Valentine’s Day is right around the corner again. I’m not sure I can really get behind it very much. If you’re single it’s miserable, if you’re in a couple it’s trite, so the only people who could possibly enjoy it are those in the process of getting together… or something… maybe.
Anyway, that’s really beside the point because the best thing about Valentine’s Day is evidently the excuse to eat cakes and chocolates galore. In heart-shaped form.
This cake is neither chocolate or heart-shaped, but it is based on a recipe from my gluten-free Christmas book, the Chocolate Present Cake. I made another very nice cake based on it in the form of a coconut and lime cake, so I thought I’d do a bit of experimenting and make something a little Valentine-appropriate. This cake can be made entirely in the food processor or stand mixer, so is really easy.
Needless to say, if you’re a cheapskate like me, use cava or prosecco in place of champagne. Save the good champagne for drinking, people!
For the buttercream
To make up:
1. Preheat the oven to 170C/340F. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla sugar together until creamy.
2. Add eggs, one at a time. Sift the flour and baking powder and stir in carefully.
3. Add strawberries, Nesquik powder and sour cream and mix well until you have a smooth batter.
4. Divide equally between two greased cake tins (of whatever shape you like) and bake for around 30 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.
5. Leave to cool completely.
6. In a saucepan, heat the champagne on a medium heat, until it has reduced by half, i.e. until it is 1/4 cup
7. Cream the butter and sugar together until very light, and add the sour cream and reduced champagne, mixing well. Spread the icing evenly on top of one of the layers and place the other layer on top, then cover the cake with icing.
8. Decorate with strawberries.
Enjoy with the rest of that champagne that you so carefully saved!