Balsamic Strawberry Teacake

I love going strawberry picking. It's probably my favourite thing to do in winter. Driving out to the farm on a crisp morning, we encounter typical country driving, fog and beautiful fresh air. In a weird way, I love the anticipation as a car approaches and we stick as far left as possible, wondering whether the road will be wide enough for both of us. (It always is.) The farm sheds are visible from way back, and we pull in, park and collect our baskets. This farm has a strict 'No Eating' policy, with signs everywhere, but that doesn't seem to phase anyone - including us. I usually leave with about 3kg of berries, and they don't last very long. Some are cooked, some are preserved, and most some are eaten. There is nothing better than a fresh strawberry in winter.

What you'll need:
175g caster sugar
175g butter
175g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or essence
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon milk

Balsamic strawberry glaze:
400g strawberries, hulled and quartered lengthways
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

What to do:
Preheat the oven to 160˚C and line a 22cm-round spring-form cake pan.

Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter together until pale and creamy. Add the eggs and beat to incorporate. Add the flour and then the vanilla, lemon juice and milk, and beat until combined and smooth.

Pour cake mix into prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden on top and cooked right through. Allow to cool.

Meanwhile, make your balsamic strawberry glaze. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until berries have softened. Remove the berries and cook the syrup for 5 more minutes, or until reduced by half. Set berries and syrup aside to cool.

Spread balsamic syrup over your cake, and top with stewed berries. Enjoy with a drizzle of cream.