The classic, and perhaps the Queen of English cakes. Which is fitting, as it is named after the Empress of India herself. The key is light sponge, and lashings of the best jam you can find. Like Fortnum’s Strawberry or Raspberry preserve.Until recently, our recipe for this divine cake was a closely-guarded secret. Now proudly published within the pages of our The Cook Book
, it is available for all to enjoy. Happy baking, eating, and if you can manage it, sharing.
Makes a 20cm cake225g
plain flour; 15g
baking powder; 240g
softened unsalted butter; 240g
caster sugar; 4
large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten; icing sugar for dusting. For the filling - 150g
strawberry jam; 250ml
double cream; 250g
strawberries, hulled and sliced.
Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs a little at a time, adding a spoonful of the flour if the mixture threatens to separate. Sift in the flour in 3 separate additions, folding it in with a large metal spoon.Divide the mixture between 2 greased 20cm sandwich tins, bases lined with baking parchment. Place in an oven preheated to 180C/gas 4 and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the cakes are golden brown and well risen and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.Spread the strawberry jam over one cake and place on a plate. Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks and pipe or spread it over the jam. Cover with the sliced strawberries, place the other cake on top and dust with icing sugar.