Friday, 4 April 2008

Strawberry and cinnamon tortlettes

I *just* found out about another fun seasonal blog event: Mike’s Table’s Strawberry seduction. Mike bought a ton of strawberries from his local supplier in California (I don’t think it matters if it’s an imperial or a metric ton when we’re talking that many strawberries!), and has been baking his way through them. Thus glut of fruit inspired this blog event, and I first read about it on Johanna's post on Green Gourmet Giraffe, where you can also find an amazing discussion of the many and varied qualities of strawberries. It just so happened that I had just bought some strawberries when I saw that the British-grown season had started, and although I had only a couple of days to get something done for the event, just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make another family favourite: Granny S’s strawberry and cinnamon torte. This torte is so popular that even the Junior Siblings request it for their birthday cakes (mind you, they have always had very sophisticated tastes, but we have already seen that Junior Bro at least is not averse to a bit of high-profile chocolate). It’s ridiculously easy to put together, the hardest bit being spreading the top layer over the sliced strawberries, and that just takes a bit of insistent fork and spoon action. Although, now I come to think about it, eating it does have certain hazards – I once inhaled some of the icing sugar topping just as The Scientist’s Mum was paying me a compliment about being part of their family and had a deeply unfortunately timed choking fit. I don’t think she took it personally. Of course as seems to be becoming traditional, I didn’t have enough of all the requisite ingredients, so I made a scaled-down version of the recipe, and baked it as tortelettes (or tortellini, if you will) in a large muffin pan. Scaling was easy, as most of the ingredients are in 1:1 proportion to each other, though I probably did have a bit too much egg, which made the mixture a little wetter than usual. The baked tortelettes looked beautiful, however, and had the authentically alluring scent of cinnamon (mmmm, one of my very favourite smells). They browned beautifully and I am very pleased with them. I haven’t tried them yet as I had to get them posted up here before tonight’s deadline, but I have very high hopes indeed. I’ve given the full quantity recipe below, but it seems to be pretty forgiving to scaling down. I’m afraid I have no idea where Granny S got the original recipe from, so apologies to the creator. Have a look at the full round-up here. I may need to buy more strawberries!

Strawberry and cinnamon torte(lettes)

175g ground almonds
175g butter, softened
175g golden caster sugar
175g self raising flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 egg and 1 egg yolk
450g strawberries, hulled and sliced.
Icing sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 120 C/Gas 4/Fan assisted 160C and line and grease a loose-bottomed 23cm cake tin.

Mix all ingredients except strawberries together until just combined. Spread half of the mixture over the bottom of the tin. Place sliced strawberries over the top, double-layering them if necessary. Spread remaining cake mix over the top (this is where you might need to coax it with a couple of forks, but it doesn’t matter if it’s not too neat). Bake for an hour, though check it after 40 mins, and if necessary, cover with foil to stop the top from browning too much. It should be slightly risen and dark golden brown when it’s done.

Cool briefly in the tin and turn out. Serve, dusted with icing sugar, and accompanied with your choice of cream, crème fraiche, yogurt, etc.


LisaRene said...

Cute story regarding the wrong time to have a choking fit :)

I bet these are very good, I always like the texture of baked goods when non-gluten ingredients like nuts are involved.

FYI - I have prepared my English savory pie/tart/pasty, etc. and can post anytime. If you have not been motivated to prepare your version yet no worries (very British thing to say), we can post whenever is convenient.

Johanna said...

yum - ground almonds and strawberries sounds like a winning combination to me - and I like the little 'tortlettes'. Wish I could have a few british strawberries - they really are so much nicer than the ones we get here

SweetDesigns said...

hehe great blog!! your "tortlettes" look adorable and sound soo yummy!