Nothing welcomes spring to your home like this pea and strawberry cake. Seasonal, but unusual and ideal for those who prefer their cake not too sweet. If you don’t feel like baking it, you can also order it from the Prue Leith Pastry Kitchen.
650g Frozen peas, blanched and pureed until smooth
400g Unsalted butter, at room temperature
300g Granulated sugar
6 Large eggs, room temperature
20 ml Vanilla paste
1 Lemon, juiced and zested
485g Cake flour, sifted
20g baking powder, sifted
300g ripe strawberries, roughly chopped
50g castor sugar
Italian Strawberry Buttercream Ingredients:
350g egg whites, room temperature
220g granulated sugar
1 ml strawberry aroma/essence
16g dehydrated strawberry powder
For the Cake:
- Pre-heat the oven to 165˚C.
- Prepare 4 x 20cm cake rings with silicone paper at the base and around the edge neatly. Spray and cook the paper to ensure it does not stick.
- Blanch the frozen peas in boiling water and refresh in ice bath. Puree the peas until fine and pass through a tammis to have a smooth paste.
- Cream the butter and sugar in a kitchen aid with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time until well combined.
- Fold in the pea puree, lemon zest and juice, carefully into the egg mixture.
- Sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl and carefully fold into the wet ingredients.
- Divide the batter between the 4 cake tins and smooth out the tops.
- Bake in a preheated deck oven for 40-45 minutes until baked and a skewer comes out clean.
- Allow the cakes to cool before moving to a cooling rack.
For the Filling:
- Rinse the strawberries and remove the tops. Do not use ones that have a white base.
- Dice the strawberries into small cubes and sprinkle over the castor sugar.
- Mix the strawberries well with the castor sugar and cover the strawberries with plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge to macerate for 30 minutes.
For the Buttercream:
- Combine the sugar and water together in a small saucepan. Start the syrup on a medium heat until all the sugar dissolves, then increase the heat.
- Continue to boil the sugar syrup to 121˚C, on a digital or candy thermometer, remove the syrup from the heat and allow the bubbles to subside.
- In the meantime, whilst the sugar is boiling place the egg whites into a kitchen aid bowl with a whisk attachment and whisk until foamy, once the syrup has reached the final temperature gradually pour the hot syrup down the side of the kitchen aid bowl whilst whisking on medium speed.
- Continue to whisk the meringue to room temperature.
- Add the soft butter cubes to the meringue, block by block and mix until the mixture is light and fluffy in consistency.
- Crush the freeze-dried strawberries in a pestle and mortar and add into the Italian butter cream with add a little of the strawberry essence and mix well.
To Assemble the Cake:
On a cake board place the base of the cake and pipe a ring of strawberry buttercream around the edge of the cake and cover the surface, use a small palette knife and fill the middle with more buttercream.
Add in two to three tablespoons of macerated strawberries and fill the centre. Place another cake layer on top and repeat this process until all the layers are completed.
Crumb coat the cake with a thin layer of buttercream and place in the fridge to set for 20 minutes.
Remove the cake and complete a second layer of buttercream and smooth off the cake completely. Pipe the rosettes of buttercream on the surface, with an open star nozzle fitted to a clean piping bag and add the quartered strawberries and pea tendrils. Add the white chocolate pearls and chill the cake.