Just to add to it’s other joys, 2021 has given the UK an utterly rubbish summer so far, full of rain, humidity, and seemingly only occasional sunshine. While good for gardens, it’s not good for my hair (currently visible from space), nor is it good for barbecues. To compensate for this a delicious pud is a must when attempting to eat outside with friends, and this one is a crowd pleaser that can be whipped up in about 40 minutes. Serves 8.
5 large eggs
160g caster sugar
160g plain flour
300ml double cream
2 tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
100g chopped strawberries
75g caster sugar
Extra strawberries to decorate
Icing sugar for dusting
- Grease and line with baking paper a 22 x 30cm (ish) swiss roll tin or other rectangular baking tin that has raised sides. Make sure you line all of the sides, otherwise the sponge will most definitely stick.
- Heat oven to 180C fan.
- Use an electric hand whisk to beat together the eggs and sugar for the sponge in a large bowl – keep going for a good 5 minutes or so, until the mixture is pale, really fluffy, and leaves a firm trail when you lift out the beaters, and it doesn’t sink away immediately.
- Sift in the flour, then use a spatular to gently fold it in. You need patience here because you don’t want to leave any flour unincorporated but at the same time you don’t want to knock out all of the air you’ve just whipped in.
- Pour and scrape into the prepared tin until a maximum of 2.5cm deep, then level it gently. I always seem to be left with a little bit of batter left, if I use it all it spreads over the top of my tin and makes a mess.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes.
- Dampen a tea towel and scatter over most of the additional caster sugar, then carefully tip out the sponge and peel off the baking paper slowly. Allow to cool completely.
- While the sponge is baking/cooling, Whip together the cream, vanilla paste and icing sugar until thickened and holds it’s shape. Don’t over whip it or you’ll have a butter like substance, so keep your eyes peeled and slow the beaters down when you think you’re nearly there.
- Stir in the chopped strawberries, then spread over the cooled sponge, leaving a 2cm gap down one of the long edges.
- Use the tea towel to help you roll up the sponge starting at the unfilled long edge. Don’t worry if you don’t make much of a spiral (I never seem to!) because no one bar you will care.
- Trim off any raggedy ends, transfer to your serving dish, scatter over a little more caster sugar, then decorate with strawberry slices and a dusting of icing sugar.