For the sponge cake
- 40 g unsalted butter
- 30 ml whole milk
- 4 large eggs (50 g each w/o shell)
- 120 g sugar
- 120 g cake flour
For the syrup
- 30 ml water
- 38 g sugar
- 1 Tbsp your liquor of choice (Optional)
For the cream
- 473 ml heavy (whipping) cream (36%, at least 30-35% fat)
- 3 g sugar (3 Tbsp) (use 8% of heavy cream: 473 ml x 8% = 38 g)
For the decoration
- Preheat the oven at 170°C/ 338°F, both top and bottom heat. Line the cake pan with parchment paper.
- Add egg yolks and 20 gram sugar into the bowl, whisk briefly until the sugar dissolves. Add red food coloring and strawberry essence, mix well.
- Add milk, oil and vanilla extract, mix well to combine.
- Sift flour and corn starch into the bowl, whisk until everything is incorporated and smooth, with no visible lumps. If the color isn’t strong enough, add more food coloring. The egg yolk mixture should have a dark pink tone, which will become a nice light pink shade when we add in the egg whites.
- Whip egg whites with salt, cream of tartar and the rest of the sugar until stiff peak: the egg white should be firm and glossy. When you lift the beaters, the peak should hold without drooping into a hook.
- Fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. The final batter should be very smooth, foamy and free of large air bubbles. It shouldn’t be runny either.
- Bake the cake in the middle of the oven at 165 – 170°C (329 – 338°F) in 25 – 30 minutes until the top is golden brown and springs back when lightly pressed.
- Unmold the cake from pan, remove parchment paper. Let cool completely.
- While waiting for the cake to cool, whip cream with sugar until stiff peak. When the cream has become billowy, whip at lowest speed to avoid overbeating.
- Slice strawberries. Chill strawberries and whipped cream in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, the cream will be thicker and easier to frost.
- Once the cake has completely cooled, trim the edges and cut the cake in half. We get two equal rectangle pieces.
- Place first piece of cake on your cake stand, tuck overlapping pieces of parchment paper under the edge of the cake to keep your cake stand clear of any cream.
- Frost the top of the cake with about ¼ of the whipped cream. Lay strawberry slices on top of the cream. Spread some more cream on top. Place the second cake piece on top. Frost the entire cake with just enough cream to cover. Then refrigerate the cake for about 30 minutes for the cream to set. This crumb-coating step will prevent cake crumbs from getting into the cake frosting, which will give you a nice, perfectly frosted cake.
- Frost the cake with the rest of the cream. After this step, you have two options: (1) Garnish the cake with berries, which gives you a whole cake; or (2) cut the cake into small servings and garnish each small piece separately. Always cut the cake with a sharp knife. Wipe the knife clean after each cut.
- Keep the cake refrigerated for about 2 days. It tastes a lot better after being chilled