Gateau aux Fraises et Amandes

A lovely dessert for a summer dinner party, Gateau aux Fraises et Amandes (ga-toh oh frehz eh-tah-mahd) is surprisingly easy and economical to prepare.3 oz. plus

1 teaspoon butter, softened

2 oz. plus

2 teaspoons self-raising flour

3 oz. castor sugar

3 eggs

3 oz. ground almonds

12 oz. strawberries, washed, hulled and pureed

2h oz. icing sugar

5 fl. oz. double cream , stiffly whipped oz. gelatine softened in

1 tablespoon water

4 oz. strawberries, washed, hulled and halved

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 375°F (Gas Mark 5, 190°C).

Lightly grease a round 7-inch cake tin with the teaspoon of butter. Sprinkle in the 2 teaspoons flour and tip and rotate the tin to distribute the flour evenly. Knock out any excess flour.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream the remaining butter and the sugar together with a wooden spoon until the mixture is fluffy. Beat in the eggs.

With a metal spoon, fold in the remaining flour and the ground almonds.

Turn the mixture into the prepared cake tin and place it in the oven.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven. Run a knife round the edge of the cake and reverse it on to a wire rack. Leave to cool.

Wash and thoroughly rinse the cake tin.

To make the filling, in a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the strawberry puree and 2 ounces of the sugar. Fold in the cream and then the softened gelatine. Turn the mixture into the dampened cake tin and place it in the refrigerator. Chill for 1 to 1 hours or until the filling is set.

With a long sharp knife, slice the cake into two layers. Place one layer on a serving platter and turn out the straw-berry filling on to it. Place the other cake layer on top.

Sift the remaining icing sugar over the top of the cake and decorate with the strawberry halves.

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