Thursday, August 12, 2010

Why IS it so hard to find a scratch strawberry cake recipe that actually has real strawberries in it?

Why IS it so hard to find a scratch strawberry cake recipe that actually has real strawberries in it? Strawberry cake is really good! And this is coming from a big I'll-have-chocolate-or-I'll-have-nothing-at-all person.



When 5 year old super sweet Polly (pictured above) asked for Strawberry Cake for her 5th birthday the hunt for a good recipe began. I found this one on Confessions of a Foodie Bride And then... I got distracted... and didn't pay any attention when I was putting it together. I just combined all of the wet to all of the dry in one fell swoop with butter thrown in at the end--- and it was still good!
Despite the abuse, and despite achieving that broken appearance going into the pans, the batter totally rose to the occasion and made some truly lovely and delicious cakes.

Katie’s Strawberry Cake
3/4 cup strawberry puree, room temperature (follows)
1/4 cup milk, at room temperature
6 large egg whites, room temperature
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup cake flour, sifted
1 3/4 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
12 Tbsp unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened (not melted)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare two 8 inch pans.

In small bowl, combine puree, milk, egg, vanilla and mix with fork until well blended. In bowl of stand mixer, add sifted flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and mix to combine. Continue beating at slow speed and add butter. Mix until combined and resembling moist crumbs.

Add liquids and beat at medium speed for about 1 minute or until full and evenly combined. Stop mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl and hand beat for 30 more seconds. Divide the batter evenly among the pans and smooth tops.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (time will vary). Let cakes rest in pan for about 10 minutes and turn out onto wire racks. Let cakes cool completely (about 2 hours).

Source: Good Things Catered, adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Classic White Layer Cake
Yields: 2 8-inch layers

Strawberry puree
24oz either fresh OR frozen (organic) strawberries, (thawed)*

Thaw frozen strawberries in whatever form (sliced, whole, etc) and in whatever container/bag you have them in. Pour into a fine strainer placed over a bowl and let sit. Lightly toss the strawberries occasionally to remove any pockets of excess liquid. Reserve the liquid for another use or discard. Place strawberries in a food processor or blender and puree.

Fresh strawberries: Just hull, slice and toss with a teaspoon or two of sugar and cover. Let them sit at room temperature for a couple of hours, or until nice and juicy. Place strawberries in a food processor or blender and puree.

Use leftover puree to fill the cake or fold into the frosting (I used 1 part puree to 3 parts vanilla buttercream and loved it), if desired. It’s also fabulous spooned over ice cream… and eaten straight up with a spoon.

Yields: Approx 1 1/4 cup strawberry puree

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