When I started this blog it was because I wanted to write about food, share what I know about nutrition, and connect with people. I also very much wanted to use the blog as a launching platform to something bigger, without ever properly defining – even to myself – what that might mean. In these respects, this space, my little home on the world wide web, has been an outrageous success. I write about food. I share what I know about nutrition. I’ve connected with all kinds of people. And this blog was a huge, huge part of what got me that new job I’m loving so much.
The blogosphere can be overwhelming at times, and I often feel like a teeny little fish in a bonkers big pond. I decided a while ago to stop looking at stats, and what I do here has felt much more authentic since I did that. I’ve also, clearly, decided not to beat myself up if I don’t get a post up on my self-imposed schedule, or forgot to submit to foodgawker / tastespotting / healthy aperture / pinterest / …… it’s all a bit much sometimes, isn’t it?
All in the realm of things that aren’t overwhelming are good friends, roasted strawberries, and cake. I enjoyed all of these things together in spectacular combination last weekend on Midsommar, the longest day of the year, and the highest of high holidays here in Sweden. My friends and I gathered on the island of Skeppsholmen for a potluck style grill, and this cake was among my contributions.
When you take a pound of summer ripe strawberries (we had a late spring, so ours are just appearing now), toss them with a bit of maple syrup, olive oil, and salt, and toss them in the oven, magical things happen. When you pour this beautiful mess over the top of a tangy yoghurt cake and bake it, things get even better. When you ignore recipe instructions and top the cake with four (FOUR!) times the amount of roasted strawberries you’re told to, things get a little messy and the result is a cake far too ugly to photograph (don’t be like me).
But, when you ride your bicycle across town with that mess of a cake strapped to the panier rack, and have it under the dusky dawny light of the never setting summer sun (served with a scoop of freshly made strawberry iced cream and a juicy berry salad) with some of the best people you know, I promise you, no one will even notice what it looks like. It’s that good.
Friends, old and new, thanks for being here with me for three whole years. This would all be pointless without you.
Roasted Strawberries + Yoghurt Cake Recipe:
When I saw the photographs of this cake I thought it didn’t look strawberry-y enough for me, so I doubled the amount of roasted strawberries. The instructions were to put half of the roasted strawberries over the top of the cake and reserve the other half for serving. I put them all on. Don’t do that. I had strawberry juices overflowing and burning on the bottom of my oven, the middle, which is where the strawberries settled, took forever to cook, and the edges of the cake were burnt and ugly. I’d say that putting half of the double strawberries on the cake is probably fine, so that is what I’m calling for here.
Seven of us made quick work of this cake, but I’d say we were greedy about it. Serves 6-10.
Adapted from Joy the Baker
Roasted Strawberries Recipe:
500g medium strawberries, hulled
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon olive oil
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut each strawberry in half and place in a mixing bowl. Whisk together maple syrup, olive oil, and salt, and drizzle the mixture over the strawberries gently tossing until each strawberry is coated. Arrange strawberries in a single layer across prepared baking sheet.
Roast strawberries for about 40 minutes. The juices will thicken, but watch them carefully towards the end and remove the strawberries from the oven before the juices begin to burn. Slide the berries and juice from the pan and into a medium bowl while still warm. Stir in balsamic vinegar, and set aside.
Yoghurt Cake Recipe:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup plain yoghurt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 200°C / 400°F. Butter a deep dish 11-inch pie plate.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, salt and sugar. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together yoghurt, milk, eggs, and butter. Whisk in the vanilla.
Add the yoghurt mixture all at once to the dry ingredients and tir until just combined. Spoon batter into the prepared pie plate. Top the cake batter with half of the roasted strawberries and juice, reserving the rest for serving (**see headnotes!**)
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool to room temperature before slicing, and then serve with the remaining roasted strawberries.
Friends, you’re eating cake. Delicious, moist, tangy strawberry yoghurt cake. Enjoy it. Then how about a smoothie for breakfast?
All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2013