This is a wonderful summer dessert cake. It conjures up long lazy summers in my parent’s garden trying to keep cool and fooling around with my brothers.
This cake needs plenty of time to chill so is best made a day ahead. Best of all is that the taste gets better over time as the flavours develop.
Strawberry & Lime Torte with Basil Pesto
For the Base
- 120g plain flour
- 30g ground almonds
- 40g sugar
- 75g cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 large egg yolk
For the Sponge
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 90g caster sugar
- 90g plain flour
- 90g ground roasted almonds
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Grated rind of 1 lime
- Pinch of salt
For the Sweet Basil Pesto
- 30g chopped roasted almonds
- 45g basil
- 4 tsp lemon juice
- 3 tsp honey
- Pinch of salt
- 80ml almond oil or light olive oil
- Pinch of grated lemon rind
For the Lime Filling
- 1 gelatine leaf, soaked for 10 minutes in cold water (see Notes)
- 100ml lime juice
- Grated rind of 2 limes
- 1 pack of vanilla pudding (see Notes)
- 50g caster sugar
- 400ml whole milk
- 250ml double cream
For the Strawberry Mirror
- 350g fresh strawberries
- 40g caster sugar
- 2 ½ gelatine leaves, soaked for 10 minutes in cold water (see Notes)
- 100g chocolate hazelnut spread, I used Nutella
- A few small strawberries to decorate
- To make the base, put the flour, almonds, sugar and butter in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Add the egg yolk and pulse again until just combined. Turn the mixture out onto a worktop and using your hands, lightly bring the mixture together. Add a few drops of cold water if the mixture is still crumbly.
- Wrap the pastry dough in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan. Grease and line a 23cm shallow tin or spring form with baking parchment.
- Roll the pastry out on a worktop lightly dusted with flour to about 3mm thickness and use to line the base of the tin. Prick the pastry all over with a fork and bake in the preheated oven for 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
- To make the sponges, preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan. Grease two 23cm loose bottomed, shallow tins and line the base with baking parchment.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, beat together the egg yolks with the sugar until pale and fluffy.
- Sift the flour into a separate bowl and stir in the almonds, baking powder and grated lime.
- In a clean bowl beat the egg whites with the salt until stiff but not dry.
- Fold a third of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture.
- Add the remaining egg whites and the dry ingredients and gently but swiftly fold everything together until combined.
- Divide the batter between the tins and bake in the preheated oven for 8 – 10 minutes until golden and firm to the touch.
- Turn the sponges out onto cooling racks and remove the baking parchment. Leave to cool completely.
- For the basil pesto, place all the ingredients into a small food processor or use a hand blender and blend to a smooth pesto.
- For the lime filling, place the vanilla pudding powder, lime juice, lime rind and sugar in a small bowl and stir till smooth.
- Place the milk into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the pudding mixture and stirring all the time, bring the mixture to a boil.
- Take the saucepan off the heat and stir in the squeezed out gelatine. Pour the mixture into a bowl and leave to cool stirring every now and again to prevent a skin forming.
- Beat the double cream until thick and creamy. Stir a third of the cream into the cooled lime mixture then gently fold in the remaining cream.
- Place the short pastry base onto a serving plate and spread with the chocolate hazelnut spread.
- Place the first sponge on top and enclose with a close fitting cake ring.
- Spoon the lime filling over the cake and level.
- Spoon the basil pesto into a small food bag and snip of a corner. Pipe the pesto in a spiral over the lime filling and smooth with a pallet knife.
- Place the second sponge over the top and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile make the strawberry mirror. Puree the strawberries with the sugar using a hand blender.
- Heat 60ml of the puree to just below boiling and add the squeezed out gelatine. Stir until dissolved. Stir 2 – 3 tbsp of the strawberry puree into the gelatine mixture then add the gelatine mixture to the strawberry puree and stir to combine.
- Pour the mixture over the cake and return the cake to the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours but better overnight.
- Remove the cake ring and decorate to your liking with strawberries, basil leaves or lime.
Note: I have used Dr. Oetker Diamond Leaf Gelatine. If you are using a different brand, please refer to the manufactures instructions.
I have used Dr. Oetker Diamond Original Pudding. If you are using a different brand, please refer to the manufactures instructions.