This was the final baked good I made to use up our 12 pints of strawberries. It's a good one to make with leftover fruit because you can pretty much use as many berries as you want in the sauce. :) This is an interesting cake. Because of the yeast, it does have a somewhat bread-like texture. At first I didn't like that, but it definitely grew on me...the yeast makes the cake light and the flavor is terrific. And the sugar-y crust is to die for. It's perfect with plenty of strawberry sauce.
Check out other delicious yeast-y baked goods at Wild Yeast's YeastSpotting roundup.
Yeasted Sugar Cake (from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison)
2 1/4 tsp (1 envelope) active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup warm milk
2 eggs, room temperature
4 T butter, room temperature
2 T butter, softened
1/4 cup light brown or white sugar
1. Stir the yeast and 1 tsp of the sugar into 1/4 cup warm water in a small bowl. Let stand until foamy. Combine the flour, remaining sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the yeast, milk, and eggs and beat until smooth. Add the butter and beat until the batter is silky. Scrape down the sides, cover, and let rise until doubled in bulk, 45 minutes.
2. Butter a 9-inch tart or cake pan. Stir down the dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a disk; set into pan. (Mine was too sticky to do this; I just scraped it into the pan and it was fine.) Rub softened butter all over the top and then sprinkle with the sugar, using all of the sugar. Let rise for 30 minutes. During the last 15 minutes, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
3. Bake the cake until well risen, about 25 minutes. The surface should be brown and covered with cracks. Let cool briefly, then unmold and serve warm with strawberry sauce.
To make simple syrup, heat water and sugar in a 1:2 ratio (i.e. 1/4 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar) until boiling. Boil until clear and no longer grainy, then set aside to cool completely.
Hull and cut up your strawberries. I used about 2 pints and it was more than enough for this cake. Puree them in a food processor until very smooth, then pass through a sieve to catch any seeds. (You'll need to push it through with a rubber spatula.) Add simple syrup to taste, starting with a small amount and then increasing as needed to achieve your desired level of sweetness. This is a pretty sweet cake, so I went with a sauce on the tarter side.