Chocolate Sponge

Suitable for vegetarians
Preparation: 30 mins
Cooking: 25 mins plus cooling time
Serves: 8
Calories per serving: 390
Fat per serving: 19g


100g (3 1/2oz) plain flour
25g (1oz) cocoa, plus 1tbsp for dusting
4 large eggs
125g (4oz) caster sugar
227g (8oz) carton strawberries
50g (2oz) belgian plain chocolate, melted
4tbsp icing sugar, for sweetening the cream and dusting
284ml (10 floz) double cream, whipped


  • Preheat oven to 180C/gas 4. Lightly grease and line the bases of two 20cm sandwich cake tins. Sift together the flour and cocoa powder twice to mix well.
  • Put the eggs and sugar in a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Don’t let the water boil or touch the base of the bowl – if it does, the eggs will scramble. Whisk with an electric hand whisk for 10 mins until thick, foamy, pale and tripled in volume – you’ll know it’s ready if the mixture leaves a ribbon trail when the whisks are lifted.
  • Remove the bowl from the pan and continue whisking for 2 mins until cool. Fold in the flour and cocoa using a metal spoon, spooning the mixture from the bottom of the bowl up over the top in a figure of eight pattern (do not stir or beat as this will knock out the air).
  • Divide the mixture between the prepared tins and level the tops. Bake for 25 mins until the sides have shrunk slightly from the tin and it feels springy to the touch.
  • When cooked, turn out onto a wire rack to cool and peel off the paper. Dip 4 to 5 strawberries in the melted chocolate and dry. Remove the green tops and slice remaining strawberries.
  • Mix 2 tablespoons of icing sugar into cream, spread over a sponge and top with sliced strawberries. Put the other sponge on top.
  • Cut up strips of greaseproof paper, about 2.5cm wide and long enough to lay over the top of the cake. Dust top of cake with the remaining icing sugar. Put evenly spaced strips of paper across the cake, dust with cocoa, then carefully lift paper to make stripes. Decorate with the chocolate-dipped strawberries.
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