Valentine Strawberry Gâteau

Valentine Strawberry Gâteau

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Strawberries and cream… that classic combination. It's the top-of-the-charts dessert in my home during the season. Introduce a light 'n fluffy sponge cake into the equation, and you've got a real winner. Win compliments (and a few hearts of course) this Valentine's with a freshly baked sponge cake smothered in strawberries and whipped cream…And the garnish? More strawberries of course! I've cut it into a heart shape for Valentine's…you can play around with any shape that you like quite easily, with a paper stencil placed on the cake. If I'm in a hurry I buy readymade sponge cake…you just can't go wrong, with strawberries and cream to dress it all up!

Valentine Strawberry Gâteau recipe - How to make Valentine Strawberry Gâteau

Preparation Time:    Baking Time: 25 mins.   Cooking Time:    Total Time:    
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Ingredients



For the sponge cake
1/2 can (400 grams for full can) condensed milk
1 1/4 cups plain flour (maida)
1 tsp levelled, baking powder
1/2 tsp soda bi-carb
1/2 cup melted butter or margarine
1 tsp vanilla essence

To be mixed into a soaking syrup
1 cup water
3 tsp powdered sugar
1 tbsp vodka(optional)
2 tbsp strawberry puree

Other ingredients
2 cups (400 grams) cream, chilled
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 tbsp powdered sugar

For the garnish
strawberry fans

Method
    Main Procedure

For the sponge cake

    For the sponge cake
  1. Sieve the flour, baking powder and soda bi-carb together.
  2. Mix the flour mixture, condensed milk, melted butter, essence and 75 ml. water and beat well.
  3. Pour the mixture into a greased and dusted 6" diameter heart-shaped tin.
  4. Bake in a hot oven at 200°C (400°F) for 10 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 150°C (300°F) and bake for another 15 minutes.
  5. The cake is ready when it leaves the sides of the tin and is springy to touch. When ready, remove from the oven and leave aside for 1 minute. Invert the tin over a rack and tap sharply to unmould.
  6. Cool the cake and slice into 2 parts horizontally, using a serated bread knife. Keep aside.

Dressing it up

    Dressing it up
  1. Combine the cream, sugar and vanilla essence in a clean, dry bowl and whisk until it doubles in volume and forms soft peaks.
  2. Keep aside of the cream for the topping.
  3. Mash the strawberries lightly. Add the powdered sugar and keep aside for a few minutes.
  4. Mix the strawberries with of the whipped cream. This has to be done gently as over-mixing whipped cream can cause it to curdle.
  5. Sprinkle some soaking syrup over one part of the sponge and spread the strawberry and cream mixture over it.
  6. Place the other half of the cake on top, sprinkle the soaking syrup over it and spread a layer of whipped cream.
  7. Pipe the border of the cake with a little cream using a star nozzle.
  8. Garnish with the strawberry fans.
  9. Chill and serve.

Tips
  1. In hot weather, whisk the cream over a platter of crushed ice.
  2. Be careful not to over-beat the cream, as it can separate into butter!
  3. VARIATION : Chocolate lovers can use a chocolate sponge instead of a plain sponge.

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