The original Mary Berry recipe is clearly a classic, and is quite simple in execution and assembly. I personally don't go in for a full covering of icing sugar, or even the tooth achingly sweet covering of a scattering of caster sugar on the top of the cake; but that's just my subjective taste coming to the fore!
I do like subtlety, and I also think the classic version lacks something from the middle of the cake (I know, how dare I criticise this Great British cake staple?). So, strawberry conserve to the rescue along with a small quantity of double cream the healthy variety!) mixed up with a tablespoon of icing sugar to sweeten the cream a little. The result was delicious, and certainly benefited from the cream and conserve mix.
You will need:
- 225g unsalted butter (softened)
- 225g self-raising flour
- 225g caster sugar (white)
- 4 eggs beaten in a jug (weighing approx 225g when out of shells)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (not essence)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
1. Heat oven to 180 C (Fan) please use reliable conversion for other ovens
2. Grease and line (with a disc of greaseproof paper) 2 x 20cm round tins
3. Put all ingredients, except the eggs, into a large mixing bowl, add the eggs a little at a time, and mix together until a smooth dropping consistency. If a little stiff, and not dropping from spoon, add a small amount of milk to help it along
4. Pour mixture into the tins, evenly distributed
5. Put on middle shelf in oven for approx 25 mins (don't be tempted to open oven door until at least 20 mins has passed)
6. Remove from oven when golden, and springy to the touch, leave to cool slightly before removing from tins and putting onto wire rack to cool completely.
7. Turn one of the cakes upside down, spread this with the strawberry conserve, then top this with the cream. Add the top cake. Decorate as you wish.