Now that Wimbledon is upon us. Strawberries are well and truly order of the day.
Instead of making a strawberry dessert which can be a bit predictable, I thought I would make something that can be enjoyed at tea time. Cake.
This weekend I took my children strawberry picking, which I hope will be the first of many trips this year, to our local ‘Pick Your Own’ farm. They completely loved it! Having given them a picking criteria (not under ripe, over ripe, bird pecked), they were off and within minutes their punnets were positively brimming with strawberries. There is nothing like freshly picked ripe fruit – so juicy and beautifully sweet. It didn’t matter that we had surplus strawberries to my baking needs, they will get eaten.
This is a teacake that I have baked many times but never with strawberries. (In fact, I have never made a cake with strawberries.) I have adapted this recipe from one of Bill Granger’s, a blueberry version, which is completely delicious. It contains sour cream which gives the crumb some density but it is by no means heavy and puffs up at the top as it bakes.
Baked in a rectangular tin, it also has the feeling of a tray bake – minimum greasing, lining, cake construction and frosting.
I have also adapted the cream cheese frosting to include fresh pureed strawberries. Absolutely delicious! The quantity given in the recipe is enough to frost the whole cake but as you can see I have frosted half the cake and drizzled the other half with icing sugar. Go with what you fancy. Maybe the strawberry frosting is strawberry overload for you? One tip with the frosting, be sure to use full fat cream cheese, the light version just goes runny. It is also best eaten within two days of making.
This cake is very easy and goes along way. It makes 18 portions. Store in an air tight container and the cake will see you through to the Wimbledon finals…
- 300g fresh strawberries
- 200ml soured cream
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 180g butter, softened
- 330g caster sugar, plus 1.5 tablespoons (for steeping strawberries)
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 375g plain flour
- 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
- 150g strawberries, pureed
- 250g full fat cream cheese
- 100g butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 250g icing sugar, sifted
- Prepare the strawberries by washing and cutting/chopping each strawberry into about 6 pieces. Place chopped strawberries into a bowl and sprinkle with 1.5 tablespoons of caster sugar. Allow strawberries to steep a little.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C, or Gas Mark 4.
- Prepare the tin (my tin measured 23cm x 30cm) by greasing and lining with parchment. In a bowl, mix together the sour cream and bicarbonate of soda. Allow 5 minutes for the acidity in the sour cream to activate the soda.
- In the bowl of a freestanding mixture, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the lemon zest and vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time and then add the sour cream mixture. Thoroughly combine.
- Sift the flour and baking powder together into the bowl. Gently fold in the flour until combined. Gently fold in half of the steeped strawberries.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Distribute the remaining strawberries over the top of the cake.
- Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes. Allow to cool in the baking tray for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire cooling rack.
- Wash and chop the strawberries and then puree in a blender.
- In the bowl of a freestanding mixer, put the butter and the sifted icing sugar. With a fork, work through the butter and sugar until roughly combined before beating until light and fluffy. Add the salt and lemon zest and continue to combine.
- Add the cream cheese and continue to mix until light and fluffy but do not overbeat. Fold in the strawberry puree until evenly distributed.
- Spoon or spread over the cake as desired.
Source: Adapted from Bill Granger’s ‘Feed Me Now’