Selasi’s twist on a traditional pound cake is lightly flavoured with marzipan and topped with fresh cream and strawberries. Vibrant red swirls of sponge brighten up every slice.
Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/Gas 4.
Make the sponge. Beat the butter, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest in a stand mixer fitted with the beater, on medium speed until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition, then add the grated marzipan and beat again to combine.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder, then add this to the mixture in the stand mixer and beat to combine.
Spoon one third of the mixture into a small bowl and add the red food colouring and blitzed freeze-dried strawberries. Stir to give a deep pink shade.
Spoon half the plain sponge mixture evenly into the loaf tin and add spoonfuls of the red mixture on top. Top with the remaining plain sponge mixture and then run a round-bladed knife through the mixture to marble.
Tap the tin to level the mixture, then bake for 35 minutes, until firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes while you make the syrup.
For the syrup, put the sugar and lemon zest and juice in a small pan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil and allow to boil until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat.
Remove the sponge from the loaf tin and place it on a wire rack. Brush the syrup all over while the sponge is still warm. Set aside.
Make the jam. Put the strawberries, jam sugar and lemon juice in a medium pan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil and allow to boil for 5 minutes, until the strawberries have softened and started to break down. Add the basil leaves, then use a hand-held blender to blitz until smooth. Pour the jam into a bowl and leave to cool.
Make the Chantilly cream. Whisk together the cream and vanilla until the mixture is stiff enough to hold its shape. Spoon into the piping bag fitted with the star nozzle. Pipe swirls of cream on top of the sponge to cover, then add spoonfuls of the cooled jam into the ‘nests’ made by the swirls.
Decorate the top of the cake with the quartered strawberries and a few small basil leaves.