We were treated to some actual summer weather this week in Ireland, I know, shock, shock, horror, horror, miracles do in fact happen, ha ha. Anyways with this beautiful weather came the usual aroma of barbecues being lit up in every second garden and everyone losing the run of themselves and wearing every bit of their summer wardrobe that they could find. I even cracked open a dusty sun-cream, life was good. So with Costa del Carlow in full force I decided to try out a summery recipe for a change. This months Easy Food made my decision pretty easy (ba dum, dum) with their cover photo showing off a delicious looking strawberry and cream cake, it screamed summer. A quick scan through the ingredients and it was decided as I only had to grab a couple of ingredients in the shop, happy days.
What I liked about this recipe was that it’s pretty similar to my usual cupcake recipe so I knew I could add my own twist to it if I wanted. I mixed together 175g of butter with 150g of golden sugar until light and fluffy. While that was mixing I preheated the oven to 180C and greased and lined a 900g loaf tin. After about 10/15 minutes (I like my mixture very fluffy) I stirred in two eggs and 2 tsps of vanilla extract, I had to add in a little flour as it began to curdle a bit, my own fault for not using room temperature butter, lesson learned. I sieved in the remaining 250g of self -raising flour (sieving wasn’t mentioned in the recipe but it’s a natural reflex for me) and stirred it in with my spatula. I also added in about 20/30g (a good handful) of desiccated coconut at this stage too (not in the recipe).
The mixture was a tad too dry for my liking so I stirred in a tablespoon of milk to loosen it up a bit. Next I chopped up the strawberries.
The recipe suggest 175g but I just threw in the whole container, de-stemmed of course. I chopped them up roughly and then came the layering part.
The recipe says to spread one-third of the mixture into the tin and that seemed very little to me at first so I put a little extra in, I’d pay for that on the third layer. I scattered a third of the diced strawberries on top and then spread some more of the batter on top of the strawberries. My last “two” layers were another layer of half of the strawberries and half a layer of batter, instead of a full layer, which I spread as thinly as humanly possible on top. I popped it into the oven to bake for about an hour.
I checked the cake with a skewer to see if it was done and then continued to poke the cake with said skewer. I placed the rest of the strawberries, and then some, into the microwave for 30 seconds. I mashed them up with a fork and added in a dessertspoon of granulated sugar, the recipe suggested 80g but that seemed a little excessive to me. I mixed in 2tbsp of orange juice and spread it over the loaf. I left the loaf to cool for a couple of hours.
The recipe says to top the cake with whipped cream and strawberries so I added an extra little bit to it. I whipped up some Chantilly cream using a small carton of cream, about 2 tsps of icing sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Next I grated some chocolate with my teensy grater, can’t quite make it out, here’s a closer look:
I love this little grater, I even have a teensy lunchbox to go with it, I got it as part of a hot chocolate set from a friend a good few years ago. So another painfully slow hour went by and the cake had finally cooled down.
I carefully took the cake out of the tin, it’s quite a moist cake so it needs to be treated with loving care, ha. I spread the cream liberally on top and decorated it with sliced strawberries and chocolate shavings.
Finally I sliced the cake and it was worth the wait, it was lovely and moist. The coconut balanced out nicely with the strawberries however I didn’t taste any orange in it. It was supposed to be a strawberry orange drizzle cake so I think the next time I will use freshly squeezed oranges and orange zest to get a stronger orange flavour. Other than that it went down a treat with everyone.