"I want the same kind you had!!" he quickly replied.
"A fraisier? Are you sure? You don't want a chocolate cake? Or just a lemon drizzle cake? Or a victoria sponge?"
"No, I want the kind you had!"
He's lucky he's worth it...you'll see why...
First you put some eggs, sugar, and lemon zest in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.
Then you ask your husband to plug in the electric mixer because the outlet still isn't screwed in properly even though the boiler was changed (and the panel behind the outlet dismantled) 6 months ago.
And after a few minutes it is light and fluffy like this, the "ribbon" stage where if you can see a ribbon of batter stay on the top for a bit if you dribble some across.
In went some of the self raising flour to be folded in.
Then in went the rest.
And what makes everything better? BUTTER OF COURSE!!! Melted, so no need to worry about "room temperature" consistency, thank goodness.
Then it went into a lined springform pan. I didn't trim it enough, hence the jagged edge.
While that went in the oven, I started on the creme pastisserie by heating some milk and vanilla paste (I rarely can be bothered with using actual vanilla beans).
In a separate bowl went eggs, egg yolks, corn flour, and sugar.
Once the milk was hot it was poured into the bowl and whisked.
Then returned to the pan.
Once it had thickened, in went butter.
Lots of whisking was necessary here.
Then into a freezer bag it went, to be put in the fridge to be ready for piping later.
Then I moved onto the syrup that keeps the sponge MOIST. Lemon juice and sugar.
It was heated until boiling and until all the sugar was dissolved.
By this time I had to go and get the kids from school, so Michael printed off some stensils and piped melted chocolate onto greaseproof paper for me to transfer later.
Now for assembly. I rolled out some marzipan using icing sugar to prevent it from sticking
And then traced a circle onto paper, then cut out the paper and put it on top like so.
Look, I can make a circle! Sort of.
Not having acetate to hand, some clingfilm went around the side of the now empty springform pan.
The sponge was sliced in half with a big bread knife.
And half the syrup was put on the bottom half after I'd wedged it into the tin. Robert helped.
Sliced strawberries went around the sides.
And the filling was squirted between them.
Then I squirted big creme pat turds all through the middle.
On went quartered strawberries. I sometimes put raspberries in instead, but have strawberries around the sides as it's prettier that way.
More creme pat turds.
Then I squashed on the other syrup soaked layer of sponge.
Then the marzipan...
Then the writing and garnish.
We had wanted to have it on the night of his birthday, but Catherine had fallen asleep by the time Christopher got home from cricket, so we decided to have it for, er, breakfast instead.
I mean, it had fruit and nuts in it, didn't it? And lots of eggs too...10 I think in total.
My son made his birthday wish
And smiled on his parents' great efforts.
He was delighted to get all the candles on the first attempt.
And I was happy not to have to do any more baking for a bit.
The GBBO technical challenge recipe is here, or in copy & paste form below. All 34 friggin steps of it: