Showing posts with label Strawberry cake. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Strawberry cake. Show all posts

Monday, June 20, 2016

Strawberry Sheet Cake



I had house guests this past weekend. When I was thinking about a dessert, I had berries on the brain. And when I found beautiful strawberries at the store, I knew what I would do—sort of. I envisioned a cake piled with strawberries. In my mind, it seemed fabulous.

But when I came home and started looking through recipes, I couldn't find exactly what I had imagined. So I used a recipe I knew I liked for the cake part. But as I started the strawberry part, I ran into some dilemmas.

I didn't want the heaping strawberries on top to fall off when the cake was cut. Easy enough. I could use corn starch or gelatin to hold them in place. But I didn't want it to be like strawberry jello on top of the cake, either. At this point I wondered why I do this to myself. I could have just settled for a standard recipe. But I forged ahead.

I cut half of the strawberries into small pieces so they would fill in between the larger pieces. Then, because I didn't want it to be like jello, I used corn starch to thicken the structure. But it dawned on me that cornstarch would not give them that beautiful glistening top that was in the image in my mind. There were a few alternatives on that one, but I decided to do something daring—I added one packet of gelatin to the strawberries. Like magic, it immediately made them glisten! Yay!

Now there is one drawback to my gelatin solution. The pretty glaze disappears around day three. It's a big cake, but you won't have much left by day three anyway, and the not-so-shiny leftovers taste every bit as good!


Strawberry Sheet Cake
Cake:
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon mace
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter at room temperature or softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9x13 baking pan.
Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and mace in a bowl and set aside. 
Cream the butter with the sugar. Beat in each egg. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk and vanilla. Bake 25 - 30 minutes. It should be lightly golden on top and a cake tester should come out clean. While it bakes, prepare the strawberries.
Strawberries:
2 pounds strawberries (divided)
2 cups sugar (divided)
1/3 cup corn starch
1 1-ounce packet unflavored gelatin
Hull and slice 1 pound of the strawberries. Slice in quarters and then slice into pieces from the end to the top. Combine with 1 cup of the sugar in a pot and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for about five minutes. Remove 1/2 cup of the liquid by draining or spooning. While the cake is still warm, poke holes into it with a wooden skewer. Pour 1/4 cup of the liquid over it slowly (if you do it too fast it will run off to the sides).
Hull and slice the remaining pound of strawberries.  Quarter large strawberries and half the small ones. Add them to the berries in the pot, along with the remaining 1 cup of sugar and cornstarch. Stir to combine. Cook one minute while stirring. Whisk gelatin into the remaining 1/4 cup of berry liquid and add to the pot. Stir to cover everything. Pour all the strawberries and juice onto the cake. If you like, turn the strawberries so the curved side is up. Refrigerate several hours before serving.
Cream:

1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat the cream until it begins to take shape. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until it holds a soft peak.


Bake cake.

Chop 1 pound strawberries. Halve, quarter, slice.

Cook with sugar.

Poke some holes and add 1/4 cup of the juice.

Not glossy!
Whisk gelatin into 1/4 cup juice.

Now they're glossy!






I'm giving away a copy of THE DIVA SERVES HIGH TEA today! 
Please leave a comment below with your email address to enter.
Good luck!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Adventures in Baking



That title sums up my fun in the kitchen fairly well. This cake is a case in point, and perhaps the beginning of a longer search for just the right cake.

Have you seen the pictures all over the net of cakes decorated with huge swirls of roses? They are nothing short of drool worthy. Somehow I got it into my head that I would decorate our Easter cake that way. Hmm, a strawberry cake with roses—perfect for Easter.

As I searched recipes, I found that a lot of people make strawberry cakes with strawberry gelatin. I now know why. It's difficult to get a strong strawberry flavor in the cake. The gelatin would impart flavor and provide the pink color.

Now, frankly, I don't care if the cake is pink as long as it tastes good. This recipe has a very mild strawberry flavor. It's there, but it's delicate. The cake itself is good, but I think there's room for improvement.

The frosting is a story unto itself. The good news is that it's incredibly easy to do. It's a show stopper, even if it's not perfect!

The bad news is that it requires vats of frosting. I honestly thought two or three batches of frosting would be adequate. I made four batches before I ran out of powdered sugar and just went with what I had. The cake in the photo (sit down before you read this) contains one entire pound of butter! And it still wasn't enough to cover the cake with roses!

If you're planning to try the rose frosting, stock up on butter and powdered sugar. The frosting has to be stiff enough to hold its shape well. If you're going to serve this someplace hot, like at an outdoor party in the afternoon, be sure you use a frosting that can hold up to the heat, not the simple buttercream I used!

In spite of the fact that I ran out of frosting on the top, it still wowed the Easter guests (yay!), so don't be afraid to try it. All you need is a 1M piping tip. It's a very large tip and is readily available from Wilton at WalMart in a set of thee for just under three dollars. While you're there, pick up a box of disposable decorating bags. I love just throwing them out when I'm through. I often skip a crumb coat on cakes, but it's a necessity with the roses because there will be tiny spaces between the roses.

