Sunday, 7 June 2009

Strawberry buttermilk cake

English strawberries are really coming into their own right now – it’s hard to imagine a tastier, better looking fruit.

I have often used strawberries on top of a pastry base but can’t recall baking with them so I was intrigued as to how they would taste in this recipe. The short answer is: delicious!

As the cake bakes for a long time at a medium heat the strawberries break down into a fruity, syrupy consistency that creates an almost ripple-like effect in the cake. The flavour also intensifies to such a degree that they were similar to very sweet rhubarb. I now understand why rhubarb and strawberries are seen as a classic combination. This slice was photographed the day the cake was made – you can see how some strawberries retained their shape, whereas others collapsed into syrupy goodness:

The next day, the cake firmed up and became almost scone-like:

The crumble topping adds a delicious light, crumbly, biscuity crust to the surface which is lovely to push your fork through.

You can serve this warm with custard but I went for room temperature with clotted cream. I mean – come on! Strawberries have to be served with cream...we’re in England for goodness sake!

For the crumble topping:
40g plain flour
50g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
95g soft brown sugar

For the cake:
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
225ml buttermilk
250g self raising flour
225g caster sugar
375g strawberries, washed and hulled, halve any large ones

How to make:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
- Line one 20cm loose bottomed square tin with baking paper.
- Start by making the crumble topping: rub the butter into the flour until you have the consistency of fine breadcrumbs.
- Stir in the sugar.
- I then put the crumble in the fridge until needed as this stops it becoming soft and retains the lovely crumb texture.
- Put the butter, eggs and buttermilk into the food processor and blitz until smooth and well combined.
- Add the flour and sugar and blitz again until well mixed.
- Transfer all the mixture into a large mixing bowl and gently stir in the strawberries.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and sprinkle the crumble over the top.
- Bake for approximately 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out cleanly. Mine took 55 minutes.
- Leave to cool in the tin before removing as the strawberries make the cake quite fragile when warm.
- Serve either warm with custard/ice cream or at room temperature with your choice of cream.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.
- Eat.


Beth said...

Im bookmarking this one!

April said...

oh yum.....

April xx

Margaret said...

The cake looks great. As soon as my strawberries turn red, I'll have to try this - I have about a million strawberries this year to use!!!

trashalou said...

Mmmmmmm, strawberries.

Sam said...

I still haven't had any strawberries this year, now I really really want some! The cake looks delicious!

glamah16 said...

Ohhhh. That cake is calling my name.Strawberries!

Katie said...

Oh wow that looks divine! I love the pockets of self strawberring jam spread throughout.

Cakelaw said...

This cake looks and sounds delicious. I like the look of it the next day - it looks like a French bread pudding.

How To Eat A Cupcake said...

I've always wanted to try clotted cream. We don't see that very often here in the U.S.

This cake look fantastic! Thanks for posting! :D

Cybèle said...

I read your blog through bloglines, and often your posts come up in multiples on Sunday night. I sometimes ignore them for a day or so as I'm trying not to eat too much cake (watching what I eat and all that...) but every week, without fail, you'll have a recipe which I want to make. This one's definitely gone on the to do list for this weekend - I still remember your strawberries and cream cupcakes from last year - may have to make those again fairly shortly, they were gorgeous.

nora@ffr said...

What a gorgeous strawberry cake! Really tempting! my first visit here and i find ye blog very interesting :) keep up the great job!!

Kirk said...

I think I would make this with raspberries as I am not a strawberry fan although AGA is.
They were selling 500g of strawberries for 1 euro today too...

Emily said...

I think I would enjoy this! What a cake! I like that you used buttermilk. That's something I always forget to pick up.

Maria said...

I am for sure making this one, maybe adding in rhubarb. I keep seeing versions of this cake. It is a sign I must bake it!

Anonymous said...

ooh, this would be good with cherries as well, I think.

Cybèle said...

Following up my own comment: I made this cake this weekend, with yoghurt rather than buttermilk as I couldn't find any, and it took ages to cook as the Aga is turned down a bit for the summer, but it was delicious. Will be making it again this weekend!

Furniture removals said...

so want to taste it now..

♥Rosie♥ said...

Ooooooh a must bake C.C. with strawberries just coming in season this is perfect to make!

Sumaiyyah said...

I made this and it was lovely, though the strawberries turned out rather more tart than I imagined it would. The texture was more like baked bread pudding than cake. I'm not sure if I underbaked it but it was lovely all the same.