Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Strawberry Cake

This is the story of a very forgiving, easy cake, and I have the photos to prove it. I discovered this recipe last summer and made it twice, with different, equally delicious results.

Today I discovered the strawberries I had sitting on the counter had to be used today, with no further delay, and this recipe came to mind again. Only this time, I mis-read the recipe and used 50% more flour than I should have. And it still turned out fine. Denser, but still delicious.

June is the time that local strawberries come on the market, and there is no point in buying them any time that they are not local.  Since this recipe uses fresh strawberries, it is an ideal summer cake.

The first time I made this recipe I followed it exactly, including a mix of all-purpose and barley flour. It turned out perfect, with a soft crumb and delicate flavour. I made it in a cake pan, and the batter ended up buckling around the fruit on top.

The second time I made it in spring-form pan, but the fruit ended up sinking to the bottom, but it tasted great and I just managed to take a picture before the rest of it was consumed.

The third time I made it in a deep dish pie plate, I didn't have any barley flour and it was too early in the morning, so I rushed though the instructions and added 2.25 cups of flour instead of 1.5 cups. I also used buttermilk instead of milk. The cake ended up being denser, perhaps more muffin-like than cake like, or like a cobbler. I can imagine serving it with some warm custard served over it.

Strawberry Cake

Once again, this recipe is adapted from  Smitten Kitchen.

225 grams (1 1/2 cup)   flour (up to 50% barley flour)
1/2 teaspoon                  baking soda
1 teaspoon                     baking powder
1/2 teaspoon                  salt
85 grams                        butter
190 grams (7/8 cup)      sugar
120 ml (1/2 cup)           buttermilk
1                                    egg
1 teaspoon                     vanilla extract
300 grams  (3/4 pound) strawberries
1 tablespoon                 sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F, and butter a 9-10 inch cake pan, a 9-inch deep dish pie pan, or a spring form pan.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  4. Add the buttermilk, egg, and vanilla and mix until just combined.
  5. Gradually add the flour and mix until just combined.
  6. Pour into the greased pan, then stud the strawberries over the batter. Depending on how many strawberries you have, they may totally cover the batter, or be spaced a bit.
  7. Sprinkle a tablespoon og sugar over the top.
  8. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes, then turn down the heat to 325F and bake for another 50-60 minutes until the cake is golden brown and a tester comes out clean.
  9. Once it cools, you can sprinkle some icing sugar on top. This looks especially nice if the fruit dropped to the bottom and the top is quite smooth.

This is what the batter is supposed to look like

This is what the batter looks like with too much flour (and strawberries!)

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