STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM CAKE
I struggle to think of a more nostalgic and comforting combination than strawberries and cream. Even hearing them together invokes the warmest memories of late summer in the garden, family and friends with great food. This almond-based, strawberry-filled cake is covered with lashings of vanilla bean whipped cream, spiked with Greek yogurt for tang and honey for gentle sweetness. To finish, swirl on some strawberry purée, fresh sliced strawberries and a tangle of wild flowers here and there.
FOR THE CAKE
400g / 14oz fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and halved
200g (13⁄4 sticks) butter, softened
200g (7.1oz) caster sugar + 2 tbsp extra for the coulis
4 free-range eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g (7.1oz) almond flour
50g (1.8oz) plain or spelt flour
Pinch sea salt
Zest and juice of one lemon
FOR THE CREAM
1 cup fresh double cream
1 tbsp full-fat unsweetened Greek yogurt
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
FOR THE DECORATIONS:
2 tbsp strawberry purée
4 fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and quartered
fresh flowers, optional
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F on fan bake.
- Place the strawberries onto a baking tray and place in the oven for 15 minutes, and once soft, take out of the oven and set aside to cool.
- Line 2 x 22cm / 9” cake tins with baking paper.
- To make the cake, in the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until pale, light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, along with the vanilla.
- Gradually fold in the almond flour, flour and salt and mix until just combined, taking care not to overmix. Finally, fold through the lemon zest and juice.
- Evenly divide the batters between the 2 cake tins and spread out to the sides. Dot in two-thirds of the strawberry halves and press them down lightly into the batter. Reserve the rest of the slices to make the purée with.
- Bake for approximately 30 minutes. The cake is ready when golden in colour, springy to the touch, and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Allow the cakes to cool for around 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
- Meanwhile, whip the cream with an electric beater to ribbon consistency. Gently fold through the yogurt, honey and vanilla.
- Place the remaining strawberry halves and 2 tbsp caster sugar into a food processor or smoothie maker and blitz until very smooth.
- Once the cakes are completely cool, spread the cream onto one layer and place the other directly on top. Spread the rest of the cream onto it and drizzle over the strawberry purée. Decorate as desired. Serve at room temperature. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to three days.