The End of the Fruit Cake Section

It would be more fun if this blog title was a witty pun but, in fact, it is a very literal reference to the fact that, after weeks and weeks of baking slogging, I have finally reached the end of the fruit cake section in Mary Berry's Baking Bible.

Well, I say I've reached the end - in fact I haven't done the very last bake in the section as it's a cherry cake and I hate cherries. I might be baking my way through the book, but I'm not heroic enough to bake a cake I know I'm not going to like at all!

The final two cakes, then, were Marmalade Cake and Strawberry Dessert Cake. Honestly, I can't remember much about the Marmalade Cake as it's so long since I baked it and I don't seem to have taken any photos of it. So I probably won't be baking that again!

But the Strawberry Dessert Cake was very nice indeed, and could have been better had I followed Mary's suggestion and served it warm as a dessert.

It's basically a rich sponge cake with a layer of fresh strawberries baked into the middle of it. When baked, the middle stays fairly dense and soggy, probably because of the moisture from the strawberries, but the top goes a little crunchy. This would have been helped along by the sprinkle of flaked almonds on the top if I had remembered to put them on! This means that it is fairly messy to eat once cooled, and a bit claggy (which I love!). But I did have a little bit while it was still warm from the oven and it was absolutely lush.

The only slight disappointment was that the strawberries weren't as tasty as I expected. They lost a lot of their strawberry flavour in the baking and made more of a moist, sweet layer than a real flavour of strawberries.

I almost certainly will make this again sometime, but serve it warm, with whipped cream and a few fresh strawberries. Maybe for Wimbledon!


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