Sunday, 26 May 2013

Strawberry Crumble Cake

This cake was born more out of necessity than desire - I had a punnet of strawberries in the fridge (an impulse buy from Borough Market, they were going cheap) that needed using up, and I had this pie on the brain, and this cake was born. A pie is not something I feel I have the mental energy to whip up on a Monday morning, (I'm writing this post Monday evening) but cake feels more achievable. Less stress and more enjoyment, which is of course what baking should be all about. 
For me, my choice of what to bake is determined largely by the seasons. In the depths of frozen winter when sunshine and clear skies are so few and far between, I crave indulgent, warm, comforting puddings, served with a copious mass of custard. In summer, I want to make things that are lighter and fruity and more summer-like. This cake, I think, bridges the gap between the seasons. The strawberries are a vibrant red, bursting with concentrated flavour that to me just tastes like summer, but the crumble topping gives it a more pudding-y feel. I think it's probably nicest warm, but no less acceptable when cold. And you could also add a little rhubarb to the fruit topping, if you have some.


Strawberry Crumble Cake

75g unsalted butter, melted
125g caster sugar
40g natural Greek yogurt
3 eggs
150g self-raising flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk
pinch of salt

200g strawberries
2 tbsp cornflour

For the topping
50g unsalted butter
40g soft light brown sugar
75g plain flour
35g oats

Start off by making the crumble topping. Rub the butter into the flour and sugar with your fingertips until it resembles fine bread crumbs. Stir in the oats and set aside.

Next prepare the strawberries. Wash them, and then chop off the leaves. Chop thenm into quarters, or in half if they are small, then leave then to dry off.

Preheat the oven to 170°C.
Separate the eggs, placing the whites into a smaller bowl and the yolks into a larger bowl with the butter, sugar, flour, yogurt and vanilla extract. Beat together these ingredients until they are all combined and smooth, then beat in the milk. Add the pinch of salt to the egg whites and then, using a stand or handheld mixer, whisk the eggs whites until they form stiff peaks. Gradually fold the egg whites into the cake batter with a metal spoon. Spoon the mixture into a greased and lined 23cm lose-bottomed cake tin.
Toss the strawberries in the cornflour until they are all slightly coated in it, then scatter them on top of the cake. Tip over the crumble topping.

Bake the cake for about 50 minutes, although it may well need longer depending on your oven etc. When it's done it will no longer wobble in the centre and an inserted skewer should come out mainly clean, albeit with a few cake crumbs and some strawberry juice attached to it.
Once the cake is cooked, leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove the side of the tin and either serve straight away for leave to cool.

2 comments:

  1. Looks beautiful - lovely photos too

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  2. I hardly ever bake with strawberries because they always get eaten fresh so fast, but this cake definitely looks worth saving a few back for!

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