This gateau certainly has the wow factor. Once in a while time and effort are really worth while. Keep this recipe for a special occasion. A strawberry cream mousse is sandwiched between two light Genoese sponge layers and not only does it look fantastic but it tastes delicious too. You will need two 20cm (8in) sandwich cake tins and one 18cm (7in) deep round cake tin with a loose base or a springform tin, also a large piping bag and star tube.
- Genoese cakes
- 40g (1½oz) unsalted butter
- 75g (3oz) plain flour
- 3 large eggs
- 75g (3oz) caster sugar
- 15g (½oz) powdered gelatine
- 3 tablespoons water
- 450g (1lb) medium sized strawberries
- 50g (2oz) icing sugar
- 300g (10oz) cream cheese
- 300ml (10fl.oz) double cream
- Red colouring optional
Genoese: grease the 20cm (8in) tins and line their bases.
Heat the oven to gas 5/190C/170C fan.
Melt the butter and leave it to cool. Sieve the flour onto a plate.
In a bowl over a pan of hot water whisk the eggs and sugar until very thick and mousse like and it leaves a trail on the surface when the whisk is lifted above it.
Remove from the heat and with a large metal spoon fold in the butter and flour alternately. Divide equally between the tins and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until firm to a finger tip touch. Remove from the tins and turn out onto a cooling rack.
Line the base of the 18cm (7in) tin with non-stick parchment paper and have a strip around the sides. With a sharp knife, using the base of the tin as a guide, trim the outside edges of the cakes and press one into the base of the lined tin.
Choose about 12 even sized strawberries, hull them and cut each one in half downwards. Press them cut side outwards pressing the points downwards against the lining paper with the points onto the cake.
Reserve 8 strawberries for decoration and purée the remainder with the icing sugar.
Mousse: put the water into a small pan, sprinkle on the gelatine and wait until it ‘sponges’.
Put over a very gentle heat for it to become clear. Do not boil. Leave on one side.
Beat the cream cheese until smooth then beat in the strawberry purée.
Whip half the cream to soft peak only. Fold it into the mixture.
Pour into the tin, being careful not to disturb the strawberries.
Chill until lightly set then place the second cake on top, pressing down firmly.
Refrigerate until completely firm.
Remove from the tin and peel away the side lining paper.
Whip the remaining cream and spread a little on top of the cake.
Pipe shells around the top edge and place the reserved strawberries on top.
(Note A little red food colouring added to the mousse will enhance the colour.)