25th June 2012
With the glut of strawberries at the moment and whilst waiting for my ice cream maker to arrive, I had to find another recipe to use some of the strawberries up.
The Wimbledon Cake I made yesterday has already gone, it was so good, so the tins are empty and need filling.
It was either meringues, pavlova or another cake to use the strawberries up. I opted for the cake – the others will come with the next picking I expect!
Having had a busy day tidying the garden (mainly cutting the ivy off the walls of the garage), dog walking and over two hours of ironing (whilst watching Wimbledon so it made the ironing just about bearable), I felt the need to relax and bake.
Mary says to use either a deep 20cm (8″) fluted flan tin or an ordinary cake tin. I don’t actually have a ‘deep’ flan tin so opted for my good old 20cm cake tin, which has seen a lot of use over the past week or so. This was lightly greased and the bottom lined.
The first thing II felt I should do in this recipe was to slice the strawberries. 350g were needed and this didn’t seem like many, but once sliced it did look rather a lot for one cake! That was one bowl used.
Next it was onto the main part. Into a large mixing bowl went some self-raising flour (of which I had just enough), together with some sugar and quite a lot of baking powder. Normally Mary’s recipes use 1tsp but this time I needed 1.5 tsps. I was therefore expecting a good rise on this cake!
It was then onto bowl 3, into this went two eggs together with 1tsp of vanilla extract. These then had to be beaten together. It was at this point I began to think what about the butter. That was next on the list and I was pleased to see that it was melted butter (as used in the Wimbledon Cake recipe). This was popped into bowl No 4 and put in the microwave and heated very gently until melted.
Right that was all the preparation done. It was now a case of adding the egg mixture and melted butter to the dry ingredients and mixing it all together. There was no need for the electric whisk today, a good old wooden spoon would suffice. The mixture was combined and I was surprised to see that when it came together it looked very similar to choux pastry. A quick look through the recipe again to make sure I hadn’t missed anything out, as I wasn’t prepared for it to look like this. No, all the ingredients had been added so hopefully that is how it should look.
Half of the mixture was then spooned into the cake tin and spread over the bottom. It was then a case of putting the strawberries on top of this. They had to be put into the centre with a margin of 1cm at the edge. This was a rather big heap of strawberries and they had to be arranged very carefully, otherwise they kept falling to the side of the tin. Eventually they were all piled up as evenly as I possible could and the remainder of the mixture was dotted over the top. This then had to be spread out – very gently I hasten to add, as the strawberries were determined to fall to the edge. I hoped this was right, I wasn’t too sure I seemed to have a mound of strawberries topped with this thick cake mixture and nothing at the side. However, Mary states don’t worry if there are any gaps as these will be filled once the mixture melts in the oven.
Lastly a sprinkling of almonds was put over the top of the cake and it went into the oven for one and half hours! The cake itself didn’t actually begin to smell until the last half hour of baking. I actually went into the kitchen at one point to check that the oven was on! It was…
So much washing up to do with the number of bowls required for this cake, sigh!!
After the hour and a half the cake was removed from the oven. It had risen quite a lot and very evenly. The cake had to be left in the tin for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes I removed it from the tin and noticed that it had in fact started to sink in the middle. This I assumed was due to the high pile of strawberries reducing as they cooked. The cake was then left to cool as it was now quite late in the evening.
The next morning, my daughter decided she was going to have a slice of cake for her breakfast. Mary does say that this is really a dessert and should be eaten warm, but can be eaten cold as a cake. Taste wise I think it was extremely sickly and my daughter also felt the same, however my husband loved it and actually ate two slices in a row! Cooked strawberries for me are a no-no – freshly picked is how I like them and how I think they should be eaten. I don’t think this is one I will be baking again, although I may bake it with a different fruit, as suggested by Mary!