Flavor of the week: Strawberries!
I’m starting a new flavor of the week beat. This week’s flavor is strawberry cake. Normally, we all eat strawberry shortcake, but how often do we have strawberry cake itself. Sure, Duncan Hines has its own artificial rendition, but why not make fresh strawberry cake at home. You won’t regret it! Just take a regular 1-2-3-4 cake recipe and sub the milk for some freshly pureed strawberries. Note: In this recipe, you can either put in the eggs whole or separate them. If you separate them, you will be whipping the egg whites and folding them into the batter for lighter version of this cake. Also note that you can leave some small strawberries chunks if you like the appearance in your cake. I also like to mix the strawberries with some milk (3/4 C strawberry puree and 1/4 C milk), but this is totally not necessary. If you are using cake flour for a more delicate crumb, add 1/2 C more of cake flour.
1 C unsalted butter, room temp 2 C granulated sugar 4 eggs, separated (optional) and at room temp 1 tsp vanilla extra 3 C all purpose flour, sifted 1 T baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 1 C pureed strawberries Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare your cake pans or cupcake pans. You can use 2 8-inch round pans or a tube pan. It also makes about 24 cupcakes. Grease your cake pan and dust with flour, knocking out any excess flour. Or use my magic cake release recipe on your pans (see previous blog entries). Sift the sifted flour, baking powder and salt together and put aside. By hand or in a mixer (using the flat paddle), cream the butter and sugar until well combined (don’t overbeat). Add each egg or egg yolk one at a time, beating between each addition. Add the vanilla and combine. Alternating, add the flour mixture and the puree, starting with the flour mixture and ending with it. Don’t add too much at a time. If you have separated your eggs, you’ll want to put the egg whites in a clean mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat until soft peak form. Do not overbeat. Put half the whipped whites into the batter and fold with a rubber spatula very gently. Mix the rest in, continually folding gently. Pour into your prepared pans. Bake for approximately 18-22 minutes for cupcakes, and 30-45 minutes for the cake pans. I can’t give you exact times, because you know your oven the best. Check after 30 minutes if your cake is done, if not close the door and let it continue to bake. The rule of thumb is when the cake smell gets the most intense, it is done. Remember, you can also smell any bit of burning as well. Be careful. Place your pans on a cooling rack. I am highly confident that you will be in strawberry heaven!