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I adore this cake!  I have yet to experiment with different fruits but, when I do, I will be sure to post the results.

 Ingredients:

  • 80g unsalted butter (or 40g butter and 40g vegetable shortening.  Again, the texture isn’t as smooth but the taste is the same), room temperature, plus extra for greasing.
  • 185g plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ salt
  • 200g granulated sugar (plus, optional, 2 tbsp for sprinkling over the top of the cake)
  • 1 medium egg
  • 115ml milk
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 400g strawberries, hulled and halved

Preheat oven to 175oC (350oF).  Grease a 10-inch (springform, if you have one) cake pan (works with a 9-inch pan, too).

Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.  In another bowl beat the butter and 200g of sugar until pale and fluffy (quicker using an electric mixer).  Mix in the egg, milk and the vanilla extract until combined.  Add the flour mixture in batches until smooth.

Pour the batter into the cake pan.  Assemble the strawberries, cut side down, on top of the batter, placing them as close together as possible.  (If you choose to, sprinkle the 2tbsp of sugar on top for a nice caramely finish.

Bake for 10 minutes at 175oF, then lower the temperature to 160oC (320oF) and bake until a skewer comes out clean (45-50 minutes).  Cool cake on a wire rack before serving.

The first time I made this cake I didn’t sprinkle sugar over the top, so the strawberries sunk into the cake a bit more:

 

When I made the cake again, I decided to try sprinkling sugar over the top and this was the result:

It tastes exactly the same (in my opinion) either way but I think it looks better with the sugar layer on top.  It tastes really good drizzled in double cream, too!

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