Friday, 29 June 2012
Foodie Pen Pal Parcel - Eggless Strawberry Cake
It’s the end of the month which can only mean one thing….yes you’ve guessed it, it’s foodie pen pal time. The time when everyone who sent a lovely little parcel of foodie wonders to a food loving stranger blogs about the lovely little parcel of foodie wonders they received from another food lover! Being part of this scheme makes my month soooo exciting and if you haven’t joined yet you should (unless you don’t really like food…but otherwise you have no excuses)! So go and check out This Is Rock Salt for all the important details.
But anyway enough of the advertising and onto this month’s parcel which I was lucky enough to receive from Hannah. I explained to Hannah back at the beginning of June that as much as I love being sent things that I can instantly start munching on, one of the most exciting parts of the foodie pen pal process so far has been receiving new and exciting ingredients and food stuffs that I may not have come across before. Hannah took all of this into consideration and sent a bundle of wonderful goodies to me.
Uncle Roy’s Flowers of Scotland seasoning - Something I definitely haven’t seen before! A mixture of flower petals, herbs and spices to be used as a seasoning for game, pork and poultry. I haven’t had the chance to use it yet but can’t wait to give my next roast dinner a burst of colour with this.
Sweet Paprika – I was really excited by this one. After enjoying a holiday in the south of Spain last year I have been experimenting with a little bit of Spanish cooking and sweet paprika has been on the top of my shopping list for a little while but I hadn’t got around to buying any. But now I don’t need to, and like Hannah I love the cute little tin this come in!
Ham Salt – Hannah made this following a recipe from ‘Comfort and Spice’ by Eat Like a Girl. I hadn’t heard of ham salt before but am looking forward to giving this a go on some lazy brunch style poached eggs at the weekend.
Cocoa Cherry Pie Nibbles – I haven’t tried any of the treats produced by Bear before so it was great to have this to try…yum.
Floral tea – I love my tea and have had tea flowers before. I adore being enchanted watching the delicate tea flower bloom in a mug of hot water so haven’t dived into this one yet but am saving it when in real need of a decent cuppa on a wet and dreary afternoon.
Rose Marshmallows – Hannah apparently first discovered these in the Balthazar Bakery in New York and has since been making them herself to feed her addiction. I really do like a good marshmallow and these did not disappoint, there was a subtle floral flavour within these plump, mallowy cushions and once I had started munching I really couldn’t stop myself from scoffing the whole lot. So thank you very much Hannah for these gorgeous home-made treats…I may well have developed an addiction to these too!!
Freeze dried strawberries – Finally a tube of summery little freeze dried strawberries. Hannah suggested they would be good to decorate a cake with…and so I was inspired to use one of my favourite summer fruits in a cake, which of course I decorated with these little freeze dried beauties!
So thanks Hannah for a really exciting parcel, and for the inspiration for this eggless, strawberry cake.
300g fresh strawberries
20g caster sugar
1 tablespoon water
One 397g tin of condensed milk
175g melted butter
300g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bircarbonate of soda
200g icing sugar
A handful of freeze dried strawberries for decoration
Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg C / 350 deg F
Line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper.
To begin with hull the strawberries (slice the stems off) and then roughly chop.
Add the chopped strawberries, caster sugar and water to a small saucepan and place over a medium heat for about 10 minutes until the strawberries begin to soften. Remove from the heat and allow to cool and then using a stick blender or food processor blend the strawberries up to produce a smooth puree.
Next place the condensed milk, melted butter and 200ml of the strawberry puree into a mixing bowl and beat until the ingredients are mixed together well.
Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into the condensed milk mixture and continue to beat together until fully combined.
Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and place into the oven for 45-50 minutes until the cake is golden in colour and a sharp knife entered into the centre comes out clean.
Once cooked remove from the oven and allow to cool a little before turning out of the tin onto a cooling rack.
Whilst the cake is cooling mix 50ml of the remaining strawberry puree with the butter and icing sugar and beat together until fully combined and light and fluffly. And if you have any leftover puree it’s great served with ice cream or yoghurt.
When the cake is fully cooled spread the icing over the top and then sprinkle with freeze dried strawberries to finish the decoration.