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Butter and flour a 10-inch/25 cm ring mould.
Mix the yeast, sugar, salt, and warm water in a large bowl and let stand 5 minutes.
Add the eggs, milk, lemon zest, and flour.
Beat vigorously in a stand-up mixture with paddle attachment for a full 10 minutes.
This is necessary to make the dough smooth and elastic, pulling away from the sides of the bowl, which will result in a very light, fine-textured cake.
Cover and let rise in a warm place about an hour.
Punch down the dough.
Beat in the softened butter, a piece at a time, until fully incorporated.
Spoon the mixture into the mould, evenly.
Cover, and let rise again two hours.
Heat the oven to 350°F/175°C.
Bake the Savarin until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Unmould onto a cooling rack, then transfer to a large serving platter.
For the syrup, bring the water and sugar to a boil in a saucepan 1 minute.
Stir in the Grand Marnier.
Ladle the syrup over the cake, until fully absorbed.
The cake will expand and become very sponge-like in texture.
To serve, whip the cream with the vanilla and sugar.
Fold in the strawberries, reserving a few for garnish, and spoon into the hole in the centre of the cake or pass in a bowl to serve on the side.
*If you want a really glossy top, melt a jelly, such as apricot, and brush the cake with it once all the syrup has been absorbed.
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