Is it their colour? That wonderfully gorgeous shade of red? And is it because red is universally known as the colour of passion?
Or is it because, when we think of strawberries, we think of romantic dinners?
Strawberries dipped in chocolate..
Strawberries with a bottle of champagne..
Strawberries served with whipped cream..
Whatever the case (let's face it, the answer is probably all of the above), whenever I think of strawberries, I think of love. Heck, even the sight of them makes me swoon.
So what better ingredient than strawberries to feature in this teacake?
You see, my amazing twin brother, Alan, recently proposed to his beautiful girlfriend, Annie.. And she said YES!
The newly- engaged couple are two of the most important people in my life. They look after and love each other, and I couldn't be happier for them.
So, I decided to create a cake to celebrate their engagement.
- it must be healthy, because the couple are both health and fitness aficionados
- it must be beautiful, because the couple are both gorgeous people - both inside and out
- it must be a teacake, because Alan and Annie both looove drinking tea,
- it must be gluten free, so that I can eat a slice as well, and
- it must contain strawberries - this is for my sake, because I think strawberries are among the most romantic things on Earth.
the 'double- a' strawberry and coconut teacake
makes 1 cake
- 1/2 cup organic, extra virgin coconut oil - melted
- 1/2 cup organic, unsweetened plain yoghurt
- 3/4 cup organic rice malt syrup - or coconut nectar, maple syrup, agave syrup or other natural sweetener
- 3 organic, free- range eggs - whisked
- 1/2 tbsp organic vanilla extract
- 2 cups almond meal
- 1/2 cup organic, unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 tbsp grated lemon zest
- 1 tsp gluten- free baking powder
- 1 punnet organic strawberries - washed, hulled and halved
- organic coconut flour - for dusting
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C.
Line the base of a round, springform tin with non- stick baking paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, plain yoghurt and rice malt syrup until it forms a smooth, uniform emulsion.
Pour the whisked eggs and vanilla extract into the oil / yoghurt mixture, and combine well. It should become a lovely pale yellow colour.
Add the almond meal, shredded coconut, lemon zest and baking powder to the mixture and fold until well- combined.
Pour the batter into the lined cake tin and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon.
Arrange the strawberries on the top of the cake, gently pushing them into the surface to secure them in their place.
Cover with a piece of aluminium foil and bake for 1 hour.
Remove from the oven and remove the foil. Reduce the temperature of the oven to 160 degrees C. Bake for a further 20- 30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when it pierces the centre of the cake.
If the skewer is only coated in coconut oil, then the cake is ready to be taken out of the oven. If it comes out coated in wet cake batter, continue to bake the cake for a little while longer.
When the cake is ready, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool completely. Run the blade of a knife around the edges of the cake to loosen it before carefully removing it from its tin. Dust with coconut flour, and serve.