This gorgeous and rather grand-looking cake is a brilliant treat for whipping up on Valentine's Day.
Fraisier cake is a traditional French recipe that looks incredible but can sometimes be tricky to make. However, this recipe has a few short cuts, so if you're not on the same level as the Bake Off stars, you can still have a go at this showstopping cake.
It's filled with the dreamy duo of strawberries and cream, before being topped with a delicious apricot marzipan icing and chocolate hearts. And it tastes just as good as it looks!
- 225g (8oz) soft margarine
- 225g (8oz) caster sugar
- 225g (8oz) self-raising flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Grated rind of 2 lemons
- 4 medium eggs
- 6 tablespoons limoncello liqueur
- For the filling:
- 400g (14oz) strawberries, hulled
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- 2 teaspoons powdered gelatine
- 150ml (1/4 pint) double cream
- 500g (1lb 2oz) carton luxury vanilla custard
- For the topping:
- 2 tablespoons apricot glaze or apricot jam minus the pieces of fruit
- 250g (9oz) readymade marzipan
- Little icing sugar
- Few small strawberries
- Few chocolate hearts
Method1 Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan) Gas 3. Grease a 20cm (8 inch) heart shaped springform tin with a little oil then line the base with a piece of non-stick baking paper.
2 Add the margarine, sugar and flour to a large bowl, electric mixer or food processor. Add the baking powder, lemon rind and eggs and beat together until smooth.
3 Spoon into the lined tin, level the surface and bake for about 35-40 minutes until well risen, golden brown and a skewer comes out cleanly when inserted into the centre of the cake.
4 Leave to cool for 10 minutes then loosen the edge, remove the tin and lining paper and cool on a wire rack.
5 When the cake is cold, cut into two thinner rounds, trimming the top level if it is a little domed, then spoon the limoncello over the cut sides. Wash the cake tin and line the base and sides with two strips of clingfilm. Put one of the cake halves in the tin and pull up the clingfilm if needed so that it slightly overhangs the top of the tin.
6 Sort through the strawberries, reserve the medium sized ones for the side of the cake and the larger ones for slicing. Cut the medium sized ones in half and arrange in a ring around the outside of the cake in the tin so that the cut edge is pressed against the clingfilm. Slice the rest and arrange as an even layer to cover the base cake.
7 Add the water to a small heatproof bowl, sprinkle over the gelatine powder and leave to soak for 5 minutes then stand the bowl in a saucepan of just simmering water and heat until the gelatine has dissolved and become a clear liquid.
8 Whisk the cream until it forms soft swirls in a bowl then fold in the custard. Gradually fold in the dissolved gelatine in a thin steady stream then pour the custard mix over the strawberries in the tin and chill for 10 minutes until just setting.
9 Add the second cake half to the tin and press lightly into the custard. Gently spread the apricot glaze or jam over the top of the cake. Knead and roll out the marzipan on a piece of non-stick baking paper then cut into a heart, using the cake tin as a guide. Lift over the top of the cake and press into place with fingertips dusted with icing sugar. Chill for at least 4 hours.
10 When ready to serve, unclip the sides of the tin, peel away the clingfilm, then carefully lift the cake off and transfer to a plate. Decorate the top with the small strawberries and piped chocolate hearts, if liked.
Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time35 - 40 minutes
Nutrition InformationMakes around 10 slices
To make chocolate hearts:
Melt 50g (2oz) dark chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of very gently simmering water. Spoon into a piping bag made of non-stick baking paper, snip off the tip then pipe heart shapes over a sheet of non-stick baking paper set on a baking tray. Chill until set then peel off the paper and add to the top of the cake when ready to serve.
Recipe courtesy of Seasonal Berries
More Valentine recipes:
Salted Caramel Chocolate Pots
Heart-shaped Mini Blueberry Cheesecakes
Divine Chocolate Cocktail
Check out our gallery of Valentine's recipes below