Taste of early summer: wild strawberry cake

It was a beautiful sunny day, the first promise of summer this year and fortunately it happened to be on Saturday. I decided that any household chore can wait, in this moment there is nothing more important than sit on a bench under the cherry tree and watch the grazing horses on the top of the hill across from our house. Meanwhile there is always good to have a book at hand, and also a notebook in case I feel like planning our big trip that was due to in 2 weeks time. More than 3000 km across Europe, three countries and all the things we love, packed into one week. To visit friends in Germany, whose new-born baby we haven’t met yet and my relatives in East-Germany, the nephew of my grandmother  who was forced to immigrate in 1948. 

Even thinking of them warmed up my heart. 

And of course there was the actual reason for our trip, the biannual Food Photo Festival in Vejle, Denmark, which was for me like Disneyland for a little child. To spend four days with likeminded food and photography enthusiast is equivalent with walking to Sleeping Beauty’s castle with Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse on my side, while  holding candy-floss in hand. 

While I was sitting at the bench, it started to get cool a little bit, the sun has also hidden behind some clouds. I took a look at my watch and just realised how quickly time flew by. Áron, my boyfriend had left for 2,5 hours for cycling, which seemed to me longer, than his usual bike tours. I tried to overcome my fear and anxiety which slowly started to take over my brain. The nearby forest is too big, at least if you are looking for somebody, and there is no signal. 

Suddenly two men appeared in the garden, each one of them with a piece of a bike in his hands. I was holding up my breath until I could finally see him behind the men, keeping his arm close to his body. 

Then, everything happened very quickly: emergency department, diagnosis about torn ligaments, broken, forearm fracture, surgery and plaster cast for four weeks. 

Áron used to say, that among animals not the strongest ones will most likely survive, but the ones which can adapt to changing circumstances. So now life puts us to a test and teaches us how to be patient, flexible and persistent. The fact how important it is to have two arms is painfully perceptible, when one of them- fortunately only temporarily- is out of the game. After the first shock my anxiety turned into a kind of euphoria, because at least he didn’t break his leg, his head or his spine. Áron, however, couldn’t share my stubborn positivism while dealing with his pains and with the uncomfortable plaster cast, but slowly learnt how to do everyday things with one arm: tie his shoelaces, slice bread, mow the lawn and rake. 

Because a neat Swabian person never rests. 

Finally we agree that I go to Denmark on my own, we postpone the visits at friends and relatives but the Festival still remains for me. I am going to share some amazing moments but until then I can only express gratitude for the friendships, the smiles, the support and for learning so many new things. It was a special gift after such a stressful and busy time. 

It was great to be there, and it was also great to come home. 

I burst with excitement when I see our first cherries have just turned ripe, those ones which my grandmother calls “strudel cherries”. There is still a lot of wild strawberries in my mother’s garden, and I could pick the last elderflowers in order to make another bunch of syrup. The rhubarb I planted last year has grown new leaves and rucola grew from the seeds I have planted just before I left. Blueberry is just about to bloom and the little green sour cherries on the trees give us the promise of a good harvest. And finally, after two years I won’t spend this time of the year by dealing with a burst pipe, moving out of our house or organising the renovation. 

Instead, I will do lots of cooking and baking.  


Textiles I use for photography are hand-woven and botanical dyed, made by @textil_szakacsniki

www.szakacsniki.com

instagram.com/textil_szakacsniki

facebook.com/textil.szakacsniki

erdei szamócakrémes torta az Emlékek Íze konyhájából www.emlekekize.hu // sponge cake with wild straberry cream from the Taste of Memories Hungarian country kitchen www.tasteofmemories.comerdei szamócakrémes torta az Emlékek Íze konyhájából www.emlekekize.hu // sponge cake with wild straberry cream from the Taste of Memories Hungarian country kitchen www.tasteofmemories.com

Wild strawberry cake

(for a 18 cm diameter cake) 

For the sponge cake:

Ingredients 

3 eggs

4 tbsp. oil

6 tbsp. powder sugar

3 tbsp. water

6 tbsp. flour

1 package of baking powder 

For the cream:

300 g wild strawberries

100 g sugar

300 g cream

4 gelatine sheets

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC . Line the bottom of two 18 cm diameter cake tin with parchment paper, brush the sides with butter and dust with flour. (You can use only one tin and cut the sponge horizontally after. In that case you need to increase baking time)
  2. Weigh and prepare all ingredients, mix baking powder to flour. Beat the egg yolks with the powder sugar, add the half of the water and oil. Add the other half of the water to the egg whites and beat it until it forms peaks. Using a spatula, alternately fold in flour and egg whites into the egg yolk mixture carefully so you don’t break the foam. Divide the mixture between the two cake tins.
  3. Reduce heat right after you have put the tins into the oven to 180ºC  and bake them until golden brown (approximately 10-12 minutes) Remove sponge cakes from the tins and let them cool down on a wire rack.
  4. Puree the berries with a hand blender, and add sugar. Put the gelatine sheets into cold water. Heat up half of the berry puree until it just would start boiling and take off from heat. Press out any excess moisture from the gelatine leaves and dissolve them in the warm mixture, then add the remaining puree. Beat the cream until it forms peaks and gradually fold in the fruit mixture.
  5. Place a layer of sponge cake on a flat plate and put a cake ring around it. Pour over half of the strawberry cream on top, place the other sponge layer and then pour over the rest of the cream. Refrigerate the cake for at least for 3-4 hours.

