Hello lovely decor8 readers…it’s been a little while since I saw you last and since then we went on a fabulous family holiday. Instead of Bali as planned we had to change our holiday destination at the last minute. My doctors would not clear me to go overseas (I’m pregnant and the baby could arrive anytime now!) so we cancelled Bali and kept our destination within Australia and took a shorter trip to Byron Bay. It was all about relaxation and enjoying our time as a family of four – exactly what was needed. We ate in so many beautiful places, went on long rambling walks and swam in the warm sea- we all feel re-charged and ready for the next phase in our lives when baby arrives. With only a couple of weeks to go now I am in full nesting mode getting ready for this little one.
In the past couple of weeks I have been talking to my friends over in the UK and they are loving being in the throws of springtime. It got me thinking about my childhood growing up in the UK and some of the sweet treats that I used to love as quintessentially English. I started reminiscing about Bakewell Tart, Bread and Butter Pudding, Eton Mess, Banoffee Pie and the simple classic Victoria Sponge which is in essence a two layers of light vanilla sponge with cream and strawberries sandwiched in the middle…. doesn’t get more English than that!
So using the same main ingredients of the Victoria Sponge I created my version in the form of a swiss roll. I added a few extra simple ingredients such as the mascarpone and champagne and it elevated a simple recipe to the next level. The sponge is light and airy, sweet and extremely delish! The champagne soaked strawberries add that little touch of naughtiness and go so well with cream (I spent many a summer afternoon devouring strawberries and cream!). I loved decorating it with the edible flowers but if you don’t have any on hand then top with more strawberries or even some toasted slivered almonds – either way this dessert is set to look super pretty and delicate. (Tip: If you want to know which flowers are edible, you can buy a copy of Holly’s book Decorate With Flowers, there is a section listing them inside)
For the Swiss Roll
3 eggs, separated
110 grams caster sugar
110 grams self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 tablespoon icing sugar, to decorate
Flowers, edible – to decorate
For Mascarpone Cream
125 grams mascarpone
125 ml thickened cream
1 tablespoon icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Champagne Soaked Strawberries
250 grams of strawberries, hulled and sliced in half
1 cup champagne (I used Moët & Chandon “Imperial – Brut”)
For the Swiss Roll
1. Line swiss roll pan with baking paper. Whisk the egg whites using an electric mixer until soft peaks form, then gradually add the caster sugar until firm peaks form and the mixture is stiff and glossy. Add egg yolks one at a time, whisking until just combined.
2. Sift flour and salt into a separate bowl, then with a metal spoon gently fold the flour and vanilla essence into the egg mixture.
3. Spoon mixture into swiss roll pan and gently smooth top, then bake at 180C for 12 mins or until top springs back when pressed.
4. Cool out of oven for five minutes and then invert onto a tray peeling off the baking paper. Trim Edges of cake with a serrated knife. Allow to cool.
To Construct The Swiss Roll:
1. Spoon mascarpone cream across sponge.
2. Carefully place strawberries on top of the cream.
3. Roll the sponge from the short end and then place seam side down on a plate. Refrigerate for 20 minutes, then sift icing sugar over the top and decorate with flowers.
For the Mascarpone Cream:
1. Whisk thickened cream in a bowl until firm peaks form. Fold through mascarpone, icing sugar and vanilla extract. Refrigerate until ready to spoon on sponge.
For Champagne Soaked Strawberries:
1. Soak the strawberries in the champagne over night
2. Sieve the strawberries (keep that juice- it will be like sweet nectar in a glass of champagne!!)
Enjoy the rest of May and see you again next month on June 8th with another yummy recipe from my kitchen to yours! – Emma
(Text, Styling, Recipe, Photography: Emma Duckworth)