A couple of weeks ago my cousin invited my mom, dad and me round for dinner so I thought that I would make a cake to take with us. I was looking for a cake that would hopefully please everyone; so something that contained no nuts and no dark chocolate as my dad isn’t a very big chocolate cake fan… Shocking I know!
So after looking through many baking books and on the internet for a recipe that had no nuts nor dark chocolate that I thought everyone would enjoy, I decided to go with this recipe from The Great British Bake Off: How to Bake Book – Strawberry and White Chocolate Cake.
To me this cake gave you the feeling of summer with all the fresh strawberries and the sponges flavoured with orange zest, so I thought best get it in before all the nice weather goes, and Autumn comes.
I found that when I got my sponges out of the oven they were a little thin, unless I was just expecting them to be a bit thicker. As I was going to be taking this to have after dinner at my cousins house I wanted it to look quite fancy, maybe its just me being a perfectionist. So I decided to half the recipe and bake another sponge and have a three layer sponge cake, but actually when stacking and decorating the cake my mom said that I would of gotten away with just doing the two, but hey now I have an extra special cake.
I adapted the recipe slightly from the Great British Bake Off: How to Bake Book
I had 3 layers of sponge, 2 layers of strawberries and white chocolate flavoured cream.
For the Cake
These measurements are just for the 2 layer cake – I halved the recipe again for the third sponge layer.
150g Good Quality White Chocolate, broken up
200g Unsalted Butter, diced and softened
3 Large Eggs, at room temperature (I used 2 Small Eggs for the third sponge)
150g Caster Sugar
Finely grated zest of ½ Unwaxed Orange
200g Self Raising Flour
For the Filling & Topping
Finely grated zest and juice of ½ unwaxed Orange
A Sprinkle of Caster Sugar
250ml Double Cream, well chilled
75g Good Quality White Chocolate
White Chocolate, finely grated, to decorate – but you can use chocolate curls or sprinkles the choice is yours
1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4. Grease and base line 3 x 20cm (8 inch) round sandwich tins with baking paper.
2. Put the white chocolate into a heatproof bowl, set over a pan of simmering water, hot BUT not boiling water (don’t let the base of the bowl touch the hot water) and melt very gently, stirring often. Remove the bowl from the heat I suggest using a tea towel due to the steam, and stir until smooth. Add the butter in pieces and stir until it has melted.
3. Put the eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk with an electric mixer until frothy. Add the sugar and orange zest, then whisk again on high speed until the mixture is very thick and mousse-like, and when the whisk is lifted from the bowl it leaves a ribbon-like trail. This should take about 4 minutes.
4. Give the chocolate and butter mixture a quick stir, then add this to the egg mixture and stir briefly – this should be just combined. Sift the flour into the bowl and gently fold in using a large metal spoon.
5. Divide the mixture between the prepared tins and spread evenly using a knife. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes (mine took about 30-35 minutes) or until the sponges are a light golden brown and springy to the touch when pressed. Leave them in the tin for a few minutes then run a round-bladed knife around the inside of the tins just to loosen the sponges, then turn them out onto a wire rack and leave to cool.
6. When ready to assemble the cake, wash and hull the strawberries – I did this the night before to save myself some time on the day, saving one-third (the good-looking ones) for decoration. Set aside a few of the pretty looking strawberries into a small bowl and thinly slice the rest and place into a medium-large bowl (just so that you are able to mix everything together. Add in the orange zest and juice and a sprinkle of caster sugar and mix gently. Leave for 10 to 30 minutes to allow the flavours to develop.
7. Meanwhile, whip the double cream until thick, then melt the 75g white chocolate and stir this into the whipped cream.
8. Set one sponge, browned top down, on a serving plate. Spoon the sliced strawberries and juice onto the sponge to cover it evenly. Spread just over a third of the whipped cream on top of the strawberries. Set the second sponge, browned top down again, onto the cream. Add another layer of the strawberries and juice, then cover again with the cream – leaving some in the bowl just to cover the top layer. Carefully spread the rest of the cream over the top, then decorate with the reserved strawberries, leaving some whole and cutting some into halves. Decorate with the grated white chocolate.
Keep the cake chilled, in an airtight container, until ready to serve (up to 12 hours). Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before serving.
I asked everyone what they thought of the cake and each of them had different responses, I mean everyone has their own personal taste after all.
Personally even though I like strawberries, white chocolate and orange on there own or even in other bakes maybe next time not have all three together, as there could of been to many flavours going on in the cake to really enjoy it.
Both my dad and cousin said that they probably would of preferred it without the orange zest in the sponge, and just had it like a plain Victoria Sponge with strawberries and cream, which actually sounds just as nice.
My cousins daughter and my mom would of preferred less or no white chocolate in the sponge and cream, mind you my mom doesn’t really like white chocolate. They did like the orange zest flavouring the sponges and the strawberries being soaked in the orange juice syrup.
I think baking a Victoria Sandwich would be a good idea and keeping everything else the same, this would give the cake a more fluffy texture as I think the white chocolate altered the texture of the sponge.
So really overall it was a nice cake and everyone enjoyed it, but I think if I was to make it again I would be making a few alterations. I have taken note of everyone’s feedback and I found it really helpful for future references on what people do and don’t like, especially when it comes to the time to bake them something again.