Plenty (Mitchell Beazley, 2010) features more than 350 recipes, introducing its readers to the benefits of cooking seasonally and why you should celebrate leftovers. Revel in one of this book’s many fruit-rich desserts.
You can purchase this book from the Mother Earth Living store: Plenty.
This dessert is also delicious as a cake without the fillings (halve the recipe and start checking after 30 minutes). You can make it in the autumn with ground hazelnuts.
Serves 8 to 10
for the cake
• 2 cups self-rising flour
• 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup almonds, ground
• 3 large eggs
• 3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 teaspoons almond extract
• 1 cup butter
for the topping and filling
• 1 3/4 pound strawberries
• 5 tablespoons superfine sugar
• Finely grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
• 7 ounces mascarpone
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 10 heaped tablespoons lemon curd
• Confectioners’ sugar, to taste, plus more to dust
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sift the flour onto the granulated sugar and salt, then stir in the almonds. Whisk the eggs lightly with a third of the yogurt and the vanilla and almond extracts. Using a food processor, or hand-held electric beater, cream the butter until pale and fluffy. Gently beat in the remaining yogurt and, with the machine on a very low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the eggs. Beat on a medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes.
2. Butter and line a 9-inch spring-form cake pan (it should be 3 in deep) and spoon in the batter. Bake for 50 minutes; a skewer pushed into the center should come out clean. Leave to cool slightly, then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely. The sponge is very delicate, so carefully, with a broad, sharp knife, cut it horizontally into three layers.
3. Wash and hull the strawberries and cut into halves and quarters (reserve good-looking small berries for decoration). Sprinkle the cut strawberries with the superfine sugar, zest, and juice; stir and leave to macerate for 15 minutes. Beat the mascarpone to loosen it a bit. In a separate bowl, whip the cream until it holds its shape well. Combine the cream, mascarpone, lemon curd, and confectioners’ sugar to taste.
4. Spread the bottom layer of cake with half the cream, then half the strawberries. Repeat with the next layer. Put the top layer on. Arrange a small pile of perfect strawberries in the middle and sift over a light dusting of confectioners’ sugar. Keep in the refrigerator until 20 to 30 minutes before serving. It’s best eaten on the day it’s made.
This cake is good with all other berries (blackberry and lemon curd is lovely). Try orange curd or a few spoonfuls of elderflower cordial instead of lemon curd, or make the filling using all cream instead of mascarpone if you prefer.
This excerpt has been reprinted with permission from Plenty, published by Mitchell Beazley, 2010. Buy this book from our store: Plenty.
For more recipes from Plenty, read the article Slow-Cooked Pork Shoulder Roast Recipe.
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