Taken from John Whaite Bakes (£20; Headline)
For the genoise sponge:
- 4 eggs
- 130g golden caster sugar
- 110g plain flour
- 20g cocoa powder
- 50g unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
For the blackcurrant crème mousseline:
- 1 quantity Creme Patissiere, cooled and set
- 2 tbsp creme de cassis liqueur
- 175g unsalted butter, cubed and chilled slightly
- 75g white chocolate, melted and cooled
For the soaking syrup
- 50g golden caster sugar
- 50g water
- 2 tbsp kirsch liqueur
- ½ tsp lemon juice
- For the berry filling
- 400g strawberries (try to get smaller, even-sized ones)
- 150g blackberries (get the biggest ones you can)
For the topping:
- 2 tbsp blackcurrant jam
- 50g natural marzipan
- 1 quantity freshly made Mirror Glaze (see below)
- Gold leaf
For the mirror glaze:
- 1 gelatine leaf
- 120g golden caster sugar
- 60ml water
- 1tbsp golden syrup
- 75g cocoa powder
- 60ml single cream
You will need:
- 20cm/8-inch cake ring, 6cm/2--inch deep,ungreased, on a baking sheet, lined with baking paper
- 20cm/8-inch round cake card
- Disposable piping bag fitted with 12mm plain nozzle
Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas 6.
Make the genoise sponge. This is best done in a freestanding electric mixer with whisk attachment, but if you don’t have one then use a clean metal bowl and a handheld electric whisk.
Place the eggs and sugar in the bowl and whisk until they about triple in volume and reach the ribbon stage – when you lift the whisk out of the bowl and draw a figure 8, the ribbon should sit proud on the surface for a few seconds.
Sift together the flour and cocoa powder into a bowl, then gently sprinkle over the surface of the whisked eggs and sugar. With a flat spatula or large metal spoon, gently fold the flour into the eggs, ensuring that you scrape right to the bottom of the bowl too, but try not to deflate the mixture.
When the flour is just about incorporated, pour the melted cooled butter down the side of the bowl and fold that in too. Gently pour this mixture into the cake ring and bake for about 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Remove from the oven, turn the cake ring upside down on a cooling rack, and allow to cool.
Make the blackcurrant creme mousseline by putting the creme patissiere into a mixing bowl and beating to slacken. I do this in a freestanding electric mixer with whisk attachment, but it could also be done in a mixing bowl with a handheld electric whisk. Once the creme pat is loosened, best in the creme de cassis liqueur, then slowly add the butter then the white chocolate. Scrape into a bowl, cover with cling film and refrigerate
Make the soaking syrup by heating together the sugar and water. Bring to the boil and allow to boil for a minute or two. Remove from the heat and stir in the kirsch and lemon juice
Free the cake by scraping a knife around inside the cake ring and lifting it off. Slice the cake horizontally into two even slices, and set aside
Clean the cake ring and place it at the top of the cake card. Take the slice of cake that was at the top and place this top side down into the cake ring. Soak it well with about half of the syrup, using a pastry brush to avoid completely drowning the cake. Take the most perfect strawberry and set aside, then chop off the leafy ends of the rest to create a flat bottom. Slice each strawberry in half down the length so you can see the inside. Cut each blackberry in half the same way too. Align the fruit against the sides of the tin: take a strawberry half and place it flat-bottom on to the layer of cake, cut middle pressed against the side. Place a blackberry half in the same way next to it, then alternate the fruits all the way around the circumference, gently squeezing them together so that they stay in place. Chop the remaining fruit roughly, and place it in a bowl
Put the creme mousseline into the piping bag and pipe a spiral from the centre outwards on to the cake, ensuring you pipe in and amongst the berries at the edge - you won't need all the mousseline at this point. Pile the remaining chopped fruits into the centre of the mousseline spiral, then pipe the remaining mousseline over the top. Smooth off with the back of a spoon. take the second layer of cake and place this cut-side down on to the mousseline, so that the original flat bottom of the cake is now the top. Press down ever so gently, then soak that in the remaining syrup
Paint the blackcurrant jam on to the surface of the cake, then roll out the marzipan to a circle the size of the cake – I use a little dusting of cornflour to prevent the marzipan sticking. Place this gently on top of the jam, so that it sticks to the cake. Place into the fridge while you make the mirror glaze finish
Soak the gelatine leaf in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes. Heat the sugar, water and golden syrup in a small saucepan. Allow to boil for a minute or two, then remove from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder. Whisk in the cream, then return to a medium heat for a minute, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat. Take the gelatine leaf from the bowl, squeeze to remove excess water, add to the chocolate glaze and stir until dissolved. Pass the glaze through a sieve into a bowl.
Allow the glaze to cool for just a minute so that it is still pourable. Pour enough glaze over the cake to cover the surface of the marzipan, but don’t let it drip down the sides. Return the cake to the fridge and allow to cool for at least two hours.
When ready to serve, gently warm the cake ring by rubbing your hands around it – or carefully warm the cake ring with a cook’s blowtorch, being careful not to get it too hot – then delicately lift up off the cake.
Press gold leaf on to the perfect strawberry you reserved earlier, place on top, and serve. To retain the neat edges, cut with a sharp knife dipped in hot water.
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