Monday, June 07, 2010


MasterChef: The Professionals has won a Bafta. John Torode, never deemed quite professional enough to join in, must be seething. But on to more pressing matters. Who in their right mind would bake a British strawberry? Orlando Murrin, the former editor of BBC Good Food and himself once a MasterChef semi-finalist, is who. It turns out I would too.

I got home from the shops yesterday with a punnet of strawberries (only one of which had grown a fluffy beard to conceal a huge, sinister cavity) and an urge to bake. A giant strawberry shortcake wasn't quite right because there are only two of us on solids at H'n'H Towers and we wouldn't have eaten it before the cream made everything soggy. The normal plan - leafing through the 23 baking books stacked in the kitchen - didn't yield anything promising. So I turned to the interwebs, and specifically Orlando Murrin's strawberry and cinnamon torte.

The idea of putting strawberries with cinnamon, let alone blasting away their freshness in the oven, sounds, as we used to say at school, absolutely hanging. In fact, it works really well here, and the cake is a piece of the proverbial. You whizz ground almonds, butter, eggs, flour and sugar in the food processor with a teaspoon of cinnamon, spread half in a cake tin (the mixture looks a bit scanty, but there's just enough), add sliced strawberries and cover with the other half. An hour later, you've got an extraordinarily light cake with an appealing rubbly top and a jammy seam in the middle.

Eaten with a whipped-together combination of double cream and Greek yoghurt, using a cake fork, it feels thrillingly European, like The Wolseley did before it boarded the hell-bound handcart. It is - and stop me if this sounds a bit 50 ways with mince - pretty versatile; you could stick any fruit in the middle, except bananas. Bananas are strictly for putting in the bin.

1 comment:

The Ample Cook said...

I've made this cake many times from a cut out recipe I saved from 'Good Food' yonks ago.

Brilliant isn't it?