Juicy, ripe strawberries are a perfect match with this tender orange cake. The meringue adds a touch of glamour but the cake is equally delicious served plain with dollops of softly whipped cream.
2 chips strawberries, stems removed
60 grams butter
½ cup brown sugar
100 grams butter, very soft but not melted
1¼ cups caster sugar
3 large eggs, size 7
1¾ cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground mixed spice
finely grated zest 1 orange
¾ cup plain yogurt
2 egg whites
½ teaspoon lemon juice
½ cup caster sugar
Grease a 22cm fixed base cake tin and line the base with baking paper.
Preheat the oven to 160°C fan bake.
Halve the medium strawberries and quarter the larger ones. Set aside.
Put the butter and brown sugar in a medium saucepan and slowly bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. When boiling, stir continuously for 1–2 minutes until it all comes together (it will separate at first) and becomes thick and smooth. Take off the heat, add the strawberries and stir to combine well.
Tip into the base of the tin and spread evenly.
Beat the butter and sugar together until pale. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and the mixed spice.
Mix half of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture with half of the yoghurt then repeat with the remaining ingredients and the orange zest.
Carefully spoon the batter over the strawberries and smooth the top.
Bake for 55–60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cover the top loosely with foil after 30 minutes to prevent the cake from over-browning.
Cool in the tin for 15 minutes.
Run a palette knife around the inside of the tin to loosen the cake from the sides. Place a large plate over the cake tin and holding both together, invert the tin and plate together. Place any fruit stuck on the base of the tin back on top. If topping with the meringue, see recipe below. Serve at room temperature with softly whipped cream.
Preheat the grill to its highest setting.
Beat the egg whites and lemon juice to soft peaks then gradually beat in the sugar until very thick and glossy.
Dollop spoonfuls of the meringue over the top of the cake.
Place on the middle shelf in the oven for 40–60 seconds or until golden, but watch it like a hawk as it can burn in seconds.