When it comes to development for future Matchbox Kitchen offerings, I’ve been trying to relax a bit and experiment with new flavors and decorating techniques. It’s hard to get out of your comfort zone when you know certain things work together, but to be honest I’ve been pretty bored with the usual combinations. This cake was no exception. The combination might sound strange, or even off putting, but I quite liked it. I wasn’t really sure where I was going with the cake. Did I want something soft and pillowy with a slightly spiced accent, or did I want something more dense and hefty with a chunks of strawberries simmered with balsamic vinegar? Instead of being paralyzed with all the options in front of me, I dove in before I could over think it.
The result is a very soft cake, thanks to the use of spelt flour, lightly hinted with ground cardamom and a swirl of strawberry balsamic sauce throughout. Diced strawberries are folded in for added bursts of flavor. It also happens to be dairy free. I finished off the cake with sliced strawberries and a random assortment from the pantry: dried rose petals, chia seeds, and crumbled shortbread. These were added mostly for visual and textural aspect and did not add flavor.
The cake was also fine without all the stuff on top so you can see the strawberry balsamic swirl. Here, I added a light sprinkling of turbinado sugar.
- ¾ c (77g or 2¾oz) spelt flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 egg, separated
- ¼ cup raw cane sugar
- 3 tbsp oil (I used olive oil)
- 1 small apple, grated
- ⅛ tsp ground cardamom
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 5-8 strawberries, diced
- 2 tbsp strawberry jam
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 6 inch round baking pan.
- In a small saucepan, simmer strawberry jam and balsamic vinegar together. Alternately, you can dice fresh strawberries and cook them down with a bit of sugar if you do not have jam. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together spelt flour, salt, cardamom, and baking powder.
- In a separate bowl, whip egg white until soft peaks form, then add 2 tbsp sugar and whip until firm, glossy peaks form. Set aside.
- In another separate bowl, beat together the egg yolk, oil, remaining 2 tbsp sugar, and grated apple until combined. Add mixture to dry ingredients and mix together just until there is no more patches of flour. Fold in a third of the whipped egg whites until mixture has loosened up, then fold remaining egg whites in 2 more batches. Be careful not to overwork and deflate batter. Fold in diced strawberries.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until done.