Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Strawberry Cream Cheese Tray Bake

A long weekend without cake?! No. So I went to get strawberries on Monday. I had some cream cheese left in my fridge that I needed to use up soon and I had this recipe here in mind. It's originally made with plums which sounds just as delicious, but I thought that cream cheese and strawberries always are a good combination. Mixed berries might also be a nice idea. I really like this cake - just fits for the beginning of summer. Wonderful flavour and really moist. It keeps well in the fridge and it's almost better after a day or two.

(adapted from Technicolor Kitchen)

 200g cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons sugar
3 eggs
175g unsalted butter, softened
175g light brown sugar, packed
210g all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
generous pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
400g strawberries, halved or chopped into quarters, depending on size

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Butter a 28x18cm shallow baking pan, line with parchment paper. (I doubled the recipe above and used a tray double this size)

In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until soft and creamy. Add the vanilla bean paste or extract and the 3 tablespoons of sugar and beat until smooth. Set aside.

Place the eggs, butter, brown sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and vanilla in a separate bowl. Beat for about 2 minutes with an electric mixer until pale and creamy.

Spread half of the cake batter mixture onto the base of the prepared pan, then dollop half of the cream cheese mixture over it, spreading an uneven swirl through the base mixture. Scatter with half of the strawberries. Spoon the remaining cake batter on top and dot with the rest of the cream cheese. Scatter with the remaining strawberries. Put in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes until risen and just firm to touch – when cooked, the surface of this tray bake should feel just firm to the touch, it will firm up if it cools; if overbaked, it will lose its moist texture.

It is really moist in the middle, so if you want  to cut it into nice squares, leave to cool in the pan first (maybe even in the fridge overnight) before cutting it into pieces.

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