Midsummer cake with strawberries, elderflower and white chocolate

The famous ‘fika’ or act of sitting down to enjoy a cup of coffee and something sweet is a daily occurrence in Sweden and Midsummer is no exception. Strawberries are in season, so a layered strawberry and cream cake, the Swedish version of a Victoria Sponge, is the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon coffee and a great way to relax after all that dancing. If you don’t want to use elderflower, simply omit the cordial from both the cake batter and the cream for a simple but delicious strawberry cake.

Makes 1 x 20cm cake (6-8 portions)

You will need:

For the cake:
3 large eggs
125g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
50 g butter, melted
100ml full fat milk
2 tbsp elderflower cordial
200g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt

For the cream:

300ml whipping cream
1-2 tbsp elderflower cordial
100g white chocolate, broken into pieces

To decorate:

1 punnet strawberries, hulled and halved, to decorate
Fresh elderflower and/or grated white chocolate, optional

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C or R5 (or 175C for fan ovens). Grease a 20cm diameter cake tin and lightly dust with flour. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla essence until pale and frothy, about 2 minutes.
  1. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and gently fold into the egg mixture. Add the melted butter, milk and cordial and mix to form a thick batter.
  1. Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  1. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack before carefully cutting into 2-3 layers. While you are waiting for the cake to cool, melt the white chocolate in the microwave or in a bowl set over simmering water. Place in a large bowl with the cream and whip to form soft peaks. Flavour with the elderflower cordial, to your taste.
  2. To serve the cake, spread some of the cream between the cake layers and scatter over some strawberries. Finish the cake by topping with more cream and decorating with the remaining strawberries and, if desired, fresh elderflower or grated white chocolate.

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