Don't you just love it when a bake comes together as well, if not better, than you hope and envisage?
Being a huge fan of fresh strawberries, Mr E & I regularly have some during the summer months. Even though they're delicious simply served with a little vanilla ice cream, or even on their own, we thought it would be fun to include some in one of our bakes. Regulars to Only Crumbs Remain may have seen our strawberry cupcakes with a dark chocolate drizzle, but as delicious as they were the beautiful red strawberry wasn't actually incorporated IN the bake.
Being reluctant to mix the strawberries into the cake batter, due to their high water content, the strawberry halves were arranged on the base of the cake tin before being topped with the prepared cake batter. If you're old enough to cast your minds back to the 70's and 80's think of pineapple upside-down cake (you may even recall Alvin making one, sadly to the dismay of Mary & Paul, on GBBO a few years ago) and you'll be along the right lines with this strawberry and basil version.
The halved fresh strawberries, baked at the base of this Victoria sponge cake which once turned out becomes the top, provides heaps of flavour, a delicious aroma, a pretty colour and lots of interest. What more can you ask for from a homemade cake? How about even more flavour and interest with freeze dried strawberries and shredded basil leaves peppered throughout the sponge? Surely this negates the need for any frostings and fillings.
And if you're wondering about using basil leaves with strawberries, let alone in a cake, well all I can do is encourage you to try it. Strawberries and basil work incredibly well together, like in my Strawberry & Basil Pavlova and even with these macerated strawberries which accompanied some griddled peaches. But, if you prefer replace the shredded basil leaves for a few drops of vanilla extract instead.
This Strawberry and Basil Upside-Down cake has been a complete winner
with the whole family. Not only is it a doddle to make, but there's no
filling required to sandwich the cake, nor is there any fancy calorific
frosting to apply either. This cake needs no further time spent on it
once it's baked - other than sitting back with a pot of tea to savour
So, here's how to make Strawberry & Basil Upside-Down Cake
is easy to make. The colourful pink strawberries, cooked with the
cake, negates the need for any frostings.
Hand on time: about 25 mins Bake time: 50 mins Yield: 1 x 16cm cake, serving 6 people
1 x deep 16cm diameter cake tin
- 115g Butter, unsalted & softened, plus a little extra for greasing
- 115g Golden Caster Sugar
- small Pinch of Salt
- 8 Basil Leaves, fresh, washed & dried (see note c below)
- 2 Egg, lightly beaten
- 6g Freeze Dried Strawberries
- 115g SR Flour
- 1 - 2 tbsp Milk
- 8 medium sized Strawberries
Notes: a) When making the cupcake batter, consider weighing the cracked eggs first to ensure the batter has equal weight of butter, sugar, flour and eggs. Simply weigh the butter, sugar and flour to the same weight as the eggs. Of course the value may be slightly different to the 115g listed in the ingredients above. b) Consider warming your lightly beaten eggs over a bain marie especially if they feel particularly cold. Warm them until they feel lukewarm. This should help prevent the batter from curdling and produce a better sponge. c) Replace the basil leaves with ½ tsp vanilla extract if you prefer.