I am a recent strawberry convert. I remember I used to hate them. In the mid-western part of India around Bombay, the region where I am originally from, they are so precious and yet so disappointing. They sell it for an exorbitant price and if you are lucky you may find one sweet little strawberry in your pint. Like a lottery ticket. But you are obliged to say they were so good. You paid a high enough price for them to be good.
It was the same in Dubai. They looked prettier but that’s it. I don’t remember ever buying strawberries. Ever! Until I met Steve who told me stories about how he worked on a farm as a child picking strawberries and eating most of them. I am not the biggest fan of fruit but picking strawberries at a farm and stuffing mouthfuls sounds like fun.
While I was thinking of combining Pound cake series with strawberries I came across this gorgeous concoction by Joy the Baker. I tried the roasted strawberries and was hooked! It brings out a gorgeous colour and concentrates the sweet, tangy flavor. I had to use it in a pound cake.
You may think it is a lot of work for a simple cake – chopping the strawberries, roasting them, waiting for them to cool down and eating copious amounts of the fruit while doing all this. But you are going to make extra strawberry syrup to stick it in the fridge. Then you will use it as topping for ice cream, or pancakes, or cocktails. Or like me, you will douse a piece of this cake with more syrup before consumption.
This pound cake with sour cream is moist and fluffy with a slightly crispy crust. The strawberry syrup makes beautiful pink swirls and gives a hint of sweet tang.
Strawberry Swirl Pound Cake
Ingredients – 6 delicious portions
Roasted Strawberry Syrup (yields half cup)
2 cups chopped strawberries (Quarters of sixths depending on size)
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp maple syrup / ½ tsp ground cinnamon / 2 tbsp brandy (whatever is your preference)
Pinch of salt
Pound cake – Adapted from Taste of Home
¾ cup flour
Pinch of baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
¼ cup butter
¾ cup sugar
1½ extra-large eggs / 2 small eggs
¼ cup sour cream
½ tsp vanilla bean paste or pure extract
For the Strawberry Syrup
Preheat oven to 375F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. This is important to catch the juices and not get your baking tray burnt and sticky. Dump the chopped strawberries and all other ingredients for syrup together directly on the prepared baking sheet. Mix well. Stick it in the oven and roast for 15 -20mins till juice is viscous and strawberries are mushy. Remove. Let cool completely. This can be stored in the refrigerator for upto a week.
For the Cake
Preheat oven to 325F and set an oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter and flour a small tube cake pan.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Beat butter on medium high till light. Add sugar gradually and cream till pale and fluffy. Make sure to scrape down sides at intervals.
Reduce speed to low and add one egg at a time till incorporated.
Remove bowl from mixer, alternate adding flour mixture and sour cream in three batches starting and ending with flour mixture, and fold just until incorporated.
Pour a little batter into the prepared cake pan. Then drop 2tbsp of strawberry syrup on the batter. Add more batter, then syrup and finish with remaining batter and a few drops of the syrup on top. Swirl with a skewer or knife for marbling. Firmly tap to remove any air bubbles and smooth the surface.
Bake until light golden brown, for about 35 – 40 minutes. Let the cake cool in pan for 20 minutes, then invert onto a rack to cool completely.
Eat with more syrup or fresh strawberries.