We Love Cooking! + vanilla extract

:: Mega Strawberry Summer Cake

I think Sweden is slightly behind on the garden growing front, we visited Sofie's dad's little garden patch last night and his strawberries are still a little bit away from bursting into colour. Though bearing in mind the last time I was here the ground was covered completely in a thick layer of snow, could have a lot to do with it! When I left on Monday our strawberries plants were heaving with big ruby red fruit and suprisingly enough the birds weren't hatching their usual plan to steal them all. I guess seeing me shouting at them in my underwear with a stick during last years seige did the trick!

One of the cool things Sweden has on the strawberry front are these fantastic wild plants which produce the tiniest little sweet strawberries you can imagine. They grow in garden hedgerows and are found throughout Sweden. Hopefully there will be a few ripe ones ready to pick before I leave so I can photograph them and show you. Today's recipe is one I shot a few weeks back with some beautiful Irish strawberries which are bang smack in season right now, so if your tempted pick up some and make this delicious cake!

Mega Strawberry Summer Cake
Strawberries really should be celebrated with over the top desserts and if you want to look beyond the simplicity and utter deliciousness of strawberries and cream then this is the cake for you!
When you are assembling the layers of cake make sure you give it an extra little squeeze to ensure those mouth watering dribbles of jam down the sides.

Serves 8
3 large eggs
225g of caster sugar
50g of butter, melted
100ml of milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
210g plain flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder

For the filling and topping:
80g of strawberry jam
300g of strawberries, hulled
250ml of cream

Preheat the oven to 175oC/Gas 4 and grease and line two x 8 inch spring form baking tins.
Using a handheld electric mixer, beat the sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl until pale and fluffy.
Mix the milk, melted butter and vanilla extract together in a measuring jug and pour into the sugar and egg. Mix through to combine.
Sieve the flour and baking powder into the bowl and then using a spatula, gently fold in to the cake mix until completely smooth and combined.
Divide the mix evenly between the two baking tins and place in the oven for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool slightly before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
When both cake layers are completely cooled, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Sieve the jam into a bowl to ensure it is really smooth.
If the cake layers have a peak in the middle make sure to slice it off so you are left with perfectly flat layers.
Place one layer on a cake stand and dollop with half the cream, spread evenly and then drizzle with the smooth strawberry jam. Carefully place the second cake layer on top and add the remaining whipped cream and strawberries.

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:: Mega Strawberry Summer Cake + vanilla extract