to drizzle the batter into a figure of eight before it sinks in. Remove it from the heat. Sift the flour onto the batter and fold in. Do the same for the corn flour. Lastly, pour in the melted butter and fold until just combined. Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 30 minutes until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool in the tin.
Meanwhile, start on the crème mousseline. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolk, sugar and flour until pale. Heat the milk until boiling/steaming, and pour it a bit at a time into the yolk mixture and whisk well. Pour the egg and milk back into the saucepan and heat on LOW heat. With a spatula or wooden spoon, mix until the crème is thick and like custard. Keep mixing because there is not a lot of crème in the pan and it will glug up fast if you aren’t careful! When done, transfer to a bowl or cup and chill.
Now to assemble; cut the sponge in half horizontally. On the top of the bottom layer, spread on the jam of your choice, then top with the crème mousseline. Place the top layer on top. Spread on the plain icing.
Now to make the Italian meringue! Place the egg white and cream of tartar in a clean mixing bowl; beat until frothy. Separately, heat the sugar and water together until the mixture reaches, soft ball stage, or 110 degrees Celsius. Working quickly, turn up the speed of the mixture (or get your arm working harder!) and pour in the syrup in a thin stream. Beat continuously until the meringue is thick and fluffy, Dollop or pipe the meringue around the edge of the top of the cake, into a big whispy tiara. Arrange mint leaves and sliced strawberries on top. Done!
NOTE: you can sprinkle the cake with some simple syrup or liqueur before assembling.