Friday, 3 June 2011

Strawberry Cake and other snippets

Ixia (wandflower) - thankyou Sarah B!

Hello everyone!

Hope everyone is enjoying this glorious weather here in the UK. And half term too!!

Can't think where the time has gone, but seems ages since I last posted and every day seems to have been busy.

Made this cake earlier in the week with a large carton of strawberries that were just past their best for eating out of hand, and a lonely cooking apple lurking at the bottom of my fridge looking a bit yellow and sorry for itself.

Half the carton went for the cake, and the other half I pureed with a few spoonfuls of sugar and a little water and made a yummy strawberry sauce, or coulis, as my husband reminded me as it sounds more posh than sauce!

You can use as much or as little in the way of strawberries as you have available - obviously the more the scrummier!

This is my recipe adapted from another recipe which I got online ages ago, maybe from another blog in the days before I blogged, or from one of those random sites with recipes, I cannot remember so I cannot thank and credit the person who gave me the original base recipe.  I have however experimented and changed it rather a lot so it may not be recognisable to anybody anyway!


6oz butter
4oz sugar
10oz plain flour
2 ½ tsp baking powder
3 eggs
2 tblsp milk
3 tblsp ground almonds

a few generous handfuls of strawberries, washed and thickly sliced
1 small/medium cooking apple, peeled, thickly sliced and cooked to puree with 2 tsp sugar and 1 tblsp water
Toppings: sprinkle of demerara sugar
handful of flaked almonds

Pre-heat oven to 180c
Thoroughly grease a deep loose bottomed cake tin with butter
Cook the apple in a pan with the water and sugar for approx 5 mins until softened.
Put  all of the cake ingredients (minus the fruit and toppings) into a large bowl and mix until lighter in colour and fairly soft.
Add the cooled apple puree.
Put half the cake mix into the cake tin and tip tin until the mixture covers the bottom.
Place the strawberries  on top of the mix.
Spoon the rest of the mix on top carefully, and spread gently to cover strawberries.
Sprinkle top of cake first with the demerara sugar and then the flaked almonds.

Bake in preheated oven 180C/350F/gas4 for approx 40-50 mins - test with skewer.

Goes well with cream and strawberry sauce as a pud, or on its own as cake.

Have managed to start a new crochet project, which will have to show photos of next week - am making large granny squares in cream, white and grey with pale pink - unusual for me to use such pale colours when crocheting, but I'm really enjoying making them - soothing!!!!

Was taken out for my belated birthday treat yesterday to Great Dixter in Northiam, East Sussex- Chrisptopher Lloyd's garden ( after stopping at Rolvenden in Kent for me to have a rummage through a little shop there, where I bought a beautiful original landscape painting for £20 - will have to show photo later when I have camera - and for hubby to have an impromptu haircut!).

Wonderful Garden!

A generous profusion of all types of flowers, bulbs, trees and shrubs, beautifully but informally laid out, plants spilling over paths so you have to duck under and carefully tread over them.
It must be the best garden I've ever visited, and we didnt even get to see it all. Came away full of inspiration and contentment, really is a wonderful garden to visit if you are ever in the area.

No camera at present so you are spared the million and one photos there would have been had I had it with me!

Instead I shall have to share with you last weeks blooms from my own much more modest garden!



Purple campanula glomerata (?) in the background, red geum, but Not Sure about the lovely cream flower! (Sarah B tells me its Ixia. Thanks Sarah! )

Yellow rose

White and blue love-in-the-mists (nigellas)

Butterfly on lupin (quite small little one)

Slipped my mind what this one is - how annoying!
(Ha! Finally remembered! Its a Sisyrinchium striatum i think.)

Got a wee bit stressed out this afternoon. Daughter had quick trip up to London this morning with friends to try on and choose their Prom dresses, and this afternoon was meant for Maths revision. But daughter has suddenly overnight managed to lose TWO calculators and has 2  Maths GCSE papers next week to revise for - we have just found out that one went home with a friend in error yesterday, but the other one who knows where!


Time for a glass of red wine in the garden I think - hubby out at cricket match, daughter working, feel I need it today!!!

Have a great weekend!!

Edited to add: just got back from a French market with Mr G, Bella and my parents - fantastic atmosphere with live music, wonderful cheese stalls, charcuterie, patisserie, fruit and vegetables, provencal tablecloths, baskets etc.

Treated myself to traditional french marketing basket with strong leather handles, very good price at £8 I thought!  I have waited many years for one of these (never seemd to find them very cheap in France years ago when we visited annually) and am Loving It and feeling very French and elegant carrying it  ;0  !!!

Soon filled it up with french cakes and biscuits, camembert, enormous heads of garlic, few french perfume advertising posters (so elegant and french, 50s style - will do photos soon when camera sorted) and hubby bought some french music!




  1. strawberry cake, flowers and butterflys...what could be better...

    so happy to visit today
    give sweet logan a hug

    sending love,
    kary and teddy

  2. You just enjoy that glass of red! Lovely looking cake and your flowers are gorgeous as ever. I wonder what that cream flower is, it's most unusual, almost like a multi-headed tulip! Thankyou very much for the kind comments Gill. I am very relieved and pleased to move on and have a renewed appreciation of family and friends who have been great.Have a wonderful weekend enjoying this glorious weather, love Linda x

  3. your 'modest' garden looks pretty good to me. Another month or so before our strawberries, I think

  4. I just love your garden and the cake looks amazing as well. Relax and enjoy your wine. Have a wonderful weekend!!

  5. Your cake looks and sounds divine and then your flowers steal the show!

    I wish I could join you for that glass of wine...having one of those days myself, enjoy!

  6. Goodness, Gill, as always, I don't know where to begin--your strawberry cake looks divine; wish I could tuck up to your table and have a big piece! The strawberries are almost ready here, and now I know what I'll do with them. And I can't wait to see your granny square project--it sounds lovely! Happy Weekend!

  7. What a yummy looking cake. Your garden is looking divine. The cream flower with pink tinge is an Ixia. I have them in pale blue, they're just gorgeous!

  8. Hope you were able to enjoy your glass of 'chill' wine...and maybe a snuggle with Logan which I'm sure always helps!
    YOur strawberry cake sounds yummy. I have a recipe for one but there aren't almonds involved...I like that additon!
    We're going to have a lovely and very warm weather this looking forward to it!
    xo J~

  9. Your cake looks scrummy, a great way to use up the strawberries. I'm looking forward to seeing your crochet project, it sounds lovely. I don't think Daniel has done any revision this week, and he's got four exams this week including the two maths papers you mention.

  10. That cake sounds absolutely delicious! I've always loved my mum's apple cake, and this one sounds even better with the other additions.

    Those blooms from your garden are simply beautiful. Wish I had those sorts of flowers in mine. Mine is pretty bare... it was completely empty except for a path and a middle fountain when I got here. Now I've planted some trees to grow into a hedge (to screen off the neighbours), some lavender and some other Aussie natives. I'll get there, but I'm no green thumb. Wish I had a garden like yours!

    How exciting for your daughter to be having her prom! We don't do proms over here, although I think they have something similiar now and call it a formal. We have a deb ball for 'coming out' too, but I never did mine. The whole 'prom night' thing sounds lovely. I hope she has a wonderful time.

    I can only imagine what a summer over there would be like. Very envious!

    Linda. xox

  11. Thanks for sharing the cake recipe, sounds lovely. Also looking forward to seeing all your French buys.
    The flowers from your garden look so beautiful.
    Hope the revising issue gets sorted.
    Lisa x


Thanks for visiting and for taking the time to leave a comment - I love to read them!
Gill x