This dish makes a definite statement. It looks impressive, mouth-watering and fresh, with more than a little ‘ooh’ factor. Before you serve it, you may find yourself decorating the house with bunting and searching for brass band music; that’s the sort of rousing effect it has.
It is the perfect cake for an occasion. Just think of an excuse for an occasion! If you want to create a summer table centrepiece that will get the neighbours talking, do it. Or, if you’re the kind of person who likes to share your favourite things with close friends and family, this will deepen those bonds! (Have your cake and eat it?)
Even better, if your mother-in-law (or any other guest) has ever even hinted that your preparation and presentation of food is not as good as theirs, watch them eat their words… (Divine Retribution?)
Make your own cakes if you want to be completely honest about your creation!
For an absolute feast of a cake, use both a Victoria Sponge and half a ginger cake of the same shape and size; the ginger layer provides a sharper contrast of flavour.
Ingredients for Strawberry and Mascarpone Layer Cake
- 1 Victoria Sponge cake and/or ginger cake (shop bought will do.)
- 250g (9oz) mascarpone cheese
- 100g (4oz) whipping cream
- Half a teaspoon vanilla essence
- Half a teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon strawberry jam, or, fine shred lime marmalade, or, fine shred ginger marmalade
- 500g (1lb 2oz) fresh strawberries
Wash and hull the strawberries, then leave them to drain. Slice the ginger cake in half, side-to-side, to make two equal round portions of cake. Carefully remove the top half of the Victoria sponge by sliding it off – use a palette knife to help do this.
Whip the cream together with the mascarpone cheese, lemon juice and vanilla essence until it thickens to a firm but not too dense, manageable, mess! Pat the washed strawberries dry with absorbent kitchen paper or a clean cotton tea towel. Thinly slice all but three of the strawberries.
Assemble the Cake Layers
- Use a palette knife to spread the mascarpone/cream/vanilla and lemon mixture over the top of your base Victoria sponge.
- Arrange some of the sliced strawberries over this layer.
- Spread the jam of your choice, thinly, over both sides of the ginger cake.
- Carefully place the ginger cake on top of the mascarpone/cream covered Victoria sponge base cake. Try to get it as central as you can-use the fillings to help ‘glue’ the layers together.
- Use more of the mascarpone/cream mixture to cover the top side of the ginger cake. Don’t worry if it merges a little with the jam. Again, when you place this layer of the cake on top of the lower layer, try to get it as central as possible to start with, but use the moisture of the fillings to give it a gentle slide if necessary.
- Next, cover the upper part of the ginger cake with sliced strawberries.
- Place the final layer (the top half of your Victoria sponge) on top of the filled ginger cake.
As there is already a lot of cream and cheese in the cake, it is up to you whether you choose to use the remaining mixture to cover the top, or instead cover it with a light dusting of Icing Sugar. (If you have enough cream/cheese mixture left, use it to cover the half ginger cake leftover and serve it alongside the strawberry/mascarpone layer cake as a lighter alternative. Decorate with any unused strawberry slices.)
Arrange the remaining, whole, strawberries in the centre of the top cake layer to finish off. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Take the compliments graciously!