alking down Smith Street, Collingwood this past week, it’s hard not to notice that strawberries are suddenly everywhere. Gone are the bland watery strawberries that had taken up residence in Woolworths all winter and in their place are small, sweet strawberries deep in colour and big on flavour. At Tomboy, we get excited when a new fruit comes into season – it's more affordable, tastes better and is generally grown closer to home. It's also usually better for you too, as it hasn't been a cold freeze for several months.
While we love making strawberry tarts and muffins at Tomboy, our favourite strawberry recipe at this time of year is a lime-infused sponge cake paired with homemade basil strawberry jam. The flavours get on beautifully together and create a light, fresh dessert, perfect for a balmy evening in the backyard filled with jasmine or a sunny afternoon tea treat.
The sponge cake recipe has been handed down through my family and was invented by my grandmother, Judy Robertson. While hers will always be the original and the best, my adaption marries together flavours that remind me summer is just around the corner.
If you can make sure that…
- Your bowl is clean and dry
- No yolk spills into your whites
- You handle the mix gently to retain the air
...you'll be fine!
Lime Infused Sponge Cake with Homemade Strawberry Basil Jam, Whipped Cream and Fresh Strawberries.
Lime Sponge Cake Recipe:
- 6 free range eggs
- 3/4 cup castor sugar
- 1 cup gluten-free self-raising flour
- Rind of two limes
Line the base of two round 20cm springform tins with baking paper and modestly grease sides with melted butter. Separate egg whites and yolks, cracking egg whites directly into your Mixmaster and placing yolks in a clean bowl. Add sugar to whites and beat until soft peaks form. Reduce speed and add yolks slowly one at a time until fully incorporated into the mix. Finally, add the flour in small batches until completely stirred through. Pour the batter in equal halves into the two pre-prepared tins and bake in oven at 150C for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool in tins before turning out onto wire rack.
Strawberry, Basil Jam Recipe:
- 1kg of strawberries, hulled and halved
- 1 kg of white sugar
- 10–15 basil leaves, finely chopped
- Juice from half a lime
Wash and sterilise jam jars and lids. Place strawberries in a saucepan and stir through the sugar. Leave for 1 hour while the sugar softens the fruit. Add the limejuice and cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly, until the fruit is soft. Remove 1/3 of the fruit. Cook the remaining mixture until the fruit is largely dissolved and jam coats the back of a spoon. At this point add the basil and stir until fragrant. Add the reserved fruit back into the mix, and stir through. Divide the jam between the jars and allow to cool before sealing with lids.
To Assemble the Cake:
- 1 punnet fresh strawberries, hulled
- 500g of fresh cream, whipped to soft peaks
- Strawberry Basil Jam
Place one of the cakes onto a plate. Spread it with a generous lashing of the jam and then a thick layer of whipped cream, keeping approximately half in reserve. Carefully pick up second cake and sandwich it on top of the cream covered cake. Press together gently so it is stable. Slather the top of the cake with the remaining whipped cream, until it meets the edge of the cake. Decorate the cake with whole strawberries and garnish with finely sliced basil.
Georgina March is the co-owner of Tomboy.
356 Smith Street, Collingwood
(03) 9486 0162
Tues to Sat 7am–4pm