- 50g unsalted butter
- 4 eggs
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
- 125g caster sugar
- 130g plain flour
- 500ml milk
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped
- 3 eggs
- 125g caster sugar
- 50g cornflour
- 250g unsalted butter, diced at room temperature
- 250g fresh strawberries, trimmed to 220g
- 85ml water
- 75g caster sugar
- 180g blanched almond meal
- 220g pure icing sugar
- 2 teaspoons almond essence
- 1 teaspoon rose water
- 1 egg white
- About 1kg fresh strawberries
- 50g pure icing sugar, to serve
- Spray oil
- Pre-heat oven to 180°C
- For the sponge cake, line base and sides of a 23cm round spring form tin with baking paper using spray oil. Melt butter and set aside to cool. Whisk eggs, vanilla seeds and sugar in a stand mixer until it is creamy and pale. Approx. 3 mins. Sift flour and gently fold into egg mixture using a hand whisk. Then fold in the melted butter.
- Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden and springs back when lightly touched. Turn out onto a cooling rack and cool in fridge until ready to use.
- For the crème mousseline, place milk and vanilla bean seeds in a medium saucepan, bring to a simmer.
- Meanwhile, combine eggs, sugar and cornflour in a bowl, using a whisk.
- Add a little of the milk to the egg mixture until well combined then add all the egg mixture back into the saucepan and whisk over medium heat until it thickens; cook for a further 2 minutes until very thick. Take off heat and place into a stand mixer bowl, whisk until it has cooled completely, this will take about 10 minutes. Once cool gradually add diced butter, whisking well between additions until fully combined and aerated. Reserve 2 tablespoons of mousseline in a small bowl to use on top of the cake.
- Meanwhile, make the strawberry soaking syrup, thinly slice strawberries and place in a small saucepan add water and sugar, then, stirring occasionally bring to simmer, simmer for 1 minute, remove from heat. Stand for 5 minutes then pour through a sieve placed over a bowl, drain and discard solids (or it will go cloudy) Stand the syrup at room temperature.
- To assemble, place the closed ring of the springform tin (without base) onto serving plate. Line with a 10cm-high strip of acetate, joining the 4cm overlap with staples. Cut the sponge in half horizontally and place the top of the cake crust side down in the base of ring and lightly brush with strawberry syrup. Apply a thin layer of mousseline to the sponge as this will become a glue to hold sliced strawberries.
- For the strawberries, reserve 8-10 strawberries for final decoration. Using 10 strawberries the same size, remove the stem and cut in half lengthways and place as close as possible around the inside of the ring pressing the cut side into the acetate plastic. Trim and dice strawberries into 2.5cm dice. You will need 350g of diced strawberries. Add these to the remaining mousseline and fold through. Spoon onto sponge in tin and smooth top.
- Lightly brush remaining sponge on the cut-side with strawberry syrup then gently place cut-side down onto mousseline. Gently press down to fit. Spread reserved mousseline on top of cake, leaving a 1cm border. Place in fridge to set for about 30 minutes.
- To make marzipan, place almond meal and icing sugar in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add almond essence, rose water and egg white. Process to form a dough. Roll out dough between two pieces of baking paper to a round about 5mm-thick. Using a 21.5cm pre-cut template, cut out a circle then place on top of the cake, refrigerate.
- To serve, remove cake ring and acetate, dust with icing sugar and garnish top with sliced strawberries in a flower pattern in the centre.