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Petra Galler's Vanilla & Sour Cream cake with Strawberry & Fennel

Petra Galler's Vanilla & Sour Cream cake with Strawberry & Fennel

This is such a simple number but oh so effective! The perfect size to feed a crowd, I make this using the Fat Daddios 23x33cm Sheet Pan.

The sour cream in the cake batter creates the most tender crumb and it has a surprisingly long shelf life; it will stay moist and divine for up to 5 days.

Don’t be put off by the addition of fennel seeds in the jam. The flavour is subtle, but adds a really beautiful complexity. You can of course use any berries you like, fresh or frozen will work wonderfully!

INGREDIENTS

Sour Cream Cake
355g plain flour
300g caster
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp flaky salt
225g butter, softened
1 TB vanilla paste
240ml milk
80g sour cream
3 eggs

Strawberry and Fennel Seed Jam
500g strawberries, de stemmed and roughly chopped (frozen is fine here!)
125g caster sugar
1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
Juice of 1 lemon
2tsp cornflour, mixed with 2tsp water

Buttercream
225g cream cheese, softened
100g butter, softened
1tsp vanilla paste
1 pinch sea salt
600g icing sugar

METHOD

Line your Fat Daddios tin with baking paper and preheat your oven to 160 fan bake.

Place all of your dry ingredients into the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for a few seconds to gently combine before adding your butter, vanilla and half of your milk. Mix for 1 minute; we want all the dry ingredients nicely moistened. It will start to resemble a thick dough.

In a seperate bowl, whisk together the remaining milk, sour cream and the eggs. With the mixer on medium speed, add the egg mix in 3 additions, mixing for about 15 seconds each time and then scraping down the sides of the bowl before adding more egg. Once everything is incorporated, give it a final mix by hand to make sure there are no big lumps, before pouring into your prepared tin. Spread out evenly using a palette knife and bake for about 35-40 minutes or until the centre of the cake bounces back when gently pressed.
Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before carefully turning onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Next step is your jam. Place all the ingredients except the cornflour into a medium size pot and cook on medium heat, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved.
Cook on low for 10-15 minutes, or until the strawberries have completely broken down and the mixture is looking thick and somewhat syrupy. Stir in your cornflour and water mixture and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly. It should be looking gorgeous and jammy by now! Pour into a shallow dish and cool completely; I pop mine straight in the fridge or freezer if I’m in a hurry!

For your buttercream, place the cream cheese, butter and vanilla in the bowl of your stand mixer and beat on high for 2 minutes until completely combined and smooth. Add in your icing sugar in 3 additions, beating for 1 minutes in between each lot. Once its all in, crank the speed to high and beat for 3-4 minutes until nice and fluffy.

It’s now time to assemble!
Place your cake on a large chopping board and using a very sharp knife, cut in half horizontally. It’s sometimes helpful to score around the edges of the cake, just so you have a bit of a guideline!

Pipe a generous border of your buttercream around the edge of the bottom layer of your cake; this is almost like a dam for your jam, so nothing seeps out!
Spread your jam evenly in the middle, before placing your remaining cake layer on top.

Dollop a generous amount of your icing on top of the cake and smooth it all over and down the sides using a palette knife.
It is often easier to cut a cake cleanly if it is a little on the cooler side so at this point I will often pop it in the fridge for about 30 minutes before cutting.

Enjoy!

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