How to make: Strawberry buttermilk cake

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Irish strawberries are not quite ready yet, but I did pick up some gorgeous Dutch ones (ignoring the generous price tag) & they were worth it.  A little bowl of summer, juicy, ripe & full of flavour.  This simple yet delicious cake is the perfect showcase for these wonderful fruits.  The recipe is adapted from Deb Perelman & is bursting with strawberry goodness.  I’ve swapped in some dark brown sugar, which is a perfect partner to the sweetness of sugar, a little almond flour for texture & buttermilk for a gentle tang.  The result is pools of baked strawberry, a delicate golden crunch on top & a cake that will probably not last a full day.  Serve with a little dollop of cream or mascarpone for extra pleasure.

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  • 90g butter (room temperature or softer for best results)
  • 50g golden caster sugar (plus 1 tsp to sprinkle on top of cake)
  • 100g soft dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 118 ml buttermilk
  • 150g plain flour
  • 33g almond flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 350g strawberries (hulled & cut in half)

Preheat your oven to 180°C & generously butter an 8 inch cake tin with removable base.  Line the bottom with parchment paper.

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  1. In a large bowl, using an electric beater, cream your caster sugar, dark brown sugar & butter together for about 4 minutes until you have a sandy mixture with no visible clumps of butter.
  2. Beat your egg & vanilla extract in for a further minute until fully combined.
  3. Pour in your fresh buttermilk & beat in for a further minute or so.
  4. In a separate smaller bowl, sift your plain flour, almond flour & baking powder.  Add in your salt & give a quick stir with your hands or a metal spoon to mix together.
  5. Using a spatula, gently fold in the dry flour ingredients (a 1/4 at a time) to your cake batter until fully  combined.
  6. Pour this mixture into your cake tin.
  7. Dust your strawberry halves with flour (to prevent them sinking to the bottom of the cake).  Place them cut side down on top of the cake until covered.  Finish by sprinkling a teaspoon of golden caster sugar on top.  I find a small sieve gives good distribution.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes at 180°C, turn the temperature down to 160°C & bake for about a further 50 minutes.  The sides of the cake will come away from the tin, the top will be a rich golden colour & a skewer will come out clean of batter.
  9. Leave to cool before removing from the cake tin & finish cooling on a wire rack.

A fresh fruit packed cake such as this will last for 2-3 days, just keep covered.  You can also serve this cake warm out of the oven for a lovely pudding.

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