Mary Berry’s chocolate and strawberry dessert cake

Perfect for a celebration, this is a decadent dessert cake – one to be eaten with a fork! Like a roulade, it contains no flour, which means it is a rich close-textured sponge – so expect it to dip a little when it comes out of the oven.

mary berry chocolate and strawberry cake
Laura Edwards

SERVES 8-10

PREPARE AHEAD The cakes can be made up to a day ahead, and assembled and filled up to 2 hours ahead.

FREEZE The cakes, without cream and fruit, freeze well.

butter, for greasing
6 eggs, separated
150g (5oz) caster sugar
50g (2oz) cocoa powder, sieved 

FOR THE FILLING AND TOPPING

300ml (10fl oz) double cream
2 tbsp icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp vanilla extract
400g (14oz) strawberries, sliced (reserve 3 whole strawberries)
rosemary sprigs or mint leaves

You will need two 20cm (8in) round, loose-bottomed sandwich tins.

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4, then grease the tins and line the bases with baking paper.

2. Put the egg whites into a bowl, whisk with an electric hand whisk until soft peaks form and the whites are fluffy and look like clouds. Spoon into a separate bowl.

3. Put the yolks and caster sugar into the unwashed first bowl. Whisk with an electric hand whisk until thick and there is a trail in the mixture when the whisk is lifted. Carefully fold the whites into the yolk mixture, then fold in the cocoa a little at a time, until well mixed. Divide the mixture between the tins and level the tops.

4. Bake for about 25 minutes until the cakes are well risen and coming away from the sides of the tins. Turn out and leave to cool on a wire rack.

5. Whisk the cream into soft peaks, then stir in the icing sugar and vanilla. Spread half the cream over one cake and arrange half the strawberries on top. Put the second cake on top and spread with the rest of the cream.

6. Arrange the remaining strawberries on top of the cake, with a few whole ones and rosemary sprigs or mint leaves in the middle. Dust with icing sugar just before serving.

Now buy the book with £14 off

mary berry simple comforts recipes

Our recipes are from Simple Comforts by Mary Berry, which will be published on 17 September by BBC Books, price £26. to order a copy for £12 until 20 September go to whsmith.co.uk and enter the code YOUMARY at the checkout. Book number: 9781785945076. For terms and conditions, see whsmith.co.uk