I've always wanted to try baking in enamel tumblers, and what better ingredient to use than strawberries!
Ripe and ready to pick straight from our veggie patch!
The recipe I've selected is very easy. The difficult part for me was working out the quantities to put in the tumblers.
My first try resulted in overflow (happy husband who eats the failures), the second batch wasn't enough (still a happy husband), the third batch - I could have put a bit more mixture in....I think I was being a bit too cautious (he'd had enough by then!).
The tumblers are only small, about 300mls, but they are big enough to be a generous serve.
I love collecting recipes and recipe books - this doesn't mean I have a library of cook books, but the ones I have, I love!
All our favourite recipes are easy to find - they're the ones covered in splatters!
I start by rummaging through my recipe tins trying to find a simple cake recipe, there's plenty on the internet, but I want to find one that is more 'cookie like'.
Once I've found a 'tried and tested' one, I head out to the veggie patch to pick my strawberries........
We grow our strawberries in pots - these have been growing in these pots for about 3 years. They get a haircut every year, lots of chook poo and of course, plenty of water! Another thing I do is lay the cut leaves on top, letting them rot down and protecting the plant from frosts.
The strawberries will sit proud on top of the cake mix, so this should be enough.....mind you I could eat them all before I get back to the kitchen.
These long summer days give you enough light into the evening to do so many things - mow the lawns, pull some weeds, bake a treat.....sit still and breathe xxx
You don't call your shop 'The Black Hen' without keeping chickens! I find looking after chickens to be one of the most rewarding things to do.
Off I go.......take a quick trip up to the pen to retrieve one egg, how cool is that!
So far I've sieved the flour, baking powder and salt....in another bowl I've beaten the butter and sugar until fluffy and added my egg and a bit of vanilla extract. Resist the temptation to lick the spoon....we're almost there!
With a wooden spoon gradually alternate flour mixture with butter mixture and milk until combined......ok, I will allow you one lick of the spoon!!!
Now, if there's any mixture left this would be a good time to pop it into the tumblers. Place the halved and hulled strawberries on top and you're almost ready to pop them in the oven. If you want to you can sprinkle some sugar on top of the strawberries, but I don't think they need it.
Tip of baking in tumblers - The tumblers will fall over if you try to pick them up or move them in the oven, mixture will fall out and will continue to burn on your oven floor (yes this is what happened to me, twice!) Place them on a tray (please) you will not regret this decision.
Cooking time will vary, but let's say around 25 - 30 mins in a 180 degree oven. Just enough time to go throw the stick for the dog.....unless you have a boy like mine, who doesn't give the stick back and just decides to chew it to pieces. You've got to love him though.
Recipe - Strawberry Summer Cake
1-1/2 cups plain flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, softened, plus more for greasing the tumblers/or a 30cm cake tin
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
Handful of strawberries, hulled and halved
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and butter 4 tumblers or your cake tin.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In another bowl beat the butter and 1 cup of the sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on low speed until well combined. Gradually add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, and beat on low speed until smooth. (Note: the batter will be very thick.)
Transfer the batter into the prepared tumblers (fill halfway), or tip whole mixture into a cake tin and smooth with back of spoon. Arrange the strawberries on top, cut side down, so that they completely cover the batter. Optional: Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar over the strawberries.
Bake for around 25 - 30 minutes or up to 45 minutes if you're using cake tin. Let the cake cool. Serve with a dollop of cream or yoghurt on top.
OK, so there you go....why don't you give it a try, tumblers sold at The Black Hen...oh, how convenient ;) x Julie