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For the spongecake:
3 large eggs
Nonstick vegetable oil spray or vegetable oil
3/8 cup superfine sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 pound strawberries, hulled and cut in two or four
1 teaspoon superfine sugar.
1. Prepare the crème pâtissière: In
a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar
until creamy. Mix in flour and set aside. In a heavy-bottom saucepan, combine milk
and cream and place over medium-high heat until steaming. Pour mixture into bowl
with yolks and whisk until smooth. Pour mixture back into saucepan and place over
medium-low heat. Whisk gently until thickened to a soft custard, 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla extract.
2. Cool custard by pouring into a bowl set in a basin
of cold water. Rinse a sheet of
parchment paper under water, wring out, and place on surface of custard to prevent
a skin from forming.
3. Prepare the spongecake: Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place
eggs in a mixing bowl
filled with warm water for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly oil bottom, sides and rim
of an 18-by-13-inch jellyroll pan, and line with baking parchment.
4. Remove eggs, discard water and dry bowl. Crack eggs
into the warm bowl and
beat with an electric mixer at low speed until frothy. Gradually add sugar. Continue
to beat until mixture increases in volume to that of a thick mousse. Slowly beat in
1/4 cup warm water and vanilla. Stop beating. Mix salt and baking powder into flour.
Gently fold flour mixture into beaten eggs. Scrape into jellyroll pan and bake until the
spongecake has risen evenly and is golden brown, but still tender, about 15 minutes.
Remove from heat, allow to cool, and turn out onto serving platter.
5. To assemble: In a small bowl combine the strawberries
and sugar. Stir until berries
are evenly coated and shiny. Spread spongecake evenly with cooled crème pâtissière.
Arrange strawberries, cut side down, over the surface. Cut into rectangles and serve