Monday 6 June 2016

Strawberry Mini Sponges

Another attempt to make pretty food, with varied results. I picked up a 12-hole mini-sponge tray (so cylinders, rather than bun shapes). The plan was a simple sponge, with a strawberry and crème  patisserie filling, with a chocolate glaze... I really want to get the knack of a glaze with just the right consistency to dribble down a cake a bit, but maintain it's thickness.

I used my normal cupcake mixture for the's a bit trickier to weigh them in (I did it by taking the weight off the bowl, rather than weighing the cupcake). I lightly greased the tin, but in retrospect that probably wasn't needed. Also, as the mixture is in direct contact with the metal, I think you need a little less cooking time (I did 20 minutes @ 160'C, and they were slightly crispy on the edge).

For the crème patisserie I used a reduced amount of the thick stuff I used in a Frasier cake, as I wanted something quite structural. This has egg white in it, and notably goes very thick, very quickly! Possibly in this case too thick, as it was a sod to pipe.

Strawberry Mini-Sponges

  • Preheat oven to 160'C

Cake Ingredients

  • 170g softened butter
  • 170g caster sugar
  • 170g self-raising flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½tsp vanilla essence
  1) Place all the ingredients in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment

2) Mix until the batter is just smooth and consistent. Stop as soon as it is

3) Spoon out 45g of the mixture into each hole on a 12-hole mini-cake tin

4) Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes (see notes above about time)

5) Remove from the oven, and using a fork take the cakes out of the tray and onto a wire rack

6) Leave to cool

7) If required, trim the tops to make them flat, and flip them upside down (so you get a nice, square top)

Crème Patisserie Ingredients

  • 180ml Milk
  • ½tsp Vanilla Seeds 
  • 1 Large Egg + 1 Egg Yolk
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 30g cornflour
  • 50g softened butter
1) Put the milk in a saucepan with the vanilla seeds

2) Bring the milk gently to the boil

3) While the milk is heating, place the egg, egg yolk, sugar and cornflour in a heatproof bowl

4) Whisk until light and creamy

5) Once the milk is boiling, remove from the heat and add to the egg mixture while still whisking

6) Return the mixture to a clean saucepan over a low heat, and whisk until it begins to thicken (this will happen quickly, be ready)

7) Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, whisking until it has all melted

8) Scrape the custard onto a baking tray, cover with cling-film, and place in the fridge to chill


  • 100g Icing Sugar
  • 25g Cocoa Powder
  • Milk
  • 200g Strawberries
1) Cut the sponges in half horizontally, using a bread knife

2) Put aside 3 medium sized strawberries (choose pretty, even-sized ones)

3) Slice the rest thinly

4) Add a layer of sliced strawberry into each sponge

5) Place the chilled crème patisserie into a piping bag with a small round nozzle

6) Pipe a disc of crème patisserie over the strawberries in each sponge

7) Place the tops back on the sponges

8) In a bowl, mix the icing sugar and cocoa with a little milk, until a thick, viscous mixture is achieved (add the milk a few drops at a time)

9) Put a teaspoon of the chocolate on top of each cake, and coax to the edges, and to dribble

10) Take the 3 strawberries you put aside, hull and quarter them

11) place one strawberry piece on top of each cake