Recipe Number One Hundred & Seventy Six: Page 76
I love strawberries and I love cake, so I felt sure that this recipe would be a real winner. We've been lucky with the weather over the last few days. The sun has shone and it's been warm enough for me to abandon my coat! This strawberry dessert cake seemed perfect for a gorgeous spring day.
Before the cake making commenced we enjoyed a lovely walk around the village. It was so nice to see the spring flowers in bloom and to catch a whiff of freshly cut grass. On our way home we popped into the shop to buy some strawberries. I was relieved to see that they had numerous punnets available; unfortunately they weren't of the best quality. Hey ho, beggars can't be choosers! Isaac proudly carried the strawberries all the way home. Of course he couldn't resist giving them a hearty poke!!!
When I came to making the dessert cake several hours later, my first task was to choose either a deep fluted flan tin or a plain round cake tin. After a lot of deliberating I finally settled on the flan tin as I haven't used one for a while. Also, it would make the cake a little more interesting. It took a while to grease each curve of the tin; I very much hoped the cake wouldn't stick!
The method for this recipe was rather different to what I have become accustomed to. First of all I measured flour, baking powder and sugar into a mixing bowl. That isn't anything out of the ordinary. It was the next set of instructions that stopped me in my tracks. I had to beat the eggs and vanilla extract together in a separate bowl and also melt some butter in a saucepan. I'm so used to following Mary's all in one method that I hadn't noticed until the last minute that the butter should be melted. I really needed to stop daydreaming and pay attention!! I poured the whisked eggs and melted butter into the bowl to join the dry ingredients. Next I simply stirred it all together. I have to say it was lovely not to have to dig out my electric whisk! The mixture combined beautifully and in moments it was silky smooth. I thought it resembled choux pastry more than it did a cake mixture. It was very thick and had a buttery sheen.
Half of the cakey paste went into the base of my flan tin. As I arranged all of the sliced strawberries over the top I realised why the mixture was perhaps so thick. It needed to be able to hold the weight of all the strawberries. I spread the rest of the mixture over the top and tried to cover any holes as best I could. I wasn't sure why I was to sprinkle flaked almonds over the top. It gives the misguided illusion that the cake will have an almond flavour! However, I was very pleased with the look of the cake; it did look pretty. I placed the tin in the oven. There it would remain for an hour and a half. After about twenty minutes I took a peek through the oven door and saw that the cake had risen at least an inch above the tin; it looked magnificent! After an hour I noticed that the cake was burning along one side, so I risked opening the door to turn the tin. This must have been a mistake as the cake ended up sinking down and spilling over the sides. It didn't look anywhere near as good as it once had. I felt so disappointed!
After the full hour and a half cooking time I took the deflated cake from the oven and left it to cool for the suggested fifteen minutes. When I came to removing the cake from the tin I very much wished I hadn't used the flan tin as it was a nightmare to extract! Oh well, you live and you learn. In the end my poor cake looked as though it had been dropped on the floor and then stamped on!!!! Perhaps the taste would make up for everything. Alas it did not! I've discovered that I really don't like the texture or taste of cooked strawberries. It just didn't work for me. The surface of the cake had a sugary firm crust while the middle was light and moist. I found the vanilla flavour to be a little overwhelming; maybe I'd mistakenly added too much. Neil thought the cake tasted OK and was happy to eat it. However, he didn't think the flavours really worked. Sadly this is a cake that I can resist and I haven't been back for a second slice. However, if you like cooked strawberries this may well be the cake for you!!!
|My wounded cake!|
|Should of smothered it in custard!|