A happy egg co prize-winning Strawberry Gateau from Susan.
For the Sponge:
5 egg whites
475g caster sugar
250ml whole milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
450g self-raising flour
½ tsp bicarb
For the syrup:
50g caster sugar
4 tbsp orange liqueur
For the filling and finishing:
400g strawberries, plus extra dipped in melted chocolate for the decoration
180g white mini marshmallows
500g mascarpone cream cheese
300g orange curd
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas mark 4. Grease and line the bases of 2 x 20cm sandwich tins.
2. Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks and set aside until needed.
3. Whisk the sugar and baking spread until fluffy – it won’t be as fluffy as a regular cake mixture, because there’s a lot more sugar than fat here. Slowly add the milk, whisking, then add the vanilla, flour and bicarb and beat to a smooth paste. Carefully fold in the egg whites, and divide as evenly as possible between the cake tins.
4. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in the tins. 5. For the syrup, simply boil together with the water, sugar and orange liqueur for one minute and set aside.
6. Slice off the leaf end of the strawberries to flatten then cut each strawberry in half, try to get them roughly the same height.
7. For the filling, place the mini marshmallows into a heatproof bowl with 1 tablespoon water. Set the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir until the marshmallows melt completely then remove from the heat and beat in the orange curd. Once mixed in, beat in the mascarpone.
8. Remove the cooled cakes from the tins. To assemble, use a deep 20cm loose bottomed tin, grease and line then place one sponge inside.
9. Paint the cake with a good sloshing of the syrup and squash it down so that it fills the bottom of the tin. Place the strawberries around the outside edge of the cake, so that the flat bottoms rest on the cake and the cut sides are pressed against the tin.
10. Pour over the filling – be careful not to displace the strawberries – and smooth out the top. Place the remaining cake on top, pressing it down lightly, then paint with a little syrup.
11. Chill the cake in the fridge overnight, then push the bottom of the cake tin up to remove the cake 12. Finish with some chocolate dipped strawberries and a dusting of icing sugar.