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Strawberries and cream sponge cake

Duck eggs add extra richness and gorgeous colour to this classic sponge. You could substitute the strawberries with other soft fruit.

Ingredients

For the strawberry jam
For the sponge cake
For the strawberry decorations

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Lightly grease and flour two 20cm/8in loose-bottomed sponge tins, at least 4cm/1½in deep, and line the bases with greaseproof paper.

  2. To make the jam, tip the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice into a large pan and stir over a moderate heat for 2-3 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat and boil for five minutes – this is an “instant jam” so you don’t have to check for setting point. Remove from the heat, pour into a tray and set aside to cool. The jam will keep in the fridge for up to a week.

  3. Beat together the butter, sugar and a pinch of salt until well creamed. Gently whisk the eggs in a small bowl and then add them, a little at a time, to the creamed butter mixture. Fold in the flour and divide the mixture between the two lined tins.

  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until well-risen and golden-brown on top. Remove from the oven and turn the cakes out onto a wire cooling rack. Peel off the greaseproof paper and leave to cool completely.

  5. Meanwhile, make the strawberry decorations. Heat the sugar in a small pan over a moderate heat until it starts to turn a pale caramel colour. Remove from the heat and carefully dip the strawberries into the caramel. Set aside on a non-stick mat to cool.

  6. To serve, place one of the sponges on a plate or cake stand and spread with the cream and strawberry jam. Place the second sponge on top and dust with icing sugar. Finish by arranging the caramel-dipped strawberries on top of the cake.

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