Lavender & Strawberry Gateau
This recipe is one of our long-time favourites in the Lavender Farm Café. It's basis is a simple Victoria Sponge. In recipe books you may find something called an “all-in-one” sponge that is a bit simpler to make and is less rich as it uses margarine rather than butter. I’m sure that the gateau would be fine based on the “all-in-one” sponge mix but for the purposes of following our Lavender Farm Café recipe as faithfully as possible, I have stuck to the proper Victoria Sponge type. If you are not familiar with this type of cake, I suggest supporting my recipe below by looking up a Victoria Sponge recipe in one of your cookery books.
Heat oven to 170°C, (325°F) , Gas mark 3
Grease & line with baking paper two 7 inch (18cm) diameter round sandwich tins.
6oz (175g) softened butter
6oz (175g) caster sugar
3 large eggs
6oz (175g) sieved self raising flour
2 table spoons dried Culinary Lavender flower buds
½ pint whipping cream
2 table spoons caster sugar
In a mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar together (an electric whisk is quickest) until it goes pale, soft and light. Beat the eggs well in a separate container and then add very gradually to the butter/sugar mix, beating well after each small addition. If it is not added slowly the mixture may curdle.
Next, fold in the flour & lavender in a few stages into the mixture using a spoon. Try not to mix it too much or it will lose the valuable air that makes the sponge so light. Divide the mixture equally between the two sandwich tins, and bake in the centre of the oven for 30 – 40 minutes. When cooked, the sponges will feel springy when lightly touched, and your finger should not leave an impression. Remove the tins from the oven, leave for a minute or two to cool and then carefully turn the cakes out onto wire cooling racks, and peel off the baking paper.
For the filling, it is basically sweetened whipped cream with sliced strawberries. My quantities are a guess at how much you need. Whip the cream with an electric whisk in a bowl until it gets to a soft spreadable consistency. Fold in the sugar and adjust to taste. Spread the sweetened cream on one of the cake rounds, with a layer of sliced strawberries, and a bit more cream. Place the second cake round on top, and decorate. We decorate with a sprinkle of icing sugar and dried lavender, but you could put more cream and strawberries on top!
Head Chef - Jersey Lavender Café 2003 & 2004