This cake is a wonderful birthday cake that’s as light as a feather – perfect to fill the tummies of lots of excited children! The birthday cake is best eaten just cooled and not long out of the oven, which is just as well, as it doesn’t tend to hang around for long.
– 5 eggs, at room temperature
– 150g caster sugar
– 175g self-raising flour, sifted
– finely grated rind of 1 lemon
– 200g crème fraîche
– 225g strawberries, hulled and sliced
– ½ tsp sifted icing sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5. Line the bases of 2 x 20cm non-stick sandwich cake tins with parchment paper.
2. Place the eggs and sugar in a large bowl. Using either a hand-held electric whisk or a freestanding mixer, beat the mixture until it fills over half the bowl and has the consistency of lightly whipped cream.
3. Using a large metal spoon, gently fold in the sifted flour and continue folding until all the flour is fully absorbed, then fold in the lemon rind.
4. Divide the cake batter between the prepared tins and cook for 20–25 minutes, until slightly springy to the touch and cooked through. Turn out onto wire racks, peel away the parchment paper and leave to cool completely.
5. When the cakes have cooled and you’re ready to serve, beat the crème fraîche until smooth and then spread two-thirds over one of the cakes. Top with half of the strawberries and dust lightly with icing sugar.
6. Sandwich the 2 cake halves together and spread over the rest of the crème fraîche. Arrange the rest of the strawberries on top and dust lightly with icing sugar, then cut into slices and arrange on plates to serve.
Award-winning chef, Neven Maguire, is Head Chef/Owner of MacNean House & Restaurant in Blacklion, Co. Cavan. One of Ireland’s most talented and innovative chefs, Neven has been named ‘Best Chef in Ireland’ at numerous awards. His MacNean House & Restaurant has also been presented with many awards for best dining experience, food and hospitality and most recently ‘Best Wine Experience’ at the Hotel & Catering Review Gold Medal Awards 2015/16. Fulfilling a long-held dream, Neven officially opened his ‘Neven Maguire Cookery School’ alongside his restaurant late 2013.
His latest recipe book – The Nation’s Favourite Healthy Food – is on shelves now and his new series of Healthy Home Chef was broadcast to acclaim on RTÉ 1. Neven is currently filming his new series of Home Chef in Ireland and abroad. His previous series are being shown in the US (on PBS) and the UK (UKTV Food). His award-winning classic, Neven Maguire’s Complete Baby & Toddler Cookbook is also for sale in all good book stores or at Nevenmaguire.com.