I don’t have time in the mornings to make a proper breakfast for myself, so on most weekdays, I will have a slice of toast, usually pumpernickel or a spelt sourdough (this bakery in Roncesvalles makes the most amazing bread, plus, they slice it for you) with a generous layer of almond or peanut butter and different jams. Gail, a good friend of mine, brought back a jar of cloudberry preserves (have you ever had them?) for me, from her trip to Sweden, which I have almost every morning on my toast. I am scared of the day that jar finishes. (This is the jar, in case any of you want to try to source it.)
On the weekends, I go crazy using my cast iron skillet. I make egg dishes like a frittata with mushrooms and Gruyère or a spiced tomato sauce omelette and even my spicy Pakistani kebabs (here is the recipe) are made in my beloved skillet. I decided to make something sweet, rather than savoury one morning, thanks to a pint of gorgeous, blood-red strawberries a dear friend, Nadia, brought back for me from her trip to Hagerman Farm in Prince Edward County. Trust me, I didn’t play around much with the image editor, this is truly how deep red the strawberries were.
We ate most of the strawberries with a mix of whipped cream and sour cream as you can see here (Tiny Spoon is in love with strawberries). That’s how you show respect for something as beautiful as these strawberries – eat them in their most natural state, just the way they are. But then I had so many strawberries leftover, that I thought I should bake with them, but in a way that they retain their integrity, somewhat, and really stand out – a batter cake seemed like the best option. I love rosewater with strawberries and I have paired them together before, too. Rosewater is used in so many Persian desserts – its delicate fragrance elevates dishes to another level. On another note, I feel like these days, I cannot bake without buttermilk or sour cream, so I hope you have it in your part of the world. You can also use a sour yoghurt if you don’t have sour cream. This was a perfect breakfast treat on a very Sunday morning with thimbles of espressi made and downed at home.
Hope you’re having a beautiful summer, lovelies.
You will need a 25cm / 10in cast iron skillet or a cake pan of the same size
*90g unsalted butter (room temperature) + a little extra to grease your cast iron skillet / cake pan + 1 tbsp melted butter to brush over strawberries and batter
*175g granulated sugar
*250ml sour cream + more, for serving a few dollops with the cake (I used 14% fat sour cream) You can use yoghurt if you don’t have sour cream where you live
*150g white flour
*1 1/2 tsp baking powder
*1/2 tsp salt
*1 tbsp rosewater (you can easily substitute with vanilla essence if you don’t have rosewater)
*16 -18 large strawberries, hulled and halved
*Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F
*Generously butter your cast iron skillet or cake pan (if using a cake pan which is not non-stick, line base with parchment paper)
*Place flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and gently mix to combine
*Place butter and sugar in a separate bowl (if using a hand mixer) or in a stand-mixer and cream on medium speed, till light and fluffy
*Add sour cream, egg, rosewater and continue to mix till the batter appears creamy
*Turn the mixer speed to low and add dry ingredients – flour, salt and baking powder in batches. Scrape down the sides. Do not over mix
*Transfer batter into skillet evenly (preferably, with a spatula). It will be thick. Arrange strawberries on top (cut side down)
*Brush strawberries and batter gently, with melted butter
*Place in oven for 40-45 minutes till an inserted toothpick comes out clean and the cake starts to pull in from the sides of the skillet / cake pan. Please note that the cooking time for a cake pan will be longer.
Enjoy with sour cream on the side.