Treat your Mum this Mother's Day by making a delicious sweet treat for her and your family to enjoy...
- 125g caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 lemons, zest only, finely grated
- 125g self-raising flour, plus extra for flouring
- 50g unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly, plus
extra for greasing
- 600ml milk
- Vanilla pod
- 4 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
- 180g caster sugar
- 1 tsp kirsch
- 100g cornflour
- 150g butter, cut into cubes and kept at room temperature
- 70ml water
- 75g caster sugar
- 2 lemons, juice only
- 200g marzipan
- 200g dark chocolate
- 600g medium sized strawberries
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease, flour and line the base of a
23cm/9in spring-form or round loose bottom cake tin.
- Place the sugar, eggs and lemon zest in a large bowl set over a
pan of simmering water. Using an electric hand whisk, whisk the
mixture over a medium heat until doubled in volume and pale in
colour. The mixture is at the right stage when it forms a ribbon
trail when the whisk is lifted out of the mixture. Remove from the
- Sift in two-thirds of the flour and gently fold into the
whisked mixture with a metal spoon or spatula. Add the remaining
flour and fold again. Try to keep in as much of the air as
possible. Make sure all the flour is incorporated into the
- Gently fold in the melted butter. Pour the mixture into the
cake tin and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the sides of the cake
begin to come away from the tin and it is pale golden-brown.
- When cooked, allow the sponge to cool a little bit in the tin
and then turn out onto a cooling rack. Be careful as this sponge is
quite delicate. It should be just under 5cm/2in in height.
- To make the crème patisserie, pour the milk into a wide based
pan, split the vanilla pod along its length using a sharp knife,
and add it to the milk along with the vanilla seeds. Bring the milk
up to the boil then take it off the heat.
- Whisk together the eggs, sugar, kirsch and cornflour in a
medium sized bowl until blended. Remove the vanilla pod from the
milk and pour the hot milk through a sieve into the egg mixture.
Whisk to combine.
- Pour the custard back into a clean saucepan and set over a
medium heat. Stir the custard constantly until the mixture
thickens. The mixture will take about four minutes to thicken, but
when it does it happens very quickly, so you need to really keep
stirring to prevent lumps. Whisk until smooth.
- Cook the mixture until the crème is very thick, so that it can
be piped and it will hold its shape. Stir in the butter until
thoroughly melted and combined.
- Allow to cool slightly, pour into a shallow dish and chill in
the fridge for about an hour until really cold and set firm. This
chills it faster as it cools over a larger surface area
alternatively you could fill the piping bags with it at this stage
and leave overnight to chill.
- Place the ingredients for the lemon syrup in a small saucepan
with the water, heat gently until the sugar dissolves then boil
rapidly for two minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to
- Meanwhile, roll out a thin disc of marzipan to fit a 23cm/9in
circumference circle. It is best if you draw around the 23cm/9in
base of another loose bottomed tin for the perfect circle. For best
results and a perfectly flat surface, chill it in the fridge until
it is needed.
- Slice the sponge in half horizontally, creating two slim discs
of cake. The cut must be as level as possible as it will be visible
in the finished cake. Place a strip of acetate plastic around the
inside of the spring tin. Or line the base and sides with cling
film or parchment lined foil.
- Place one layer of sponge cake in the bottom of the cake tin.
Then liberally brush the sponge with half the syrup. With the back
of a spoon, gently squash the edges of the cake down so that they
are pushed directly against the sides of the tin, creating the
defined edges necessary for the cake.
- Rinse, hull and halve about 12 strawberries, try and make sure
they are all the same height. Place the cut sides of the
strawberries against the plastic on the inside of the tin. The
strawberry halves should be sitting snugly beside each other, so it
looks like a little crown inside the tin.
- Take the chilled crème patisserie out of the fridge and spoon
two thirds of the crème into a piping bag, fitted with a 1cm
nozzle. Pipe a swirl covering the exposed sponge completely in the
bottom of the tin. Then pipe between each of the strawberries so
the gaps are filled right to the top with the crème
- Set about 3-5 strawberries to one side for decoration, then
hull and quarter the rest of them and place on top of the crème, so
it raises the inside of the cake by about an inch.Pipe another
swirl of crème patisserie on top of the cut strawberries to cover
the whole surface. Then smooth with a palette knife.
- Place the other disc of sponge on top of this, with the cut
side uppermost, so it has a completely flat top. Brush with the
remaining syrup.Gently press the top down quite firmly, so that the
cake and filling push against the acetate to create the distinctive
smooth and defined sides of the cake.
- Lay the chilled marzipan circle on top of the cake and put the
whole thing back in the fridge to set. Make some decorations of
your choice with melted dark chocolate.
- When ready to serve, remove the cake from fridge. Very
carefully release the spring tin/loose bottom and remove the cake
from the tin and from the acetate or cling film.Place onto a
serving plate and decorate with reserved strawberries, chocolate
decoration and a dusting of icing sugar. Serve chilled.