Strawberry gateau recipe

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Love a strawberry gateau? This is the ultimate recipe for it: it's easy to make and tastes better than any shop bought cake.

Strawberry gateau al fresco
(Image credit: Getty / Vera-g)
  • Vegetarian
Makes1
SkillMedium
Preparation Time35 mins (plus cooling time)
Cooking Time20 mins
Total Time55 mins
Cost RangeSplashing

This classic French strawberry gateau with lots of cream and strawberries takes less time than you think to make and is perfect as an afternoon treat with your cuppa.

We like this cake with four slender layers of sponge - made by baking two and cutting each on in half. However, for ease, you can make it a simpler, tow-tier cake if you prefer, and just load up with a generous layer of cream and strawberries in the middle. Or, if one of your sponges rises better than the other, only half the taller one, and make it a three layer cake. Use a mix of whole and slices strawberries on top to make it as pretty as possible, and decorate the side with blanched, slivered almonds. 

Ingredients

  • 175g/6oz soft vegetarian margarine
  • 175g/6oz caster sugar
  • 175g/6oz self-raising flour
  • 3 free range eggs, beaten
  • 2.5ml/½ tsp vanilla essence
  • 450g/1lb fresh strawberries
  • 100g/4oz flaked almonds, toasted
  • 600ml/1pint whipping cream
  • 150ml/5fl oz Kirsch or other liqueur

WEIGHT CONVERTER

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Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas mark 5. Grease and flour 2 x 20cm/7” sandwich tins.
  2. Put the margarine, caster sugar, flour, eggs, vanilla essence and 10ml (2 tsp) hot water into a mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Divide equally between the two prepared tins and bake for about 20 mins until the sponge is golden and springs back to the touch. Leave for 5 mins then turn out onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
  3. Cut each sponge in half horizontally so that you have four layers.
  4. Whip the cream until stiff and fold in the Kirsch. Put about ¼ of the cream on one side for the decoration.
  5. Reserve six evenly sized strawberries and slice the remainder. Spread each layer of sponge with cream and top with the strawberries. Make sure you leave enough cream to coat the top and sides of the gateau. Smooth the top.
  6. Coat the sides of the gateau with toasted almonds.
  7. Use the reserved cream to pipe rosettes on the top. Halve the reserved strawberries and use to decorate. Chill until required.

Top tip for making strawberry gateau

Swap the strawberries for raspberries if you prefer, or mix the two with blueberries and red currents as well for a midsummer feast. 

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