My last post was dedicated to Autumn, this one is an ode to the glorious summer gone by.. Contrary to many, I do not have a single favorite season, the reason, I feel every season as something wonderful to offer. Where Autumn has the riot of colors to offer, Summer is a reminder of endless procrastination in the afternoon sun, long hours on the beach perfectly comfortable under those gigantic, colorful umbrellas with a book in one hand and a drink in the other, simply heavenly.
This summer was special for me, my first in the US. While I have enjoyed 7 glorious summers in there United Kingdom, there is one inherent difference, the rain!! It rains for over 200 days in the UK, so most of the summers you would have the surprise showers and then before you know the jackets and the umbrellas are out. Here in the US, summers are just perfect, warm breezy days, balmy weather, unending ramblings in those unnamed parks, leisurely drives on the highway, and the best part in all this is the play of the color green, such vibrant shades and what lovely play of colors.
But summer is not just about greens or drives, summer is also about berries, I had done a post last year, very berries and from the post you can make out my obsession for berries, and nothing like a mixed berry terrine on a warm summer day.. But of all the berries, I have to give it to Strawberries, they are just so pretty, the color, the shape and the sweet tangy taste. I can live on strawberries , I like them mixing with yogurt with a dash of sugar and they taste yummy. Until last year, I had never tried strawberry cake, normally we have shortcakes with strawberry, but last year a friend of mine treated me to this gorgeous piece of strawberry cake and I fell in love with the taste and I knew the I had to bake this baby. With the summer slipping away I realised I had spent a lot of time gorging on those strawberries by themselves, so it was time we made some thing new and this is what came out of my oven.
- 125 g butter
- ½ cup caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 2and 1/4 cups self-raising flour, sifted ( in-case you do not have self raising flour, use 1 and a half cups of flour and 1 teaspoon of baking powder)
- ½ cup milk
- 1½ cup fresh strawberries, mashed
- Fresh strawberry cut into halves for decoration
Preheat oven to 350 deg F/180°C (160°C fan-forced). Then lightly grease and line a 20 cm cake pan. Start by beating the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Next add the eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth and then fold in the flour and milk, mixing well. Now add strawberries to the mix and fold together. Spoon mixture into the cake pan and arrange the strawberry halves over the batter in a circle. Bake for 60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Allow to cool. Serve with ice-tea