Strawberry and passionfruit mile-high layer cake
1.Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease three 20cm round sandwich cake pans; line each base with baking paper.
2.Beat butter, sugar and extract in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Fold in sifted flours and milk, in two batches. Divide mixture evenly into pans.
3.Bake cakes for 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave cakes in pans for 5 minutes before turning, top-side down, onto wire racks to cool.
4.Meanwhile, make passionfruit cream: Beat cream in a small bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Stir in sifted icing sugar and passionfruit.
5.Reserve 10 strawberries; thinly slice remaining. Split cold cakes in half. Place one cake layer on a plate or cake stand; spread with one-fifth of the passionfruit cream, top with one-fifth of the sliced strawberries, then another cake layer. Repeat layering, finishing with a cake layer.
6.Make meringue frosting (see procedure below).
7.Spread frosting over top and side of cake. Just before serving, decorate with reserved strawberries and dust with sifted icing sugar.
8.Stir sugar, glucose and the water in a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil; boil 3 minutes or until syrup reaches 116°C on a sugar thermometer (or when a teaspoon of syrup, dropped into a cup of cold water, forms a soft ball when a small amount of mixture is rolled between your fingers).
9.Remove from heat to allow bubbles to subside. Meanwhile, beat egg whites in a small bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form; beat in extra sugar until dissolved. While motor is operating, pour in hot syrup in a thin steady stream; beat on high speed for 5 minutes or until mixture is thick.
You can make the cakes a day ahead. Complete the recipe to the end of step 5, then refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Cover the layered cake with meringue frosting no more than 3 hours before serving.Note