One of my dear friends from work bid adieu to us last week. She decided to move on and out of Dublin to pursue other opportunities. Sad though it was, we decided to make her last day special with a small going away party with gifts and goodies.
I’d bought a copy of the BBC GoodFood Baking magazine just a few days earlier and was enchanted by the variety of recipes I found inside. There are recipes for cakes, cookies, savoury pies and much more packed within a few pages. At the risk of turning my work colleagues into culinary guinea pigs, I decided to try out the delicious looking strawberry cinnamon torte and take it to work. Strawberries are in season right now and the bright pink/red strawberry packets have been beckoning me whenever I walk by them in stores. So, I thought there was no better reason and time to make use of these fresh berries.
I found the torte recipe very straightforward and easy to follow justifying the ‘easy’ stamp the magazine had awarded it. To put it in a nutshell, the main steps involve hulling and slicing the strawberries, making the dough, enclosing the fruit within the dough and then baking it. Doesn’t sound very complicated, does it?
Strawberry Torte (original recipe from the BBC GoodFood Spring 2011 Home Cooking Series ‘Baking’ edition)
425g fresh strawberries
1tsp ground cinnamon
175g self-raising flour
175g ground almonds
175g caster sugar
1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk
icing sugar for finishing touches
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade. Grease and line the base of a 23cm round cake tin with a removable bottom.
Hull and slice the strawberries. Put the rest of the ingredients (except icing sugar) for the dough into a food processor or large bowl and mix them together until well combined. Take half of the dough and press it onto the base of the cake tin making sure it’s evenly spread without any gaps. Scatter the sliced strawberries on top of this base. Take the rest of the dough and spread it on top of the strawberries enclosing it. It need not be perfectly smooth and a few gaps here and there is okay.
Place the cake tin into the oven and bake for about an hour until the top looks dark golden brown. If it’s browning too quickly, use a sheet of foil to cover the top loosely to stop it from browning further.
Remove from the oven. Let the tin cool for a few minutes. Remove the base of the tin with the cake on top and let it cool completely on a wire rack. I used a spring-form tin so it was easy enough to release the cake from the sides. If you’re using an ordinary loose-based tin, running a knife along the sides should loosen the cake.
The original recipe suggests dusting the top of the cake with icing sugar and serving it with some cream.
I did the finishing touches at work just before serving it to friends. It explains why my pictures don’t show the icing sugar on top and the lack of any ‘slice of cake’ pictures 😉
Going by the comments shared and the fact that it was all gone without any leftovers, I think it turned out well. So, I have to make this one again, this time just for me and Peter 😉