Sunday 15 May 2011

Sunday baking - Strawberry cake

My year 11 class, who I bake for regularly, have a two hour English GCSE exam tomorrow (their first exam of the season) followed by a lesson with me. Fun for me. I was asked by a student with a haunted expression, "You're baking for that day, right Miss?" so I have obliged.

I whipped up a batch of caramel hazelnut flapjacks as detailed in my last recipe post, but yesterday the green grocer had boxes of strawberries on two for £1.50 + a third free yesterday and so I had to snap them up. Strawberries can be tricky. I don't store them in the fridge if I can help it because they are prone to take on the taste of anything else in there and anyway, chilled strawberries don't taste right to me. When I looked at them this morning I realised I was either going to have to refrigerate them, eat all 3lbs today, or find a cake recipe.

Bizarrely, a lot of cake recipes out there on t'internet are made with cake mix and strawberry jelly. Cake takes almost no time to put together, especially if you use cup measurements instead of a scale, and so short-cut cakes confuse me.
Eventually I found this one but had no vegetable oil (except olive, which I know from experience is no good in cakes...), so I adapted it slightly for me. It made one cathedral-bundt cake and 10 fairy cakes.

3 cups self-raising flour (or if you, like me, only keep plain flour, make it 3 cups + 6 tsp baking powder - this worked fine for me)
2 cups caster sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup melted butter - this was probably about 6oz. I used what I had melted and didn't need to butter the cake tin.
1 & 1/2 cups strawberry puree - buzz the strawbs in a blender and then sieve. I reckon I blended about a pound and a half but I had more than necessary.
Red food colouring - optional

Easiest cake ever - just bung everything in a bowl and blend until smooth (this is definitely no slower than a box cake, surely!)
I added some red food colouring to give mine a really PINK colour but it was pale pink already. Bake at 180 degrees for about 35 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.

I mixed half the remaining puree with a good whack of caster sugar (reckon it was about 1 part sugar to 1.5 parts puree) and then drizzled over the cooling cake as a glaze. Looks very pretty and they taste quite good in miniature. Waiting til I taste the cut cake tomorrow for my final judgement, though.

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