Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Strawberry Gateau

Here’s a full fledged Strawberry gateau/pastry fro you all. Though I bake many cakes, frosting them and decorating them is something rare. As much as I like to do it and eat it, I am worried about the calories that it’ll add up and eventually the rise in the bathroom scales! So I fill and frost a cake only when there are enough people to share the load, not of the work involved but the after effects of savoring it :D

I was itching to use the strawberry preserve I had made; the so easily available whipping creams also kept calling me to pick them up and make a black forest or strawberry gateau. The time finally came when D invited his team with family for a dinner. With 15 people to share the load, I was too happy to bake a cake… I actually baked two of them, the second one in fear that one would be too small to feed 15 Indians in a foreign land… of course I wanted to save a couple of pieces for myself too, for the days that followed the party ;)

The cake was a huge hit, everyone going for a second serving, some even for third, though I realized I had still skimped on the quantity of cream, mainly because the cake had doubled, which was not expected initially. None the less, it was a fabulous cake, with the cream and strawberry mingling beautifully over a fatless sponge. I did some basic decorating too, to satisfy my cravings for piping out designs, and did a decent job, nothing too exquisite. A couple of friends took the recipe as well and tried at their places.

So here is the recipe… read through the notes as well…

Strawberry Gateau


Basic Fatless Sponge: (Makes one 8” sponge, 2-3 inches tall; See notes)
Eggs - 3 large
Plain Flour - 80 gms / ¾ cup
Powdered Sugar - 80 to 110 gms / ¾ to 1 cup; See Notes

For the Strawberry Jelly
Strawberries – 15-20 nos, hulled and finely chopped (should make 1 cup of chopped berries)
Sugar – 1/3 cup (you may want to increase this to 1/2 a cup if the berries are a tad too tart)
Or use strawberry preserve, and mix in more sugar if needed

For the Filling & Frosting
Whipping Cream – 2 cups
Powdered Sugar – 3 tbsps

For the Sugar Syrup
Cold Water – 1 cup
Strawberry essence (optional) – 1 tsp
Powdered Sugar – 3 tbsps

Fatless Sponge
  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. 
  • Sieve the flour, keep aside.
  • Beat the eggs and sugar till very thick and double in quantity. This takes at least 10 minutes with hand mixer. At the end, the mixture should turn into a mousse like consistency.
  • Fold in the flour very gently with a metal spoon.
  • Pour into a greased and dusted cake tin. Bake for 15 - 20 min till it passes the skewer test. (Mine took about 18 min).
  • Remove from the oven. Loosen sides with a sharp knife, invert over a wire rack and cool completely.
Sugar Syrup
  • Dissolve the powdered sugar in the cold water and put it in the fridge.
Filling and Frosting:
  • Chill the whipping cream for at least 10-12 hours in the refrigerator. Also chill the beater blades and bowl in which you plan to whip the cream, about 2 hours at least. Stainless steel bowls work best for this.
  • Once the whipping cream is good to go, start by whipping the cream on high-speed. Whip until thick and starts holding peaks, about 5-7 minutes. Once done, set half aside in the refrigerator (for the frosting).
  • Next, get down to assembling the gateau. Use the bottom of the cake (that was in contact with the lining) for the top. So this means, the actual top of the cake goes to the bottom of the gateau. If the cake has risen too much in the centre, gently level it with a long, serrated knife and then turn upside down.
  • Using some food color (even turmeric works), dip a toothpick in the food color and draw a vertical line anywhere on the side of the cake, from top to bottom. This line will act as a reference when you have to re-assemble the slices while filling the layers. The cake will sit perfectly in place, and give you a wonderful flat surface on top.
  • Gently cut the cake into 2 slices horizontally.
  • Place the bottom-most slice on a turn-table if you have one.
  • Drizzle the sugar syrup over the bottom most layer of the cake using a wide pastry brush. Ensure you cover the entire surface.
  • Now, using a palette knife/offset spatula spread some whipped cream generously over the bottom cake layer (don’t spread the cream too much to the edge since the next layer coming over it will push the cream to sides anyway). Cream layers about 3/4th-inch thick should work just fine.
  • Next, spread the strawberry jelly generously over the cream.
  • Now place the second slice of cake over it matching the slices by the line you drew with the food color, and repeat with syrup and a thin layer of whipped cream on top. Finish the sides with a thin layer as well.
  • Now sit the cake in the refrigerator for atleast 2-3 hours, to allow the flavors to mature.
  • Once the cake has sat in the refrigerator for a good amount of time, get it out, finish the top and sides of the cake with more whipped cream. Work with your palette knife/offset spatula and dip the knife/spatula in cold water every 2-3 strokes, to get a smooth finish on top of the cake.
  • Finish by decorating the cake the way you fancy. 
  • This quantity makes an 8” round about 2-3 inches tall. You’ll get two thin slices out of it; can feed about 12 people. However, I have made two such cakes and didn’t tort them and got a tall cake, but with just two layers. In such case you will have to increase the cream, syrup and strawberries as well accordingly.
  • Whipping the eggs is the most important part of this recipe. Since there are no other leavening agents, it is whipped eggs that give volume to it.
  • Whip the eggs on high for at least 8 minutes, till you get a thick mousse like texture. Do not stop in the foamy state, and continue till the mousse like state. The first time I tried this sponge, I didn’t whip it enough and it was anything but a sponge; perfection comes from experience :)
  • The sponge is Tarla Dalal’s recipe; Used the strawberry preserve prepared earlier


  1. looks sper cool. I like your detailed explanation of the frosting job. Graet for novices like me.

  2. Very well explained ...True whipping egg with butter is an essential part for sponge cakes . Looks stunning

  3. Such a beautiful and gorgeous cake, prefect for me anytime.

  4. looks sooooooo tempting to hav a bite:)) just give us one eggless version too.....

  5. Lovely cake Sumana! It must be so so very tempting to bake with no power cuts, a full sized oven and baking ingredients so readily available, enjoy!! The fatless sponge is my favorite for fresh cream cakes, love the way it soaks up the syrup without making the cake soggy. It tastes even better after 2 days in the fridge if you ask me. The crumb texture looks perfect!

  6. Thank you all for your lovely comments :)
    @Suma... True! I'm lovvving baking here :)


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