Brown sugar sponge with strawberry mascarpone

Looking for a decadent dessert? Try our brown sugar sponge with strawberry mascarpone – it serves 16 and will leave the crowd wanting more.

16

55m

Note: + cooling & chilling time

35m

Ingredients

  • 9 Coles Australian Free Range Eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup (110g) brown sugar
  • 11/2 cups (225g) plain flour
  • 90g butter, melted, cooled
  • 250g strawberries, thinly sliced
  • Coles Raspberry Flavoured Meringue Kisses, crushed, to decorate

STRAWBERRY SYRUP

  • 1 cup (220g) caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) sparkling wine or apple juice
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 125g strawberries, coarsely chopped

STRAWBERRY MASCARPONE

  • 125g strawberries, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup (75g) brown sugar
  • 1kg mascarpone
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Method

STEP 1

Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease the base and sides of two 2.5cm-deep, 24cm x 34cm lamington pans and line with baking paper, allowing the sides to overhang. Use an electric mixer to whisk the eggs and combined sugar in a large bowl for 10-12 mins or until mixture is thick, pale and triples in size. Use a metal spoon to gently fold in the flour, baking powder and butter. Divide evenly among prepared pans and smooth the surface.

STEP 2

Bake, swapping pans halfway through cooking, for 20-25 mins or until the sponge is golden brown and the centres spring back when lightly pressed. Set aside in the pans for 10 mins before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

STEP 3 

To make the strawberry syrup, combine the sugar and 1/4 cup (60ml) water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 mins or until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and bring to the boil. Cook, without stirring, for 5-6 mins or until mixture thickens and is a dark caramel colour. Remove from heat. Carefully, add wine or apple juice, lime juice and 1/3 cup (80ml) water and stir to combine. Add strawberry and set aside to cool. Place in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve into a small bowl. Discard solids. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill.

STEP 4 

Use pastry cutters and plates as a guide to cut a 20cm disc, 17cm disc, 14cm disc, 11cm disc, 8cm disc, 5cm disc and 2.5cm disc from the sponge cakes (reserve leftover sponge for another use – see tip, below).

STEP 5 

To make strawberry mascarpone, place the strawberry and half the sugar in a food processor and process until smooth. Use a clean electric mixer to whisk the mascarpone, vanilla and remaining sugar in a large bowl until firm peaks form. Add the strawberry mixture and use a metal spoon to gently fold until just combined. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm plain nozzle.

STEP 6 

Brush the sponge discs with a little strawberry syrup. Pipe the strawberry mascarpone in concentric circles over each disc. Drizzle with more strawberry syrup. Top each disc with strawberry and sprinkle with meringue. Place the 20cm disc on a serving platter. Stack with the remaining discs, from large to small, to make a Christmas tree shape. Place in the fridge until ready to serve.

STEP 7 

Drizzle with remaining syrup to serve.

SERVE WITH: finely grated white chocolate

FESTIVE MAKEOVER: You’ll have leftover cake from this recipe. Use it to make rum balls by crumbling it into a bowl and stirring in a little rum or orange juice until a slightly sticky mixture forms. Roll into balls, then roll in desiccated coconut.