Sunday, 29 June 2014

Strawberry and almond cheesecake sponge

It’s Wimbledon time so my thoughts have turned towards strawberries - I am a predictable creature!  This cake was the cover star of Good Food magazine a month or so back and I stored it away for when the strawberry season was at its best.

You will often hear people complaining that strawberries don’t taste like they used to…and that is true for many strawberries but I think that, if you’re choosy about the variety of strawberry you buy, there are some crackers still available.  If you cannot grow your own, and don’t have a pick-your-own nearby, here are my tips for buying strawberries:
  1. Avoid any imported strawberries – I don’t want to eat a strawberry that’s seen more of the world than I have!
  2. Buy strawberries grown as locally to where you live as possible – it surely means they’ve not been sitting around for long?
  3. Take note of the variety of strawberry you like – I would rather go without than buy the tasteless Sonata variety, but a Jubilee strawberry is pretty much a guarantee of flavour.
  4. Smell them.  A strawberry with no smell is a strawberry with no taste.

This recipe pretty much ticks all my boxes for what I like in a cake: it’s made with yoghurt, it contains almonds, it uses cheesecake, and it has big chunks of fruit.  It would work with many different fruits.  The CCD’s damson tree is looking like it’s going to have a bumper harvest so I might make the cake again using damson plums.

The soft almond sponge provides a lovely texture for holding the pockets of cheesecake and strawberries.  This really was one of the best cakes I’ve tasted in a long time...and I’ve tasted a lot of cakes!


For the cheesecake:
200g cream cheese – I used Philadelphia
25g caster sugar
1 egg

For the cake:
175g unsalted butter, at room temperature
250g caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs
200g self raising flour
50g ground almonds
75g natural yoghurt
250g strawberries – washed, hulled and chopped
Handful of flaked almonds


Start by making the cheesecake: beat together the cream cheese, caster sugar and egg until combined.  Don’t overbeat or it will turn runny – I would actually recommend doing this stage with a bowl and a spoon to control the texture of the mix better.  (Mine did turn runny so I popped it into the freezer for an hour before making the cake – this turned it back to a more spoonable consistency).

If – unlike me – you haven’t turned the cheesecake mix runny, spoon into a bowl and refrigerate until needed.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/ 350°F/ Gas mark 4.

Line a 20cm round springform tin with baking paper.

Beat together the butter and sugar until pale and whippy.  Don’t skimp on this stage – it should look almost like whipped cream.

Beat in the vanilla.

Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding some of the flour if it looks like the mixture will curdle.

Stir in the flour, almonds and yoghurt.

Spoon half of the cake batter into the prepared tin and level the surface.

Spoon blobs of the chilled cheesecake mixture onto the cake.  Use about half at this stage.

Scatter over half the strawberries.

Spoon the remaining cake batter over the top and level the surface.  Be gentle so the strawberries stay in place.

Use your finger or the end of a wooden spoon handle to make divots in the sponge.  Blob the remaining cheesecake into these spaces.

Scatter over the remaining strawberries.

Scatter over the flaked almonds.

Bake for approximately 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.  It is best to check after 45 minutes to see if the cake is browning too quickly; if it is cover loosely with foil and continue baking.  Don’t worry if your cake takes longer – mine took almost 1 hour 30 minutes, and I did need to cover it with foil.

Leave to cool in the tin for at least 20 minutes before de-tinning and leaving to cool completely on a wire rack.

Refrigerate the cake until 20-30 minutes before serving.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.



Kate@whatkatebaked said...

I spotted this gorgeous recipe too on GF and had set it aside to bake- great to hear it tastes as good as it looks!

Charlene F said...

Such a gorgeous, seasonal cake. I bet it tasted delicious and moist. x

Kate Glutenfreealchemist said...

What a lovely moist cake with an unusual twist! I love the rules of strawberry buying.......... Very wise advice!

Cakelaw said...

Yummo - what a fabulous looking cake! It's winter here so definitely not the best strawberry season, but this is one to bear in mind for the summer.

Gloria Baker said...

I love this look absolutely georgeous !:)

Katie said...

Wow what a monster fo a cake, but a delicious looking monster.
I agree strawberries and tennis are a must have. I bought my first punnet yesterday and they smelt nice and were lovely and red but taste of nothing and they are hard :(
Will hunt out a PYO place I think

Jo said...

I just want to dive head first into this cake. The texture looks amazing!

Berni said...

I have to make this, it looks and sounds delish! I'm already thinking it would be nice with blackberries in autumn :)

Stuart Vettese said...

That is true food porn!! Lovely

Kimberly said...

I baked this cake. So soft and tasty. Thank you for the recepy. Picture in my blog.

Izzy said...

This cake looks amazing! I feel like shop strawberries are so hit and miss so I'll keep your tips in mind :) Also, where do you buy your cake tin liners?
Thank you x

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Izzy

I get them from Lakeland - they do various sizes and loaf tin liners too

Happy baking!

Leslie said...

I made this for our 4th of July picnic (I'm in the US). Instead of strawberries I used cherries (since that was what I had in the fridge.) It came out wonderfully and got lots of compliments! I'll definitely make it again.

Maggie said...

A slice for me please - I have loads of strawberries and this recipe sounds great.

Choclette said...

I've put plenty of strawberries on a cake and sandwiched between cakes but never think in a cake - or if I did it was too long ago for me to remember! Another thing that must be remedied.

Lucy said...

I love your twists on a classic sponge - the cheesecake filling here sounds dangerously good.