Strawberry & Elderflower Layer Cake

Never underestimate the joy of the ordinary. Today I executed the simple act of Strawberry picking with my mu. The pleasure was non fungible. Being in nature with my soul mate, snaffling the odd cheeky strawberry and getting caught literally red handed was all the solace I needed.

So, we celebrated this simple delight with this cake, which was, quite literally the icing on the cake.

So go out, family and friends in tow and forget spending copious amounts of money seeking happiness, it’s all there for the taking, Mother Nature is generous like that


And when you get back, always, always celebrate with cake

Ingredients:


120g Rapeseed Oil

115g Unsalted Butter, soft

4 Large Eggs, room temperature

1 tbsp Elderflower Cordial

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

290g Whole Milk

10g lemon Juice

360g Plain Flour

2 ½ tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Salt


Strawberry Jam to fill


Elderflower Swiss Meringue Buttercream


7 Egg Whites

400g Caster Sugar

450g Unsalted Butter, soft

½ tsp Salt

60ml Elderflower Cordial

Method:


1. Preheat oven 160C. Grease, line and flour 2 x 8” square or round baking tins and set aside in the fridge. Add the lemon juice to the milk and set aside

2. Add the oil and butter to the base of a stand mixer and beat for 3 minutes or until smooth and homogenous. Add the sugar and beat well for 5 minutes.

3. The mixture should now be pale, light and fluffy.

4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Turn up the speed and beat for 2 minutes until thick and fluffy.

5. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add the elderflower cordial and vanilla to the milk mixture.

6. Add the milk mixture in 3 batches to the egg mixture, alternating with the flour. Mix until only just combined, do not overmix or your cake will be dense and chewy.

7. Weigh the batter and divide equally between your tins they should each take around 760g batter.

8. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely.

9. Meanwhile, add the egg whites, salt and sugar to a heatproof bowl that firs your stand mixture.

10. Stand over a pan of simmering water and whisk well whilst heating. Whisk until all the sugar has dissolved and the mixture feels hot to your finger. This should take around 8 minutes and it should reach around 72C.

11. Dry the base and fit the bowl to your stand mixer. Beaton high for 5-6 minutes or until the mixture is thick, glossy and cooled. Bit by bit, add the butter, ensuring the previous piece is incorporated before adding more.

12. Once all the butter has been added it will appear loose but persevere, it will come back together.

13. Add the cordial and beat until you have a light buttercream.

14. Remove and beat with a spatula to remove air pockets.

15. Spread on cake with a little buttercream then jam. Sandwich together and use the remaining buttercream to coat the top and sides.

16. Garnish with strawberries and serve.