Strawberry, passion fruit & white chocolate cake
Strawberry, passion fruit & white chocolate cakeSubscribe to Sainsbury's magazine
Winner of our best celebration cake, this summery recipe from September 2014 features light Genoise sponge brushed with passion fruit syrup and layered with cream and strawberries. It’s finished with a spectacular white chocolate collar
- 4 large eggs
- 125g caster sugar
- 125g plain flour, sifted
- 40g unsalted butter, melted
For the passionfruit syrup
- 50g caster sugar
- pulp and seeds of 3 passion fruit
For the filling and coating
- 1 x 300ml pot double cream
- 30g icing sugar, sifted
- 200g strawberries, hulled and roughly chopped
For the collar and to finish
- 400g strawberries, hulled
- 150g good-quality white chocolate, roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. Grease and base-line three 18cm round sandwich tins. For the sponges, whisk the eggs and sugar with an electric hand whisk in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water for about 5 minutes, or until voluminous and thick: when you lift the whisk up you should see a trail that holds its shape.
- Gently fold about half of the flour into the mixture using a large metal spoon and, once incorporated, thoroughly fold in the rest. Pour the melted butter slowly into one side of the bowl and fold it in gently until no streaks of butter remain.
- Divide the mixture between the prepared tins and bake for 15 minutes until golden. Remove the sponges from the oven and invert them onto wire racks to cool, leaving the baking-paper bases on.
- For the passionfruit syrup, heat the sugar and 75ml water in a small saucepan. Stir to dissolve the sugar, then bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes until the mixture has thickened a little. Meanwhile, sieve the passion fruit pulp and discard the seeds. Remove the sugar syrup from the heat and stir in the passion fruit juice. Leave to cool.
- For the filling, whip the cream with the icing sugar until it forms soft peaks. Transfer half the cream to a bowl; reserve for the top and sides of the sponge. Fold the strawberries into the remaining cream.
- Once the sponges have cooled, peel off the baking paper. Place one of the sponges on a flat plate or cake stand, and brush generously with the passion fruit syrup. Top with half of the strawberry-and-cream mixture, and spread out until fairly smooth. Repeat the layering, brushing each sponge with the syrup, until the final sponge layer has been added. You should have some syrup left over.
- Spoon the reserved cream on the top of the sponge and, using a palette knife, spread it roughly over the top and around the sides. Don’t worry too much about it being perfectly smooth. Place the whole strawberries pointing upwards over the top of the cake, covering the surface. Brush the strawberries with the remaining syrup.
- Fold a 60cm-long piece of baking paper into thirds lengthways to make a long strip measuring about 12cm wide. Melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water.
- Drizzle a little of the melted chocolate over the strawberries and spoon the remaining chocolate over the folded baking paper. Spread the chocolate out using a palette knife to give a thickness of a couple of millimetres, and leave at room temperature for 30 minutes until just starting to set – don’t let it fully set or it will break as it is wrapped around the cake.
- Carefully lift the paper collar up and wrap it against the sides of the cake, with the chocolate-side against the cream, then gently smooth the paper against the cake so the chocolate sticks to the cream all the way round. Place the cake in the fridge for about 30 minutes until the chocolate collar has fully set. Remove the cake from the fridge and carefully remove the baking paper, which should peel away from the chocolate effortlessly, leaving a smooth collar with a nice shine (it is easiest to start with one corner of the baking paper and, working slowly around the cake, continue to peel the baking paper from the chocolate). Keep chilled until 15 minutes before serving.
Tip The chocolate collar isn’t hard to make, but you can edge the cake with grated white chocolate instead if you prefer.
Strawberry celebration cake