Here in the UK the summer seemed to arrive at the same time as the autumn last week. Finally, just as the nights started drawing in and the mornings began to bring with them a different quality of light and the chill of autumn, the days started to heat up and bring with them a taste of the summer we never really had.
One of my favourite things to do in the summer is to go fruit picking. Strawberries are particularly delicious straight from the field but this year has not been a good one. The strawberries in the shops are rarely as tasty and I really only like to buy them during the local growing season. After the last few dismal supermarket punnets I resolved to stop buying strawberries until next year, but couldn’t resist one last taste.
I made a three layer sponge cake and sandwiched the layers with (slightly sweetened) double cream and sliced strawberries. Another layer of double cream topped the cake and I saved the best strawberries and dipped them in melted dark chocolate to use as a decoration. I used up the rest of the chocolate by spreading a thin layer onto a piece of clingfilm and letting it harden before slicing it into shards with a knife to sprinkle over the top. It was perfect as a “birthday” cake for my daughter who had invited two friends for a sleepover as a belated birthday treat to celebrate her 11th birthday in August.
And it was delicious. Farewell strawberries, farewell summer – looking forward to seeing you again next year.