Monday, 25 June 2012
Everybody is blogging about strawberries. Well, it is the season after all. Before I carry on, there's one thing I have to get off my chest - much as I love strawberries, I don't particularly like them with cream. There, I've said it. I realise that in most people's eyes I have just committed heresy but I just don't think that they go very well together. The blandness of the cream detracts from the fresh succulence of the fruit, at least in my mind (and my palate). I'd much rather eat the strawberries on their own, unadulterated but I understand that I am and forever will be firmly in the minority in this case. Mine is a lonely road...
The cake here incorporates two strawberry elements - a puree of the fruit, lightly sweetened, folded into the batter and fresh strawberries scattered over just before baking. The puree gives the cake a subtle pinkish hue and the taste is delicately fruity. I love it just as it is, but you could treat it like a Victoria sponge, splitting it open and sandwiching with jam, crème patissière or even whipped cream.
As the theme is Summer Fruits, this is my entry to June's Tea Time Treats challenge run by Lavender and Lovage and What Kate Baked, hosted by Kate this month. It also neatly fits in with the One Ingredient Cooking challenge, which is hosted by Nazima at Working London Mummy and Laura at How to cook good food and the theme is strawberries.
180g caster sugar
225g self-raising flour
1 tablespoon icing sugar
zest and juice of a lemon
A 22cm cake tin, greased and base lined with baking parchment.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 °C .
Wash and hull the strawberries. Put just over half of them in a food processor or blender and whizz them together with the icing sugar and a good squeeze of lemon.
Halve the other strawberries and leave on one side while you get on with the cake.
Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well between each addition. Fold in the sifted flour and then the strawberry puree.
Pour into the prepared cake tin. Place the remaining halved strawberries on top, pushing them in slightly so that they're partially submerged. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until a cake-tester (be it a knitting needle, metal skewer or anything else you might use) comes out clean.
Leave in the tin for about 10 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack to cool.
Before serving, dust with icing sugar or slice in half and spread with whatever you like (see note above).