It's very simple to make the roses. They do require a bit of an eye for spacing. But don't let that stop you because it's fun to do! Prepare to see another rose cake here in the future!


Strawberry Cake

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces of ripe strawberries (plus about 6 ounces more for middle)
4 eggs at room temperature
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons butter at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour two 8-inch cake pans.

Mix together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

Wash and hull the strawberries. Puree in a food processor. Measure 3/4 cup strawberry puree and save the rest for something else. Place the 3/4 cup strawberry puree in the food processor again. Add the four eggs and process until well mixed. Add the milk and vanilla and process until smooth.

Cream the butter with the sugar. Alternate adding the strawberry mixture and the flour until mixed together. Pour into prepared cake pans.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Place on a rack to cool. Flip out of the pans after five minutes or so and allow to cool entirely before frosting.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:
(Note that I made four batches and that was inadequate for a two layer 8-inch cake. If using the rose decoration, plan on at least 6 batches of the recipe below. I made them as I went so that the frosting didn't get too soft as I worked.)

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla

6 ounces strawberries for filling

Wash and hull the strawberries. Cut in half or in slices. Set aside.

Beat the butter well. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar and beat to combine. Beat another minute or so until creamy.

Frost the bottom layer of the cake with a crumb coat on the top and sides. Place the strawberries on the top, covering the cake. Place the top layer over them and cover the top and sides with a crumb coat, making sure to cover the middle where the strawberries are located.

Fit a frosting bag with a 1M piping tip. Fill with frosting. To begin a rose, press a "star" in the center and slowly pipe around it in a circle about two times. Make the next rose. Continue until the sides and top of the cake are covered with the roses. Fill in any gaps with a little swirl of frosting.

Mix the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt.
Puree the strawberries and pulse with the eggs.

Add milk and vanilla.
Cream butter with sugar and add the strawberries and flour.
Pour into pans and bake.
Cover first layer with a crumb coat.
Cover with strawberries.
Add top layer and frost.
The Easter Bunny brought this adorable Baron chalk board!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

One More Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Icing #recipe @LucyBurdette




























LUCY BURDETTE: I know, you've seen a lot of strawberry recipes come out of this blog--and strawberry season is almost over! But I couldn't resist sharing this last cake. If we were forced to choose, I think it was our favorite.

And also in the good news department, I made it as a sheetcake. So not only does it serve a good-sized crowd, there's no fussing with layers. I'm pretty sure Hayley Snow will be making this for a special wedding pre-celebration in KILLER TAKEOUT (coming next April.) Not saying whose, in case you haven't finished FATAL RESERVATIONS...

And it would be perfect for reading while snacking on Daryl's new book, FUDGING THE BOOKS, and Peg's BERRIED SECRETS! Congratulations you two!!


For the strawberry cake:

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups cake flour


1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon table salt

1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup chopped fresh strawberries 

Butter well a 9 by 13 inch pan, and heat oven to 350.

Using an electric mixer or food processor, beat the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat the eggs in one at a time. Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl. Add the flour to the butter mixture, alternating with adding the buttermilk. (I used a cup of milk with one tablespoon of cider vinegar instead of buttermilk.) 

Pulse in the chopped strawberries until they are small pieces and the batter begins to look pink.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out dry. Cool the cake on a wire rack.




For the strawberry icing:

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped strawberries
1/3 cup sugar


Beat the cream cheese with the strawberries until mostly smooth. Add the vanilla and half the sugar, beat that in. Whip the cream with the remaining sugar until thick. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese/strawberry mixture. Spread the icing on the cooled cake and refrigerate until serving. Decorate with strawberries if desired.













FATAL RESERVATIONS is on bookshelves now! 


And you can follow Lucy on Facebook,

Twitter,

Pinterest,

and Instagram!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Strawberry Cake #recipe @LucyBurdette @penguincozies


LUCY BURDETTE:

Yes indeed, the sixth Key West mystery, FATAL RESERVATIONS is definitely on bookshelves, probably one near you...

I'll pause for a minute to make sure you ordered your copy...and then on to celebrating with strawberry cake!

 



I told you about our amazing strawberry crop, and shared the recipe for strawberry daiquiris two weeks ago.

But another of our favorite creations was this easy but elegant looking strawberry cake.













Ingredients


2 cups cake flour 
one stick butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar 
half teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
2 eggs 
1 cup Greek yogurt, unflavored 
1 cup roughly chopped strawberries
About 15 halved strawberries 
2 teaspoons brown or turbinado sugar, for topping



 
Cream the butter with the sugar
Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each. Beat in the yogurt and vanilla. Mix the dry ingredients together and add them to the yogurt mixture, beating lightly.

 
Pre-heat the oven to 350°.

Butter an 8 x 8" baking dish.



Gently mix the chopped strawberries into the batter. Spread this into the buttered pan. 


 

Arrange the halved strawberries on top.



Sprinkle the brown sugar over the top.



Bake for 40-50 minutes, checking with a toothpick to see if the center is done.  

