This delightful teeny-tiny layer cake showcases the glorious winter strawberry crop, with a combination of roasted and fresh strawberries. Roasting strawberries intensifies their flavour, and when whisked together with zesty lime, vanilla and cream cheese, the result is one of the most delectable frostings you’ll ever encounter. Rich white chocolate layers complement the light fruity cream cheese frosting beautifully, and when dressed with edible flowers, this cake is the perfect treat for an intimate gathering.
INGREDIENTS:White Chocolate Cake
- 90g unsalted butter, coarsely chopped
- 60g good-quality white chocolate, coarsely chopped 165g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- 85ml (1/3 cup) water
- 110g (3/4 cup) plain flour, sifted
- 3⁄4 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- 1 large egg, at room temperature, lightly whisked Icing sugar, to decorate
- Edible flowers (violas), to decorate
- 300g fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced + 100g extra to decorate
- 1tsp vanilla paste
- Zest and juice of 1 lime
- 240g icing sugar, sifted
- 100g cream cheese, softened 40g unsalted butter, softened
METHOD:White Chocolate Cake:
- Preheat oven to (170°C/150°C fan-forced) and grease or line three 10cm (4”) round baking pans with greaseproof paper.
- Melt butter, white chocolate, sugar and vanilla in a medium saucepan over low heat. Once the butter and chocolate have melted, slowly add water and stir until smooth.
- Transfer mixture to large bowl and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, sift plain flour together with baking powder and salt, then slowly add to melted ingredients, whisking gently until combined, then gently whisk in egg.
- Divide mixture evenly between prepared cake pans, weighing pans to ensure an even distribution.
- Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
- Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced) and line a medium baking tray with greaseproof paper.
- Toss 300g of sliced strawberries with vanilla, zest, 1 teaspoon lime juice and 20g of icing sugar then roast in baking tray in a single layer for 40-45 minutes, turning every 15 minutes to prevent the strawberries or juices from burning. They are done when they appear darker in colour, deeper in flavour and drier in texture.
- Allow to cool, then process finely, adding remaining lime juice as needed to achieve a smooth roasted strawberry puree, with a consistency of custard.
- Beat cream cheese, butter and remaining icing sugar in a free-standing mixer until light and creamy, then add roasted strawberry puree to taste. Note that you will only require approximately half or two-thirds of the roasted strawberry puree to achieve the ideal flavour and consistency. The remainder can be reserved for another use.
- If the frosting is a bit soft, place it in the fridge to allow it to firm before assembling the cake.
- Assembling this cake is easiest when the cake and frosting are both slightly chilled.
- Place a few tablespoons of icing sugar in a tray, and gently run sides of each cake layer in the icing sugar, dusting off excess. This gives the white-washed appearance of the finished layer cake.
- Place the first layer on a round cake plate or turn-table and pipe or spoon frosting on top, then place the next cake layer on top and gently press down. Repeat frosting and applying each layer, smoothing the top layer of frosting with a palette knife, and the sides if needed.
- If frosting is too soft while assembling the cake, place the cake in the fridge for 5-10 minutes to firm up between each layer. Once all layers have been assembled, place cake in fridge for an extra 30-60 minutes to allow the layers to set together.
- When ready to serve, decorate with sliced strawberries and edible flowers and serve cake at room temperature.