Cakery Bakery: strawberry and cinnamon torte

FYI: I’ve decided to put my cakery bakery posts on here for the time being. You can go here for the archives. Happy eating 🙂

A question: what do you do with two half-boxes of strawberries, lightly furred? Pick out the non-mouldy ones and put them in a cake, that’s what. What’s life without a little bacterial risk, eh? Live a little.

I’ve had my eye on this snazzy little summer number for a little while, and today was sunny enough for me to try it. The magic ingredient here – apart from the strawberries – is ground almonds: they give the torte a dense, crumby, squishy texture without adding obtrusively to the taste (a little goes a long way with almond, I think).

Begin at the beginning, then. If you’ve – shocker – got a large food processor, this is the easiest cake of all time. Just throw all the ingredients in and whizz them together. If you have not – raise your hands, you slackers – then you’ll need to do it by hand like I did, but it’s not hard. Cream butter and sugar, then add self-raising flour, cinnamon, an egg-and-a-half and the ground almonds. You end up with a stiff, blobby mixture that looks like biscuit dough. End of stage one.

Then you chop some strawberries. If you are me, you salvage the strawberries that aren’t growing other life forms and scald them in very hot water before chopping them, but that’s by-the-by. Put half the dough in a springform tin, then layer the strawberries on top.

NOTE – thanks to the mould, I had only 200g strawberries instead of the recommended 450g. That seemed like plenty to me, but increasing the strawberries in any given situation can only make things better, in my experience.

The other half of the dough goes on top of the strawberries. It’s not all that spreadable: for the bottom layer I used my hands, and for the top layer, skidding helplessly around on strawberries, I blobbed the dough on top in little bits, then pinched them together. The end result looks a lot like a cobbler topping, but this is no bad thing.

Fruit takes forever, if you recall, so it goes in the oven for an hour. An hour. Try and do something useful in between, like throwing away a moderate quantity of gone-off strawberries. I kept the oven on quite low, and after a little dash of icing sugar, this was the result.

Ohhhh this is a good one, my friends. The top stays crispy and bobbly while the inside is a densely-packed delight. The strawberries stew down into a deliciously sweet middle layer that is, be warned, as hot as the sun when you bite into it.

Deliciousness: This is a cake with the texture of a giant chocolate-chip cookie. That’s probably all I need to say. Oh my giddy aunt, can you imagine what this might be like with chocolate chips?!

Complexity: Nice and easy. I had the whole thing done and in the oven before the baby could raise a squeak. Even easier if you’ve got a food processor.

Washing-up pile: Nine items. And, glory be, none of them sticky.

Casualties: There may possibly be something mould-based developing in my stomach lining. Let’s cross that botulism bridge when we come to it, shall we?

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