Oh, how I love the beginning of summer. The weather is getting warmer and the fruit season is on the full. Strawberries are definitely the biggest hit for a perfect English
summer. They mark every traditional event in this country. From
Wimbledon to Ascot and Henley to hundreds of other local events which
just wouldn’t be the same without freshly picked English strawberries
and cream. Of course you can get them everywhere, from the smallest
local shop to the biggest supermarket and local city markets. But
local farms where you can pick them on your own are truly fabulous. I
never went picking strawberries as a kid. In Slovenia we just didn’t
have strawberry farms or at least I can’t remember anyone talking about
them. But the memories of our school teachers taking us many times to
pick-your-own (PYO) apple farms where we tried to earn some money for
our school are still vivid, as if all this happened yesterday. When we
moved to Scotland it was the first time that we heard about PYO
strawberry farms. Many immigrant workers from Romania, Poland and other
countries are seasonal workers there earning good but hard earned
moneys. I have far greater respect for the strawberries that I see in
stores now. We actually never think how they end up in our local store,
who picks all this fruit and how tuff the job is. Yes, there are
hardworking people behind delicious strawberries!
Here in the South of England you can find strawberry farms almost everywhere. They are scattered all over the place and are really popular, particularly with families. Besides, you
pick fruit on your own, you spend a lovely day breathing fresh air,
teach your children where and how strawberries grow and of course they
are much cheaper too.
So how do the locals here make popular strawberry summer treats? Well, it couldn’t be easier! They wash the fruit, sprinkle them with sugar, leave for about half an hour to soak up
the sweetness and at the end add single cream or Cornish clotted cream.
In my family we eat strawberries in pretty much the same way, but what I
really like to do even more is baking strawberry desserts. That’s why I
usually mark the beginning of summer with strawberry
sponge cake recipe. This is a simple cake topped with double cream
and sweet strawberries and it tastes absolutely delicious. The recipe
couldn’t be easier.
First you bake a basic sponge cake (you need only butter, sugar, flour, vanilla extract and eggs). The cake is baked in half an hour. Meanwhile, wash strawberries in cold water and
cut them into quarters. Whip double cream and chill it in a fridge. When
the cake has cooled down cut away the top to get a flat surface. Spoon a
few tablespoons of the cream on the cake and use palette knife to
smooth the surface. Cover the whole creamed up surface with strawberries
and sprinkle with icing sugar. Chill the cake in the fridge for 10-15
minutes before serving.
What about strawberry sponge cake and coffee combinations? Well yeah, I’ve got to say something about my passion as well…
The ultimate winner is definetely cafe latte with cappucino being really close. I think those two pair this cake far better than espresso and Turkish coffee, or in fact any other