erdei szamócakrémes torta az Emlékek Íze konyhájából www.emlekekize.hu // sponge cake with wild straberry cream from the Taste of Memories Hungarian country kitchen www.tasteofmemories.com

erdei szamócakrémes torta az Emlékek Íze konyhájából www.emlekekize.hu // sponge cake with wild straberry cream from the Taste of Memories Hungarian country kitchen www.tasteofmemories.com

erdei szamócakrémes torta az Emlékek Íze konyhájából www.emlekekize.hu // sponge cake with wild straberry cream from the Taste of Memories Hungarian country kitchen www.tasteofmemories.com

erdei szamócakrémes torta az Emlékek Íze konyhájából www.emlekekize.hu // sponge cake with wild straberry cream from the Taste of Memories Hungarian country kitchen www.tasteofmemories.com

erdei szamócakrémes torta az Emlékek Íze konyhájából www.emlekekize.hu // sponge cake with wild straberry cream from the Taste of Memories Hungarian country kitchen www.tasteofmemories.com

erdei szamócakrémes torta az Emlékek Íze konyhájából www.emlekekize.hu // sponge cake with wild straberry cream from the Taste of Memories Hungarian country kitchen www.tasteofmemories.com

erdei szamócakrémes torta az Emlékek Íze konyhájából www.emlekekize.hu // sponge cake with wild straberry cream from the Taste of Memories Hungarian country kitchen www.tasteofmemories.com

 

Judit Neubauer

Judit Neubauer

Judit Neubauer is a food photographer, chef and writer living in a small village in Northwestern Hungary. Her bilingual blog, Taste of Memories is about life in the Hungarian countryside. While she is bringing new life into the 90 year-old house and orchard of 18 fruit trees she cooks and bakes her family’s old recipes and tries to preserve traditions and old knowledge about how to live in rhythm and harmony with nature.

RELATED POSTS

3 hozzászólás

  1. Válasz

    Blue

    2019-06-15

    Hello again dear lady! I hesitated writing.. unsure which way my words wanted to be heard.
    I’ll begin with anticipation.. I read of the seasons earth and the realization of fruiting coming to bear; the skies warm and embrace with sunsets and buzzing bugs; and the plans to be made, to be mulled over in secret glee, to be realized.. anticipation of a loved one to come home. You touched a raw nerve for me.. my daughter & son, 10 years old, ask to ride their bikes ~ just one last time, before embarking on a family outing, pleadings, I relent, but only to the 4th house and back. Time slips by as I muse on the upcoming days joys.. they do not return. Suddenly my son burst in the door. Signing furiously, come come, hurt. My daughter, living on the street. She is moments from death. I run. I scoop her up. I’m am frantic. She is gone.
    How a day can change in a blink of an eye, tho it changed everything irrevocably. A change I didn’t expect, understand, comprehend.. deal with. Well.. but there it is. I read your anticipation and the fear spelled in my throat and you were saved. He came home. Broken like me tho. So I will pray for his healing & comfort. Tell him. He has but 4 weeks, my insurance would not pay a doctor to operate. I may never use my arm the same again. For now the bone healed wrong & there is nerve damage. Blech. But yes, I am never idle too♡
    Anticipation.. of seeing friends, of like minded art people .. will then again be.. to see Aron. A full circle, the bittersweet beginnings, the best of times, the sweetest of endings, you come home. There, your home greets you with memories of family, of foods, fruits and light pouring in the windows at just the right time, that joy fills your cup. And Aron, smiles, the day is fulfilled, anticipation is tomorrow’s.
    Hugs and smiles

    • Judit Neubauer
      Válasz

      Judit Neubauer

      2019-06-16

      Oh, my God…dear Blue, there are no words, only the urge to say something that heals your heart, but I know it is impossible. Because nothing can be said, that could be a healing for your pain, and loss… I am terribly sorry. Thank you for sharing it. I wish I could do anything to make it easier for you to carry this enormous weight, or deal with the unacceptable and unbearable. I am sending you lots of love and blessing! Thank you for being here with me on my journey, which more often seems more to be a journey we are on all together, than a lonely walk into the unknown. Big hugs, Judit

  2. Válasz

    Blue

    2019-06-19

    Dearest lady. Sigh. I had not meant to upset.. my mind raced, my voice spilled the heart. I’m sorry. Her death was over 30 years ago. I often wonder what type of woman she could have become. My son could not forgive me for not being able to save her. I was a nurse back then but her injuries were too severe. What ifs plagued my soul for years. I read your post and they came back. Jealousy I think. I ask your forgiveness. In reality I’m am glad, relieved Aron came home..dont misunderstood. It made my heart a bit lighter ☆. Just came back from Dr. Who says, you could lose use of the hand from nerve damage. What does one say?! Well I scoffed, I laughed. We will see. I hope I can recover the hand. Eh?
    I’m so proud of you — speeches — you are such a talented gifted lovely human being ☆☆☆☆♡

LEAVE A COMMENT

error: Copyrighted material!