The labne panacotta layered in the light cake is a textural sensation!
Begin this recipe two days in advance.
To make labne, line a fine sieve with a sheet of muslin or chux, and set over a bowl. Transfer 750g of yoghurt to lined sieve (reserve remaining 130g for cake), fold over overhanging muslin to cover and refrigerate to drain overnight.
For strawberry-rose jelly, combine strawberries, sugar, citrus rind and juices and 400ml water together in a small saucepan. Bring to the boiland simmer until strawberries are pulpy, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, add rosewater and let infuse for 1 hour. Strain syrup through a fine sieve, without pressing on solids, into a 1L jug (you should have 650ml).
Transfer to a clean small saucepan, bring to the simmer then remove from the heat. Squeeze excess water from gelatine, add to strawberry syrup and stir to dissolve. Lightly oil a 20cm square aluminium cake pan, wiping any excess with absorbent paper. Pour jelly through a small sieve into oiled pan (this helps reduce the formation of air bubbles on the surface of jelly), then refrigerate to set (1.5-2 hours).
Preheat oven to 160C (140C fan-forced). Butter a 20cm square cake tin and line with baking paper. Combine flour, almond meal and freeze-dried strawberries in a food processor and process to combine.
Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Beat butter, 250 g sugar and rind of 1 lemon and 1 lime in an electric mixer until pale (5-7 minutes). Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, until incorporated. Add flour mixture and remaining 130g yoghurt in alternating batches, starting with flour, until combined. Stir in juice of 1 lemon and 1 lime, spoon into cake tin, spread to evenly cover and smooth top. Bake until cake is golden and an inserted skewer withdraws clean (45-50 minutes). Cool cake in tin.
For labne panna cotta, whisk labne and half the cream in a bowl. Bringremaining cream and sugar to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from the heat, squeeze excess water from gelatine and add to hot cream mixture to dissolve, then whisk into panna cotta mixture. Set aside at room temperature to cool (about 1 hour).
Once jelly is set, pour four-fifths of panna cotta mixture (about 800ml)over jelly and return to the fridge to set (1 hour). Slice 375g strawberries into 1cm rounds then carefully place rounds over semi-set panna cotta to cover. Pour over remaining panna cotta mixture, then using a cranked spatula evenly spread to fill in any air pockets. Lightly tap tin, smooth surface and return to refrigerator to set (1.5 – 2 hrs).
Once cake is cool, remove from tin, spread top with a little strawberry jam (just enough to lightly cover cake). Invert tin with set panna cotta-jelly mixture onto the cake, invert again, press gently to adhere, coverwith cling wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight to completely set.
Cut remaining strawberries into quarters lengthways, then combine with pomegranate, remaining 100g sugar, remaining juice and rind of the 2 limes and rosewater, toss to combine and let macerate until strawberries release their juices, about 30 minutes.
Invert cake onto a serving platter. Using a blow torch, warm all the sides of the cake pan to unmould (the tin should no longer feel cold). Using a sharp, cold knife, trim cake to a 19cm square and discard trimmings.
To serve, top cake with syrupy strawberries, edible flowers and micro mint leaves.
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