It’s absolutely my favorite time of the year. I wake up in the morning, sunshine pushing through the little slits of the shades, illuminating the room and encouraging my senses to wake up and seize the day. The shades open and a warm breeze touches my skin. My body is warmed up, no need to cuddle into the blanket and preserve the heat for a little while longer. I hear birds singing their songs, as if they would want me to join. I feel the sun putting a warm palm onto my face, tickling my nose, pulling me up from my bed. The air is wrapping me into a warm embrace. The day is waiting for me – holding surprises, possibilities and memories.
I feel like summer is the season of memories. The summers spent as a kid are more vivid than any other seasons. Long days, warm nights and the wide awake nature invite our systems to be more active and make collections of life souvenirs . Riding bikes, swimming, running, relaxing in the grass, picking berries.. there are endless invitations, written with yellow sunshine ink on sheets of blue skies.
Those of you who read my posts frequently know how much I love summer and how much I enjoy the picking berries part. Strawberries, of course, are somewhere on top of my list.. well.. it’s all berries really, but strawberry picking is more common here in this area, so I do enjoy it a lot. Of course strawberries become one of my favorite ingredients for any kind of cake and if you don’t like strawberries, I would definitely discourage you from coming over to my place during summer season. There is an almost 100 % chance that you will find those red treasures on your plate.
A couple of weeks ago my mom was looking for a recipe for a cake with fruits on top. There are those bottom cakes that you can buy in the store. The top you make yourself.. with cream or fruits or both. I always find them too dry and too artificial. I found a recipe in one of our Dr. Oetker books (of course!) and the result was amazing. The cake is moist, sweet and tender. It goes great with fruits, cream or just plain. It is super fast and easy to make and the taste is really great. I made it a couple of times already and it never failed me. Only once it didn’t turn out great, but that was my fault. Remember: always make sure that the fat you are using (butter) and the eggs have the same temperature. Unfortunately I forgot to take the butter out of the fridge and the batter started to curdle a little. I thought maybe it would be ok, but the center of the cake seemed like undone. The taste is still ok, but it just doesn’t look nice. So, whenever you make cake like this, take eggs and butter out of the fridge and let it sit outside for half an hour, so they can both reach room temperature.
Two weeks ago I made some small part-vegan cakes when a friend of mine came visiting. With fresh strawberries from the field, these little treats were just the right desert for a hot day (it was more than 30°C). Refreshing and not heavy, the strawberry-yoghurt-cakes melted on our tongues, like snow in the sun.
You should try it – here is the recipe.
Bottom All-in-One Cake:
125 g flour
2 tsp baking powder
125 g sugar
1 package vanilla sugar
3 eggs (or equivalent amount of egg replacer / silken tofu)
125 g (vegan) butter
1. sift the flour and mix with baking powder
2. in a huge bowl mix all ingredients, using a mixer, until well combined (approx. 2 min)
3. pour the batter into a pan (covered either with parchment paper or brushed with butter)
4. bake for approx. 20 minutes at 180°C /360°F (if you use small pans the cakes might need less time)
5. let cool before removing from pan
You see.. this cake doesn’t require much time or steps. It is the right treat to not waste a sunny day in the kitchen 😉
For the topping I made a soy yoghurt cream:
350 g almond soy yoghurt
2 tbsp soy milk
1-2 cups strawberry puree
1 package agar-agar (for those of you who don’t know what it is: it’s a vegan alternative for gelatine) (the amount of the agar-agar should be enough for approx. 500 ml of liquids)
strawberries (amount depends on how big the cake is or how many small cakes you have)
1-2 packages red cake glaze
sugar for the glaze
1. mix the yoghurt, soy milk, and strawberry puree in a bowl
2. prepare the agar-agar as directed on the package
3. mix the agar-agar with the yoghurt mixture
4. let sit for a few minutes until it starts to thicken
5. with a tablespoon apply a layer of the yoghurt cream to the edges of the cakes and cover with strawberries
6. add some more cream into the center and cover with one more strawberry
7. prepare the glaze as directed
8. let cool for two or three minutes
9. cover the strawberries with the glaze (if you don’t want to use the glaze, the strawberries will get dry and bad very fast. Sure, you might eat the cakes right away, so no need for the glaze 😉 )
10. wait for the glaze to set and dig in 😉
of course it works with other berries too 😉
like.. gooseberries – I added some meringue before baking and didn’t need a glaze
(meringue: made out of two egg whites and three tablespoons sugar)
Enjoy the hot days, eat a lot of berries (it’s healthy, so you have a perfect excuse to eat them), and make some cakes.
I will post another recipe with this cake bottom.. I made some really cute strawberry decorations, which I can’t wait to share with you.
Hope to see you soon here.