Monday, 21 May 2012

Strawberry and Elderflower Jellycake

I may well have jumped the shark with this one, but a little madness often leads to the best things and this is no exception. Somewhere between a soaked sponge and a terrine, this is a brilliantly beautiful cake, great as a pudding with cream or just for afternoon tea. There's also a real hit of nostalgia that goes with it too, reminiscent of birthday parties and celebrations. Well, maybe that's just me!

A couple of things to consider before you start. I like having a sense of elderflower in the jelly, but if you wanted a stronger flavour just replace some of the water with more cordial. Also don't worry if your sponge breaks up (Like mine did!) when you come to assembling the finished cake. The jelly will hold everything together!

Prep time: 25 Mins (Plus time to let the cake cool and jelly set)
Baking Time: 35 Mins
150g Unsalted Butter (Softened)
150g Golden Caster Sugar
2 Medium Eggs
1tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2tsp Baking Powder
150g Self Raising Flour

100ml Elderflower Cordial
275ml Cold Water
Juice of 1 Lemon
50g Caster Sugar
4 Sheets of Gelatine
400g Fresh Strawberries (Chopped)

Sponge first! Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4, grease a 22cm loaf tin and line the base with baking paper. Cream together the butter and sugar, then beat in the eggs with the vanilla. Sift in the baking powder with the flour, then mix it all together to a smooth batter. Spoon into your loaf tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 35 minutes, until a skewer can be cleanly removed from the centre of the cake. When it’s done leave it to cool in the tin for 20 minutes, then remove and leave of a wire rack until it’s completely cold. While it’s cooling, you can wash up your loaf tin as you’ll need it later!

When the cake has cooled carefully slice horizontally lengthways, so you have three layers. Don’t worry too much if it breaks up a bit as you can reassemble relatively easily. Take your loaf tin and line with cling film, ensure you’ve got enough overlap on the sides and ends so you can wrap them over to cover the top. Place your first layer into the bottom of lined tin, then it’s time to get on with the jelly. Put all the ingredients aside from the gelatine and strawberries in a saucepan and turn the heat on low. At the same time cover the gelatine with some cold water to soften. Stir the liquid through as it heats to dissolve the sugar, which should take about 5 minutes. When the sugar has dissolved and the liquid is hot, but not boiling remove from the heat. Remove your gelatine from the cold water, squeeze out any excess liquid and add to your saucepan. Stir through until dissolved, then add in the strawberries. Spoon about half of the strawberry mixture over your first layer of sponge in the tin. Take the next layer of sponge and lay on top. Spoon over the rest of the strawberries, but don’t worry if you’re left with quite a lot of liquid in the bottom. Place on the final layer of sponge, give it a gentle press to secure then pour over the excess liquid. Cover with the overlapping cling film and place in the fridge until set (I left mine for about 4 hours to be safe).

To serve, carefully unwrap the top, then turn out onto a plate and remove the cling film. Slice with a sharp knife and gobble up!

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