Spring is a time for new beginnings, the perfect time to start my blog. I’ve been mulling it over all winter and the light finally seems good enough to take some pictures and get things started.
So, I’m not exactly a strawberry fan, I know, I know, they’d kick me out of Wimbledon if I ever managed to get a ticket in the first place! It’s just that they can be so dull, watery and tasteless, and raspberries seem so consistently good and usually get my vote.
However, even the most pitiful strawberry can be immeasurably perked up by some time in the oven. Roast them or pop them in a cake or muffin and the sweet flavour will be intensified, making it utterly worth the effort.
Pineapple will always be the number one upside-down cake, (and will always remind me of the one my mum makes, complete with glace cherries and miraculously cooked in the microwave!) but I thought I’d go for something different and try out Joy the Baker’s strawberry upside-down cake with cardamom.
Joy the Baker, is the first blog I ever got into, and a big inspiration for me to start baking, writing and taking photographs, so it seemed fitting that the first thing I post should be one of her recipes.
I had to slightly adapt Joy’s recipe for one reason only, I am useless and forgot to buy 2 of the key ingredients. Joy’s recipe uses sour cream, which would add a nice tang to complement the sweet strawberries, I had to sub in yoghurt, but this still makes the crumb nice and moist.
Joy also adds ground cardamom to the batter, which, I’d imagine, would take this cake to a whole new level. If you have any, pop 1/4 teaspoon into the batter and let me know how it turns out!
I added blueberries to my cake batter, I mean, who doesn’t like a blueberry in their cake? I won’t get on with that person, please keep them away from me. (Kidding…possibly)
I don’t want to toot my own horn (what does that even mean?) but this cake is utterly scrummy. Super moist and light, with sweet and tart aspects from the fruit. It screams summer garden party and makes me want to dash up to my roof terrace immediately (if only it wasn’t so unseasonably cold!)
The method for making an upside-down cake is relatively simple. You start with a syrupy layer of fruit at the bottom of the tin and top it with a delicious light cake batter.
Once it’s baked, you invert it on a plate and eat two warm slices in quick succession, when no one’s looking.
Berry Upside-Down Cake
Adapted from Joy the Baker
Makes: 1 9-inch cake
30g unsalted butter
50g brown sugar
150g sliced strawberries
113g unsalted butter
134g brown sugar
1 large egg
1tsp vanilla extract
170g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
1/4tsp bicarbonate of soda
160ml plain yoghurt (I used low fat but full fat will work just as well, no fat free though please!)
Start by preheating your oven to 175 C / 155C fan oven / 350 F. Put the butter for the topping in the bottom of a 9-inch cake tin with sides of at least 2 inches (an 8-inch tin will work just as well). Avoid using a springform tin as the topping has a tendency to escape through the bottom (as I found out to my, very messy, dismay!) Pop the tin in the oven, and once the butter has melted take it out and put it to one side whilst you whip up the batter.
In a small bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt, then put it to one side.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon, until they’re very fluffy and a pale beige colour.
Next beat in the egg and vanilla. The mixture will become a little lumpy at this stage but persevere!
Add in half the dry ingredients together with half the yoghurt, give it a good stir before adding the rest. As soon as the mixture is combined add in the blueberries and give the batter a final stir.
Returning to your tin of melted butter, sprinkle over the brown sugar for the topping and then add a layer of strawberries. I went for a fairly haphazard look here, but as they will be on top of the finished cake you might feel the need to be a bit more exacting and employ some concentric circles.
Cover the strawberries with the batter, smooth it over and pop the tin in the oven for 35 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Let the cake cool for 10 minutes and then invert it onto a large plate. Serve warm or cold, with a glass of milk or preferably a pimms!