Not only can you bake a cake with perfect crumb structure in a toaster oven, you can also load it with hidden slices of strawberries and dust it with ground cardamom and edible glitter and give yourself a tongue party.
If you're lucky enough to have a normal oven, even better! But if you're a student or an alleged grown up like me and thought your baking days were over, think again. As long as your toaster oven has the switch on the front where you can turn the top element off, you're golden.
I keep buying strawberries because they're always on sale at the moment and I love them, but I was getting sick of them. And I love cardamom, you need the ground up kind for this. You could try and grind the seeds yourself though, who knows what'll happen! Try it while things are good!
To go on the top of this cake, I made a strawberry and almond glaze. It's pretty delish and after a day it'll all soak into the cake leaving you with a supermoist cake.
To make a standard sized (9 inch-ish) cake you'll need:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
6 tablespoons of your preferred butter substitute, earth balance or the Pure range
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup soy milk
1 cup fresh strawberries with the tops removed, sliced into three or four pieces each
For the glaze you'll need:
about 10 strawberries with the leaves cut off
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup ground almonds
some flaked almonds
EDIBLE GLITTER (oh yeaaaaah)
Beat the butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon.
(if you're thinking 'my, what a beautiful bowl', I think so too. I got it at Dean & Deluca in New York a few years ago and I love it. Also, thanks for loving it too. If you hate it, sorry for rambling.)
Once you've creamed the butter and sugar, add the flour, baking soda, salt and cardamom.
Gently combine then add the oil and soy milk and mix. It'll be a little lumpy but that's ok!
Add the strawberries and gently fold in.
Line your cake dish with greaseproof paper, or if it's a non-stick one just rub with a tiny bit of margarine, and pour in the batter. I've taken to using greaseproof paper because I'm anti-washing up. Yep.
Now baking times are going to vary. In my little toaster oven it has two wire shelves and two heating elements, one at the top and one at the bottom. You want to turn off the one at the top, and move a shelf as high as it will go but still leaving room for the cake to rise. I set the temperature to 180C/350F and it took about 40 minutes to bake. It's tough to give an exact time because I'm sure each tiny oven varies. Keep checking on it after about the 25 minute mark and as soon an inserted knife comes out clean, take it out and leave it to cool on a wire rack.
If you're using a normal oven, 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for probably 30-35 minutes, but again, please check on it regularly and take it out when it springs back to the touch and an inserted knife comes out clean!
Making the glaze was a good excuse to use up some more of the glut of strawberries. I switched the tv on and mashed some cut up strawberries with a fork until as smooth as possible. I mashed up about 10, that should be plenty.
Then sieve that so you're just left with the fluid and no pulp, and add the sugar and ground almonds. It should thicken up a bit but still be pretty fluid. Fold in some of the flaked almonds too and maybe add some glitter?
Once the cake has cooled, pour this over the top.
Add more flaked almonds to the top and more glitter! Cut yourself a slice. On the day you make it, it's great, the day after when it's absorbed the glaze? even better.
This is after a day, look at those little seams of strawberry. So good.I hope your days are as positive as mine right now, I love you!