Juliet Sear’s Strawberry & Prosecco Showstopper Cake

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This delicious sponge cake is a real showstopper.

This recipe for Strawberry & Prosecco Showstopper Cake even gives you licence to cheat by using a cake mix and some shop bought frosting to save time, plus you can leave out the prosecco syrup if you’re feeding littles. This type of decoration used is called a ‘naked’ finish which is really simple to achieve, all you need to do is spread the frosting over the cake layers to sandwich then spread a thin layer all over the top and sides and scrape the excess off to leave some of the sponge showing through.

Serves: 16-20

Equipment:

  • 3 x 8” round cake tins, lined with baking paper on the bottom and sides (or bake in batches)
  • Baking parchment
  • Bowl and wooden spoon (or you can use an electric hand whisk or stand mixer if you prefer for making the frosting)
  • A cake turn table (super helpful to get the coating smooth as you can spin the cake around or simply do it on a cake plate)
  • Medium sized palette knife
  • Pastry brush
  • Small saucepan
  • Cake plate or stand

Ingredients:

For the sponge:

  • 2 x packs Carr’s Heavenly Victoria Sponge Mix 425g
  • 6 Eggs
  • 200ml Oil or 200g Butter
  • 200ml Water

For the prosecco syrup (optional)

  • 300ml Prosecco
  • 150g Caster Sugar

For the frosting:

  • 250g Soft Unsalted Butter
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
  • 500g Icing Sugar, sifted

For the filling:

150g Strawberry Jam

To decorate:

Decorations for the cake are all optional – you can leave it simply plain or just dress with fresh strawberries, or if you want to add extra pizzazz, I’ve used 100g melted white chocolate to dip my strawberries in and finished the cake off with gold leaf.

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C (170C Fan/Gas Mark 5).
  2. Mix the cake mixes according to the pack instructions.
  3. Divide the batter into three and pop into the cake tins.
  4. Bake for around 20-25 mins until the sponges are light and springy, light golden and cooked in the centre completely.
  5. While these are baking, make the syrup. Gently heat the prosecco in a saucepan and stir in the sugar until dissolved, then simmer gently for 4 to 5 minutes or until it has reduced to around ½ the volume and thickened slightly. Leave to cool.
  6. Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 5 mins, then turn out onto a cooling rack, remove the paper, brush the sponges generously with some of the cooled syrup and allow to cool.
  7. While the cakes are cooling, make your frosting. Beat the butter until very creamy and smooth, for a minute or so. Gradually add the icing sugar, about a quarter at a time, beating each addition slowly at first so the icing sugar doesn’t puff up everywhere, and then once mixed, beat well for a minute or so each time. Continue until you have a light and fluffy butter cream. Lastly, beat in a couple of tablespoons of the prosecco syrup to loosen a little.
  8. Once you have all your layers cooled, check they are flat and level, if any have small humps where they have risen, trim a little off the top of each cake so it’s flat. Save the trim for cake pops, truffles or trifle.
  9. Place the first layer onto your plate or stand add a splodge of buttercream to stick it in place, making sure the side that was in the bottom of the tin is stuck to the plate and the top/trimmed side is upwards to take in the syrup.  Drizzle all over the layer with syrup and then spread over with half of the jam.
  10. Spread over a layer of buttercream, using about 150g of it.
  11. Add the second layer, the part that was in the tin bottom side down, and repeat with more syrup, the rest of the jam and a further 150g of frosting.
  12. For the last layer, brush over the top of the cake, then invert it onto the first two layers, so the smooth, flat part that was at the bottom of the tin is uppermost. Firmly press the cake layers together and check they are all in line and as neat as possible.
  13. With a palette knife, dollop the rest of the frosting on top of the cake, spread over the top and sides until it’s all covered and the gaps between the cake layers are filled. Use a gentle pressure against the side of the cake with the palette knife and use a back and forth spreading motion to spread the frosting over the top and sides. Don’t worry about being too fussy as the cake is meant to look naked, just spread it as well as you can and then use the palette knife to flatten off the coating and spread around the sides to scrape off a little excess frosting to give you straight (ish)edges. Any leftover frosting or syrup can be kept in the fridge or freezer (or use it to serve alongside slices of the cake with the strawberries.) Keep the cake in the fridge until ready to serve, it is best to let it come to room temperature before serving.
  14. If using chocolate dipped strawberries, simply melt white chocolate and dip strawberries into the chocolate and set to dry on some baking or parchment paper. Add to the top of the cake as shown and if you want to be extra fancy, use a little edible gold leaf around the cake and on the strawberries.

Recipe provided by carrsflour.co.uk

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