You will often hear people complaining that strawberries don’t taste like they used to…and that is true for many strawberries but I think that, if you’re choosy about the variety of strawberry you buy, there are some crackers still available. If you cannot grow your own, and don’t have a pick-your-own nearby, here are my tips for buying strawberries:
- Avoid any imported strawberries – I don’t want to eat a strawberry that’s seen more of the world than I have!
- Buy strawberries grown as locally to where you live as possible – it surely means they’ve not been sitting around for long?
- Take note of the variety of strawberry you like – I would rather go without than buy the tasteless Sonata variety, but a Jubilee strawberry is pretty much a guarantee of flavour.
- Smell them. A strawberry with no smell is a strawberry with no taste.
This recipe pretty much ticks all my boxes for what I like in a cake: it’s made with yoghurt, it contains almonds, it uses cheesecake, and it has big chunks of fruit. It would work with many different fruits. The CCD’s damson tree is looking like it’s going to have a bumper harvest so I might make the cake again using damson plums.
The soft almond sponge provides a lovely texture for holding the pockets of cheesecake and strawberries. This really was one of the best cakes I’ve tasted in a long time...and I’ve tasted a lot of cakes!
For the cheesecake:
25g caster sugar
250g caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
200g self raising flour
50g ground almonds
75g natural yoghurt
250g strawberries – washed, hulled and chopped
Handful of flaked almonds
Use your finger or the end of a wooden spoon handle to make divots in the sponge. Blob the remaining cheesecake into these spaces.
Bake for approximately 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. It is best to check after 45 minutes to see if the cake is browning too quickly; if it is cover loosely with foil and continue baking. Don’t worry if your cake takes longer – mine took almost 1 hour 30 minutes, and I did need to cover it with foil.