This recipe from Miranda Gore Browne makes multiple cakes - one three-layer cake, two loaf cakes, and two deep seven-inch tins for individual cakes or to make another layer cake.
For the cakes:
- 920g unsalted butter
- 760g caster sugar
- Zest and juice of 4 lemons
- 12 free-range eggs
- 800g self-raising flour
- 240g plain flour
- 5-6 tablespoons of granulated sugar to sprinkle on top of the cakes before baking
For the elderflower cream:
- 300ml double or whipping cream
- 1 tbsp of elderflower cordial
- 3 tbsp of sifted icing sugar
- 100g strawberries, pureed or whizzed in the food processor with 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar and 1 tbsp of icing sugar.
- 300g strawberries, hulled and chopped into pieces (leave about 6 whole for the top of the cake) or use mixed berries
- Gather a few edible flowers and strawberry leaves to decorate your cake. I used forget-me-nots, strawberry flowers and daisies, but elderflower blossom is pretty for decorating too and adds a heady scent to your cake.
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees and line your cake tins.
- Zest and juice the lemons.
- Chop the butter into chunks and place into a bowl of lukewarm water to soften for about 5 minutes, strain the butter through your hands and then pop into the mixing bowl. This will make it beautifully soft.
- Whisk the butter and sugar with the lemon zest until pale and fluffy.
- Break the eggs into a jug and break up a little with a fork. Add the eggs to the mixture a little at a time, whisking well after each addition.
- Remove the balloon whisk attachment and use a normal beater attachment or a flat spatula to fold in the flour and then the lemon juice.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared tins and smooth the tops gently.
- Sprinkle some granulated sugar on top.
- Bake in the preheated oven – the shallower tins will need about 45 minutes, the deeper tins and the loaf tins about an hour. Put the shallower tins at the front as these will take less time to bake and you can then pull them out easily without disturbing the others.
- For the elderflower cream, whip the cream until it reaches soft peaks.
- Fold in the elderflower cordial and icing sugar.
- Take the cakes out of the oven and leave in their tins for about five minutes before carefully turning onto a cooling rack.
- Once the cakes are completely cooled, trim the top of one cake so you have a level surface. Use a few blobs of cream to stick the trimmed cake to the cake plate or cake stand. Pile on a generous amount of the cream, add a layer of strawberries and some of the strawberry puree then carefully place the second cake on top.
- Decorate the top of the cake with more elderflower cream, strawberries, and drip the strawberry puree on top. Top with edible flowers from the garden and decorate the cake stand and table with strawberry leaves and flowers.
- If you can’t eat them all at once, then the other cakes can go into the freezer for later use.
- Put the remaining strawberry into a small jug and the cream into a bowl. Serve with the cake.