STRAWBERRY, LEMON, PEPPER AND BASIL CAKE

If I had to choose my favorite cake, I probably couldn’t decide between the very classic and timeless tart with custard and strawberries and the tarte au citron with burnt meringue.

An extremely intriguing game between sweet, sour, fresh, buttery, and spicy.

Note: the preparations present in this cake need a rest in the refrigerator of at least 6 hours to guarantee an optimal hold, organize the work so as to have everything ready for the day when you intend to assemble.

Ingredients for a 26 cm mold

For the “shortbread” pepper base

  • 275 butter at room temperature
  • 5 g salt
  • 90 g icing sugar
  • 12 g yolk
  • 250 flour
  • 25 corn starch
  • 25 potato starch
  • black pepper, Sarawak and timeout ground at the time

For the lemon creamy

  • 135 g lemon juice (make the zest before squeezing the juice)
  • 120 g caster sugar
  • 135 g of eggs
  • 230 g butter
  • 5 g of gelatin in sheets

For the strawberry compote with basil

  • 500 g strawberries, cleaned and diced
  • 125 g sugar
  • 30 g lemon juice
  • 50 g of water
  • a bunch of basil

Method

For the “shortbread” pepper base

Whip butter, salt, pepper and icing sugar with the mixer leaf for a few minutes until light and airy. Combine the egg yolks and all the sifted powders together. Make a regular dough, cover with plastic wrap, and leave to rest in the refrigerator overnight. Spread at 5 mm thick (you can help yourself by spreading directly between 2 sheets of parchment paper), cut with a sharp knife a disc of 26 cm in diameter (surely the pastry will advance, you can make biscuits).

Put the pastry disk back in the fridge for a couple of hours; this will allow it to keep its regular shape during cooking.

Prick with a fork and bake in a static oven at 165 degrees for 20 minutes.

The bottom of the cake should be golden and dry. Allow cooling to room temperature.

Once cold brush with 25 grams of melted cocoa butter briefly in the microwave, this operation is necessary to waterproof the pastry base.

For the lemon creamy

Soak the gelatin in water and ice. Mix eggs, lemon peel and granulated sugar with a whisk. Bring the lemon juice to the boil, pour over the egg mixture. Return to the heat and cook up to 84 degrees. Outside the heat, add the squeezed gelatine and mix well.

Pour the cream into a bowl and wait for it to reach 50 degrees, then add the butter at room temperature and emulsify with an immersion blender until the mixture is completely smooth.

Place in a container with a contact film and leave for at least 6 hours.

For the strawberry compote with basil

Arrange the strawberries on a plate lined with parchment paper. Try not to overlap too much; this will allow the strawberries to lose most of their water and to concentrate its flavor. Cook at 170 degrees for 20/30 min, until they are reduced and syrupy.

Meanwhile blend the sugar with the basil, until you have a fine sugar of a beautiful bright green.

When the strawberries are ready, combine them in a small saucepan with the flavored sugar and lemon juice — Cook over medium heat for 15/20 min.

Place in a container with a contact film and leave to stand until completely cooled.

Assembling

Put the lemon cream in a sac-à-poche with a smooth 1.2 cm nozzle. Put the strawberry compote in a sac-à-poche with a smooth 0.5 cm nozzle. Make a spiral of creamy based on shortbread, starting from the outside to the center. The pastry should be completely covered with a regular layer of about 2.5 cm. Proceed also with the compote, in this case, a veil of a few millimeters is enough to help glue the strawberries. Cut the strawberries into slices of 2/3 mm, arrange on the cake to cover it completely.

Let stand at least 2 hours before serving. Garnish with small candied lemon, basil leaves, and lightly ground pepper.

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