Sunday, 27 July 2008
Strawberry buttercream layer cakes
These make a pretty and sophisticated looking dessert out of what is basically just cupcakes and buttercream. Oddly, although strawberries are undoubtedly the star of this dish, you only need 4 to make the buttercream!
The buttercream looks very dry and crumbly....
...until you add 4 strawberries:
If you wish, you can drizzle a little strawberry or raspberry liqueur over the layers of sponge; I didn’t as my eatership for these included a child and a teetotaller.
Cut each sponge into 4 layers:
Spreading the buttercream over the outside proved a “challenge” (i.e. lots of swearing) but I blame the 29 degrees centigrade temperature of my kitchen rather than the recipe – hot weather is lovely in many ways, making buttercream is not one of them!
The cupcakes look very pretty when finished, a bit like Daleks if they discovered their feminine side:
But no one would guess what the inside looks like!
For the sponges:
190g unsalted butter, at room temperature
190g caster sugar
3 tablespoons milk (whole or semi skimmed)
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the buttercream:
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
500g icing sugar
4 strawberries, hulled and chopped
Optional: strawberries to decorate the finished cakes.
How to make:
- Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan oven 170°C/375°F/Gas mark 5.
- Grease 8 individual pudding basins.
- Start by making the sponges: beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, flour, milk and vanilla to the mix and beat until thoroughly combined.
- Spoon the mixture into the pudding basins and bake until the cupcakes are golden and risen, and a skewer comes out cleanly. This will take approximately 20-25 minutes i.e. longer than a cupcake as the basins are deeper.
- When cooked, leave to cool on a wire rack and turn out of the basins as soon as they are cool enough to handle. Invert the cake on the rack as this is how you will be serving them.
- Now make the buttercream: whisk the butter in a bowl and gradually whisk in the icing sugar.
- Add the chopped strawberries and whisk until they are mashed up and have turned the buttercream pink.
- Now assemble the dessert: start by levelling the base of the cupcake so that your stacks don’t slide everywhere. Slice each cake into 3 or 4 layers (depending on how tall your sponges are) . Spread buttercream on one side of each layer and reassemble.
- Spread buttercream around the sides of the cake so that no cake is visible. Chill until required, and take out of the fridge 15-20 minutes before serving.
- Decorate further with strawberries if you want to.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.