Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Foodie Files

I have great news, of my favorite people moved back to Nashville last weekend!  You might remember the Danielle's Desserting Us going away party we threw for her when she left (if you don't, you should check it out!) was a sugary sweet good time.  I wasn't about to have her sneaking back into town without making some fuss but since timing didn't allow for the huge party we all know I wanted to throw, a smaller gesture had to do.  I decided it was time for me to attempt my very first completely from scratch cake.  I searched high and low for a delicious strawberry cake recipe (which turned out to be quite a task since the majority of the "from scratch" ones I found kept trying to sneak strawberry jello mix in there.  Jello!  Can you believe that?  I could not...and judging by the fact that my roommate, Courtney, couldn't stop cracking up I suspect I reacted to the news pretty severely.  But I digress...) and finally settled on this one to adapt.  When I was finished, I could hear Nigella Lawson's "How To Be A Domestic Goddess" prologue ringing in my ears...she says, "One of the reasons making cakes is satisfying is that the effort required is so much less than the gratitude conferred. Everyone seems to think it's hard to make a cake (and no need to disillusion them), but it doesn’t take more than 25 minutes to make and bake a tray of muffins or a sponge layer cake, and the returns are high: you feel disproportionately good about yourself afterwards."  And she's right.  You really do (especially when it tastes this good).


For the strawberry puree:
24 oz very ripe strawberries
2 tsp sugar
For the cake:
1/4 cup milk
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup cake flour
1 3/4 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
12 TBS unsalted butter at room temperature
Whipped cream cheese frosting

Hull, slice and toss strawberries with sugar and cover.  Let sit at room temperature for about two hours hours, or until nice and juicy.

Place strawberries in a food processor or blender and puree.  Reserve 3/4 cup for the batter and set leftover puree aside to fill the cake.  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly oil and flour two 8 or 9 inch pans.  In small bowl, combine puree, milk, egg and vanilla.  Mix with fork until well blended. 

In the bowl of stand mixer, add 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 wet ingredients and beat at medium speed for about 1 minute or until 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.  Allow cakes to rest in their pans for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks.  Let cakes cool for about an hour, then frost the top layer of one cake.  Top with leftover strawberry puree.

Add the second layer of cake, then frost completely.  Now, here's where things got real fun!  I made this super adorable banner to top Danielle's homecoming treat.  Remember last week when I told you I had another vintage map project I was excited to post?  Well, this is it!  The full tutorial goes up tomorrow so don't forget to check back in!


daniella said...

this cake should be on everyone's bucket lists! seriously you taste all the amazing ingredients and most importantly the love and details from such an amazing woman, miss beretta! I enjoyed my cake as a snack, breakfast, a quick appetizer before going out to dinner etc!


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