Sunday, May 13, 2007

And I'm back...

I did not want to cook last week. At all. I don't really know what we ate but we survived and today I made up for my lack of enthusiasm with a whirlwind day in the kitchen. I baked bread, made a cake from scratch, and I made lasagna rolls for dinner. I will reveal the bread and lasagna rolls shortly, but let's do dessert first ;) I was surfing the food network website this morning looking at the Barefoot Contessa's amazing recipes and found this one and since I had the ingredients on hand I went for it. I've posted the recipe below with my changes in italics.

Ina's Strawberry Country Cake (made by Julia)

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature (they warm up to room temp really fast if you soak them in a bowl of hot water for about 20 minutes)
3/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

For the filling for each cake:
1 cup (1/2 pint) heavy cream, chilled (the store was out of regular heavy cream so I had to buy presweetened bakers cream. It tasted fine when whipped up so I did not have to add the sugar or vanilla)
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter the bottom of two 8-inch cake pans. Then line them with parchment paper and butter and flour the lined pans. (I didn't have parchment paper but some non-stick cooking spray and flour did the trick).

Cream the butter and sugar on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. On medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, then the sour cream, zests, and vanilla, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix well. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda. On low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and combine just until smooth.

Pour the batter evenly into the pans, smooth the tops, and bake in the center of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean (my cakes cooked much faster since they were in dark nonstick pans, I don't think they baked for more than 30 minutes). Let cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then remove to wire racks and let cool to room temperature. If using 1 cake, wrap the second well and freeze.

To make the filling for one cake, whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla in a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until firm. Slice one of the cakes in half with a long, sharp knife. Place the bottom slice of the cake on a serving platter, spread with 1/2 the whipped cream and scatter with sliced strawberries. Cover with the top slice of the cake and spread with the remaining cream. Decorate with strawberries.

1 comment:

Amber said...

That looks great. I'll have to try it out. I love all things strawberry.