Almond cake with strawberries & caramel sauce
Melted butter, to grease
130g (1 1/4 cups) almond meal
75g (1/2 cup) self-raising flour
200g butter, at room temperature
215g (1 cup) caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
2 x 300ml ctns double cream
2 x 250g punnets strawberries, washed, hulled, sliced lengthways
12 soft caramels (such as Pascall Columbines)
80ml (1/3 cup) pouring cream
Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush a round 20cm (base measurement) cake pan with melted butter to lightly grease. Line the base and side with non-stick baking paper. Combine the almond meal and flour in a bowl.
Use an electric beater to beat the butter, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition until combined. Use a large metal spoon to fold the almond meal mixture into the egg mixture until well combined.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Bake in oven for 55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Set aside in the pan for 10 minutes to cool before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, to make the caramel sauce, combine the caramels and pouring cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the caramels melt and the mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Use a balloon whisk to lightly whisk the double cream in a medium bowl until the cream thickens slightly. Use a large serrated knife to cut the cake in half horizontally. Place the base of the cake, cut-side up, on a cake stand. Spread half the double cream over the cake and top with half the strawberries. Repeat with the remaining cake, double cream and strawberries. Drizzle over the caramel sauce and serve immediately.