This genoese sponge with strawberries and cream is a sumptuous summer bake that will wow your friends and family. With a homemade jam and light, delicate sponge, this cake does require a bit of extra time and effort, but the results are well worth the wait – and you can use the leftover jam on your toast the next morning!
- For the sponge:
- 100g plain flour
- 1/2tsp baking powder
- 4 medium eggs
- 100g caster sugar
- 75g butter, melted and cooled
- 30-35 small-ish strawberries, hulled
- 150ml double cream
- For the strawberry jam:
- 750g strawberries, hulled and roughly chopped
- 150g caster sugar
- 1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out, or 1⁄2tsp vanilla extract
- 1tbsp white balsamic vinegar, cider vinegar or lemon juice
- Small knob of butter
- You will need:
- 2 x 20cm (8in) shallow cake tins, lined with baking parchment
To make the jam, heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the strawberries, sugar, vanilla seeds and pod. Stir until the fruit starts to soften and release juices and the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and cook, stirring occasionally, for 18-20 mins or until thickened. Stir in the vinegar, or lemon juice, and butter. Take pan off the heat, and discard vanilla pod. Pour into a sterilised jam-jar. Cool.
To make the sponge, set the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Sift the flour and baking powder three times and set aside.
Put the eggs and sugar in an electric mixer and whisk on high speed for 15 mins or until pale, thick and tripled in volume. Sift half the flour over the mixture and fold in, using a large metal spoon. Add the rest of the flour and mix in.
Tip in the melted butter round the edge and gently fold in. Divide the mixture between the tins. Bake for 18 mins until the sponges are springy to the touch. Cool for 5 mins, then take out of the tins and leave to cook on a rack, covered with a tea towel.
To serve, take out 4 good tbsp of the jam and warm it in a pan with 2tbsp water. Push through the sieve into a large bowl. Add the small strawberries and coat them in the glaze. Spread one sponge with the rest of the jam. Whisk the cream until it just holds its shape, then spread it over the jam. Put the other sponge on top. Spread some glaze from the bowl of strawberries over the cake, then arrange the strawberries, standing in a crowd, over the top.
If you don’t have a large mixer, you can whisk the eggs and sugar in a large bowl over a pan of hot water with a hand-mixer.