Summer’s coming so why not celebrate the warmer days with a delicious vanilla cake layered with sweet balsamic strawberries and cream. Make the cake a day ahead of assembling for best results.
350 grams butter, very soft but not melted
350 grams self-raising flour
350 grams caster sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
zest of 2 lemons, grated finely
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 punnets strawberries
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons icing sugar
300 ml cream, softly whipped
icing sugar for dusting
two round cake tins, 20 cm x 5 cm deep, greased and bases lined with baking paper
Preheat the oven to 170˚C.
Cake: Put all the ingredients in the bowl of a standing mixer or a large bowl and using a hand beater, beat until the batter is smooth. This should take a maximum of 1 minute. Divide evenly between the tins and smooth the tops.
Bake for about 25 minutes or until risen and golden and the centres spring back when pressed with your finger.
Cool in the tins for 5 minutes then turn out onto cooling racks. Remove the lining paper and cool completely. Store the cakes in an airtight container.
To assemble: Hull the strawberries and chop. Using a fork or a potato masher, crush the strawberries to a chunky mass and combine in a bowl with the balsamic and icing sugar. Leave for 15 minutes to infuse the flavours and for the juices to run.
Cut each cake horizontally into two layers. Place one layer on a serving plate and spread firstly with a third of the strawberries and their juice and then a third of the cream. Repeat to make two more layers then top with the remaining cake layer and dust with icing sugar.