Golden cake topped with juicy berries and a crisp crumb topping. Strawberry heaven on a plate!

A MOMENT OF INSPIRATION
When people ask me what I do for a living, I sometimes really don’t know what to say except “everything I love.” And, I’m not even kidding. Whether that be creating engaging stories about beautiful places in France, interviewing interesting people, writing about food and wine, managing a team of writers and making a magazine I am proud of, putting my love of language to good use by translating texts, or developing recipes for magazines and books, there isn’t a day that’s the same. Therefore, answering that question is never easy.
As you can imagine, my days can sometimes be pretty full. Other times, however, I have the luxury of having an entire afternoon off to dream, listen to my favorite music and recharge. And it’s at those moments that inspiration really hits, sending me straight into to the kitchen. Like today.
With Barbara (French singer) playing in the background, I made a strawberry crumb cake which I simply can’t wait to share with you. It is everything I love in a cake. A layer of moist, golden sponge with a gorgeous melt-in-the-mouth crumb is topped with fragrant berries that release their sweet juices into the cake as it cooks. And to make things even more exciting, the fruit is sprinkled with a crumb layer that bakes to crisp perfection. This cake really has it all.

 

NOTE: To make the cake, I used the 26 x 18.5cm rectangular baking dish from Revol’s Belle Cuisine collection. You can see other recipes I made using their cookware herehere and here.


Strawberry and Fromage Blanc Crumb Cake
Makes 9 squares


Ingredients:

For the strawberry layer:

  • 400g strawberries, halved
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar

 

For the cake:

  • 180g soft butter
  • 220g sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 100ml fromage blanc
  • 250g flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder

 

For the crumb layer:

  • 40g cold butter
  • 2 tbsps light brown sugar
  • 4 tbsps oats
  • 2 tbsps flour
  • 40g walnuts, chopped
  • Pinch of salt

 

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a rectangular baking dish of approx. 26 x 18.5cm with butter. Dust with flour and shake off any excess. Place the halved strawberries in a bowl and sprinkle with the flour and sugar, tossing them through. In a standing mixer, cream the butter and the sugar until pale. Add in the vanilla extract while the machine continues to run. Add the eggs one by one, again, while the machine continues to do its work. If the mixture looks a bit curdled at some point, don’t worry. This won’t affect the cake at all. Gently fold in the fromage blanc. Mix the flour with the baking powder and fold this in as well. Evenly spread the batter into the baking dish. Arrange a layer of strawberries on top of the batter, pushing them in just a little. Make the crumb topping by rubbing the butter into the rest of the ingredients. Spread evenly over the strawberries. Bake for 1 hour. Cover and continue to cook for 25 minutes. Allow to cool for half an hour before serving.