Hello strawberry season! For the next couple of months Berlin will be enraptured with the sumptuous deep-red treat. The little strawberry stands are popping up outside the station exits, farmer’s markets are marked by the smell and the supermarkets have boxes of them neatly piled up. It is one of the things that I love the most about Berlin, is it’s seasonal eating. Just like with asparagus, you can really only find strawberries during it’s actual season of the summer months. It is near impossible to walk into a supermarket and find strawberries any other time of the year and I love it. It is about eating fresh, when food is at it’s best and most affordable.
I stopped off at Hackescher Markt’s weekly market last Thursday and excitedly picked up a box – well actually, a few boxes! – to take home with me. I love to make a big batch of Strawberry Jam each year. There is something so comforting about popping open one of those jars during the winter months and smelling a hint of the previous summer left behind. This Strawberry Cake is also another favourite of mine and always goes down a treat! It is a really easy cake to prepare and is a perfect summer treat – if the good weather returns!
- 100g caster sugar
- 125g butter
- 3 large free range eggs
- 2 tspn vanilla extract
- 1 tbspn baking powder
- 250g plain white flour
- 225g strawberries (hulled and halved)
- For the strawberry sauce:
- 200g strawberries (hulled and roughly chopped)
- 1 tbspn icing sugar
- 1 tbpsn cold water
- Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 3/ 160 degrees celsius and line a 24cm square baking tin with baking paper.
- In a large mixing bowl add the sugar and butter. Whisk the butter and sugar (using an electric whisk) until smooth and creamy. Crack the eggs into the bowl and add the vanilla extract. Whisk again until smooth.
- Add the flour and baking powder and stir into the cake mix using a wooden spoon until everything is well combined.
- Pour the cake mix into the cake tin and smooth evenly. Layer the strawberries onto the top of the cake batter and press down slightly.
- Place in the oven for around 35 minutes or until golden. Poke a knife into the centre of the cake and if it comes out clean then the cake is ready. Leave to cool and set and then cut up into squares.
- To make the sauce: add everything to a blender and whizz until it forms a smooth sauce. Pour into a serving jug and place in the fridge until you are ready to serve or take to a picnic.