Lemon Syrup Cake with Strawberries and Mint
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for pan, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups self-rising flour
- 3 cups sliced hulled strawberries
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 4 teaspoons chopped fresh mint leaves, plus whole leaves for garnish
- 1/2 cup creme fraiche
- 1/2 cup whipped cream
- Fresh mint, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and butter an 8-inch square non-reactive metal baking pan.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add 3/4 cup of the sugar and the lemon peel and beat until fluffy. Beat 1 egg into the butter and sugar mixture until well incorporated, followed by half of the flour. Repeat with the remaining egg and flour. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake the cake until a tester inserted in its center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
Transfer the pan to a cooling rack over a† sheet pan and allow the cake to cool slightly. While the cake is cooling, make the syrup by combining 1/2 cup of the remaining sugar with 1/4 cup of the lemon juice in a medium non-reactive bowl. Whisk together until the sugar dissolves. Using a wooden skewer or toothpick, poke holes all over the cake. Pour the lemon syrup over the cake in several additions, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding another.
Serve the cake warm or allow the cake to cool completely, and cover with plastic wrap to keep moist. Cake may be made 1 day in advance.
Combine the strawberries with the remaining 4 tablespoons of sugar, remaining 4 tablespoons of lemon juice, and the chopped mint. Stir with a spoon to combine and dissolve the sugar.
To serve, slice the cake into 8 equal portions. Combine the creme fraiche and the whipped cream, and fold until blended. Place a slice of the cake on a dessert plate and pour about 1/3 cup of the strawberries over the cake, and top with a dollop of the creme fraiche and whipped cream blend. Garnish with a sprig of mint and dust with confectioners' sugar.
Yield: 8 servings
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