Strawberry Cream Cakes make for the most blissful picnic treats
June is full-on strawberries and cream season. As you may have noticed from my previous posts, it’s also the prime time for roses. So when we were invited to an alfresco lunch at Incredible Vegetables near Ashburton, these three ingredients immediately sprang to mind. I needed something that was portable and easy to eat outside – strawberry cream cakes with a hint of rose it had to be.
Wimbledon will soon be upon us and the happy spectators will consume around 27,000 kilos of strawberries and 7,000 litres of cream. I may not be attending the game, but I have picked and eaten my very first strawberry of the season from our pot in the garden; the blackbird got the second one. Luckily our local grocer stocks sweet scented Cornish strawberries, so off I tripped to purchase a punnet for my cakes.
Incredible Vegetables is in a stunning location on the edge of Dartmoor and everything was growing in abundance. It put our plot completely to shame. I’ve never seen such an enormous stand of rhubarb and so many beautiful lupins. There was a veritable feast awaiting us and most of it had come from the plot – theirs not ours: hablitzia fritters, various delicious and pretty salads, bread from the local bakery and pumpkin cake. We arrived with a few strawberry cream cakes and left with full bellies, sticks of yard long rhubarb, some strange plants that were of particular significance to CT and a young katsura tree. Many thanks Mandy.
Substituting whipped cream for the more usual butter is not something I’ve done before and it makes for an interesting change. The texture of the sponge is quite different – lighter and softer but sort of denser at the same time. I may not have described them very well, but they were delicious and we could definitely taste the cream. The rose came through as a subtle enhancing floral note, but the strawberries were the star of the show.
- 125g golden caster sugar
- 2 large eggs (I used duck eggs)
- pinch of Himalayan pink rock salt
- 100g wholemeal spelt flour
- 100g white spelt flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 250ml double cream
- 2 tbsp rose syrup (or 1 tsp rose water or 1 drop rose oil) - optional
- 150g strawberries - washed and hulled
- Beat the eggs, sugar and salt together in a large bowl with electric beaters or by hand until the mixture is thick, pale and has at least doubled in volume.
- In a separate bowl whip the cream and rose syrup until the mixture is just holding its shape, but be careful not to over whip.
- Sift the flours and baking powder into the egg mixture and fold in until just incorporated.
- Fold in the whipped cream, again until just incorporated.
- Chop half of the strawberries and carefully stir in to the cake batter.
- Divide the mixture between 30 small muffin moulds.
- Slice the remaining strawberries and place a slice on each cake.
- Bake at 180C for 22 minutes or until well risen and golden.
- Leave to cool for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Herbs and summer berries is the theme for Tea Time Treats over at Lavender and Lovage this month. My strawberry cream cakes may not contain herbs, but they do have rose and definitely berries.
And as these were made for an outdoor picnic, they also go to Eating Alfresco with Rebecca at Munchies & Munchkins.