Erdbeerkuchen! Strawberry cake! My dessert of choice for our Fathers' Day dinner. I wanted something special, yet light and fresh, so decided on this erdbeerkuchen. What it is, is a simple sponge cake, topped with strawberries and a glaze. Very simple, very summery, absolutely heavenly.
I didn't, however, have my own recipe. Even my encyclopaedic Culinaria Germany book lists "pre-prepared base" as an ingredient. As if! And seeing as it was the mittel of the nacht in Germany, I couldn't very well hassle my friends over there with texts and emails. I had to channel my inner MacGyver, and come up with a recipe myself.
I chose to use a Victoria Sponge as the base. Nigella's Victoria Sponge is the easiest to make - bung everything in the processor and whizz until smooth. No sifting the flour 3 times, no creaming, no beating.
I have a battered old 25-cm flan tin from many years ago, which I buttered and floured carefully, so that my finished erdbeerkuchen base would keep its shape. As per the recipe in How to Eat, I made a 4-egg Victoria sponge mixture, which filled the tin. What I didn't realise was that the mixture would rise dramatically upon baking. It overflowed from the tin and dripped down the sides onto the racks and floor of the oven. WHOOPS. Next time, I'll scale down the quantities to 3-eggs.
Well anyway, after the allotted cooking time, I took out the cake and let it cool, then trimmed it neatly. Luckily it turned out nice, and I got heaps of little scraps to taste-test! (Incidentally, the oven was quite easy to clean - must be all the butter in the cake batter that made it slide off the oven racks so easily!)
The Culinaria Germany recipe instructs you to hull the strawberries, and macerate them in sugar and vanilla for a short while. I halved the berries, and let them sit, growing ever more red and juicy, while the cake was cooling. Once the cake was cool enough, it was a simple matter of arranging the strawberries on the cake! I didn't know how to make a cake glaze, so I brushed the strawberries with warmed strawberry jam.
We had it as dessert with lashings of freshly whipped cream. I'm sorry for tooting my own horn, but this was incredible! Who knew that this cake would be so easy to make? I'll definitely be pulling this one out over summer, for BBQs or outdoor parties. It's totally fabulous. It was best eaten straight away, when we could appreciate the fresh, fragrant berries against the soft sponge, but was still good for breakfasts the next couple of days.
My sneaky slice for breakfast the next morning, with yoghurt instead of cream. Because that makes it a balanced breakfast. *Ahem*