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Roasting the strawberries in this cake brings the fruity flavours to the next level. Using elderflower cordial helps give a light, floral taste that makes for a winner of a Mother's Day bake. See method
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Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Grease and line 2 x 20cm round sandwich tins with nonstick baking paper.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, adding 1 tbsp flour with each one, mixing between each addition, to combine. Gently fold in the remaining flour, the baking powder, the lemon zest and a pinch of salt until no white streaks remain; stir in the milk and elderflower cordial.
Divide the mixture evenly between the 2 tins and level the tops. Bake for 25-30 mins until risen and golden, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tins for 15 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.
Meanwhile, hull 400g strawberries, halving large ones. Toss with 2 tbsp caster sugar, the zest and juice of 1 lemon and 2 tbsp water on a baking tray. Roast at gas 7, 220°C, fan 200°C for 20 mins, stirring halfway and leave to cool completely.
Beat the unsalted butter until pale. Gradually whisk in the icing sugar until thick and fluffy. Add full-fat soft cheese and whisk until smooth. Swirl in 2 tbsp of the roasted strawberry juices. Spread 1 sponge with half the icing and top with half the strawberries; sandwich with the second sponge. Top with the rest of the icing and strawberries, drizzling over the juices. Scatter with fresh thyme sprigs to serve, if you like.
Freezing and defrosting guidelinesFreeze un-iced sponges. In order to enjoy optimum flavour and quality, frozen items are best used within 3 months of their freezing date. For more tips on freezing and defrosting food, read our article Love Your Freezer.
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