Recipe: Charlotte royale cake

Charlotte-cake-436

Park the diet and treat yourself with one of Hannah Miles' show stopping cakes

Method:

✦ Preheat the oven to 200°C.

✦ In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until thick and creamy. Add the vanilla salt and flour, and fold them in very gently. Divide the mixture between two greased and lined 40 x 28cm Swiss roll tins and bake for 10-12 minutes each, until they have turned golden and feel firm to the touch.

✦ Turn each cake out onto a sheet of baking parchment sprinkled with sugar. Spread each of the sponges with jam, roll up into a tight spiral and leave until cool, wrapped in the sugar-dusted paper.

✦ For the mousse, reserve a handful of strawberries to serve. Hull and slice the rest, then put in a pan with the sugar, vanilla pod and 200ml water, and simmer over low heat for five minutes, or until the fruit is very soft.

✦ Remove and discard the vanilla pod and pass the fruit and liquid through a sieve, pressing the fruit down with the back of a spoon. Discard any fruit pulp left in the sieve. Sprinkle the gelatine over the warm liquid and whisk in until dissolved, then let it cool. Pass the mixture through another sieve to ensure that any undissolved gelatine is removed. Whisk the cream to stiff peaks, then whisk in the cooled strawberry syrup.

✦ Line a deep 26cm cake tin or large bowl about 10cm deep with a triple layer of clingfilm, making sure there are no gaps and leaving some clingfilm hanging over the sides of the pan, so it is easy to lift the cake out once the mousse has set. Cut the Swiss rolls into slices about 1½-2 cm wide.

✦ Line the base and sides of the tin with about two-thirds of the slices, placing them very close together so they're touching and there are no gaps. You can press the slices together to make them fit, or add small pieces to fill gaps.

✦ Pour the mousse into the tin and leave to set in the fridge for a few hours, or until the mousse starts to thicken. Cover the top of the mousse with the remaining slices of Swiss roll, ensuring that there are no gaps. Wrap the top of the tin in a layer of clingfilm and chill in the refrigerator overnight to let the mousse set completely.

✦ To serve, remove the top layer of clingfilm. Place a large serving plate on top of the tin and then, holding the tin and plate together tightly, invert the cake so that it is released from the tin and sits on the plate. Carefully remove the layers of clingfilm. Serve with the reserved strawberries.

Serves 20

8 eggs

230g caster sugar

Pinch of vanilla salt

230g self-raising fl our, sifted

8 tbsps strawberry jam

For the strawberry mousse

600g strawberries

200g caster sugar

1 vanilla pod, split

2 tbsps powdered gelatine

1 litre double cream

Recipe courtesy of Hannah Miles

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