May be served with strawberry ice cream, whipped cream, or chocolate ice cream if you must. And definitely eat with a good book in hand! 
 








FATAL RESERVATIONS is on bookshelves now! And you can follow Lucy on Facebook,

Twitter,

Pinterest,

and Instagram!



Monday, July 14, 2014

It's Our Fifth Anniversary!




Can you believe that it has been five years? I can't! Mystery Lovers' Kitchen is celebrating our fifth anniversary this month. Our first post went live on July 25th, 2009.

It seems just yesterday that I pitched the idea of a recipe blog to Daryl. The two of us met Julie Hyzy at Malice Domestic in May of 2009 and instantly loved her. An invitation to join us was issued on the spot! We had heard rumors about an author who would be writing a barbecue series and hunted her down. Of course, that was Elizabeth Spann Craig! I asked my editor about other culinary mystery authors, and she recommended Cleo Coyle! And then there were more rumors about a cupcake series. Jenn McKinlay jumped on board, and we had the makings of a blog that we named Mystery Lovers' Kitchen.

Over the years we were sad to see some of our friends leave. But with each departure we gained wonderful new friends in Wendy Watson, Jennifer Stanley (Ellery Aames), Sheila Connolly, Mary Jane Maffini, Lucy Burdette, and Peg Cochran.

By my calculations, we have over 1,750 recipes. Just this morning, I was looking for a meatball recipe and found that we have five! The three original members still remaining, Cleo, Daryl, and I, are approaching 280 recipes each.

Of course, I can't forget all our wonderful guests on Sundays who share a little bit about themselves and their books with us. We have met a lot of people and made so many friends, especially our wonderful readers who come to see what we're cooking up each day.

In honor of our anniversary, we're throwing two contests! We're giving away a book every day from today until July 25th. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment here and tell us with whom you shared the news of our contests or our anniversary. Help us celebrate by spreading the word! Did you tell your neighbor? Did you email your sister? Did you post on Facebook? Did you tweet? Be sure to leave a comment each day because there will twelve drawings. Leave a comment before midnight because after midnight, the next drawing starts!

You can find our photo contest here! Five lucky winners will receive a Mystery Lovers' Kitchen tote bag and seven paperback mysteries! Since we can't get away on vacation, we hope our books are having fun this summer. Take a picture of one of our books having fun! You can enter up to five times, once in each of these categories:

1) One of our books with a cat
2) One of our books with a dog
3) One of our books having summer fun
4) One of our books in a library
5) One of our books in a bookstore.

5 people will win our Mystery Lovers' Kitchen tote and 7 books!

We thought you'd like to know what the Mystery Lovers' Kitchen alums are doing these days. Each day this week, we'll bring you up to date on one of them, starting today with Elizabeth Spann Craig!

Elizabeth, what are you working on these days?


Shear Trouble (Southern Quilting mystery 4) comes out on August 5!


As the leaves begin to fall in idyllic Dappled Hills, someone puts too fine a point on a local ladies’ man. Fortunately, the detective skills of quilter Beatrice Coleman are a cut above the rest....

The Village Quilters of Dappled Hills, North Carolina, are desperate to finish their quilts before an upcoming show. To help, fellow member Posy has opened the back room of her shop, the Patchwork Cottage, for everyone to use. But the ladies are less than thrilled when Phyllis Stitt and Martha Helmsley—members of their rival quilting guild, the Cut-Ups—ask to join them.

Phyllis is hoping to leave the Cut-Ups and join up with the Village Quilters now that Martha’s dating her ex-fiancé, Jason Gore. She’s not pleased when he visits the shop and even more upset when her new shears disappear. After offering to search for them, Beatrice discovers Jason with the shears buried in his unfaithful heart. Now she must sharpen her sleuthing skills to find a killer before someone else’s life is cut short.…



What was your favorite recipe at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen?

That's a tough one!  I love my recipe for pimento cheese --mainly because it's a family recipe that involves happy memories for me.  Then I thought about the cheese tortellini pasta salad recipe.  The reason it's a favorite is because I have regular cravings for it that force me to dash out to pick up the ingredients.  I finally decided on my recipe for tomato pie.  The reason it's my favorite? Because it's summer and those red, ripe tomatoes are just like candy right now--I could eat one right after another. 

Any fond or not so fond memories you'd like to share?

My funniest memories of Mystery Lovers' Kitchen involve my combative relationship with whatever food was on haplessly sitting on a plate and the camera aimed at it.  It's difficult to believe that I'm actually a fairly decent photographer with fairly decent equipment--when I'm shooting people.  For some reason, the static nature of the food and...er...my fondness for casseroles (which I contend are challenging for even the pros to capture on film !) combined to create truly difficult photo shoots...evident in nearly all of my posts.  


I loved my experience with Mystery Lovers' Kitchen and the talented and fun ladies involved with it!  

Thanks, Elizabeth! We're always happy to see you back here.

And now, because we post a recipe every day, I'm sharing a Strawberry Cake. It's sort of like a poke cake but not because it doesn't involve jello, and I made it with a yellow cake. 

Strawberry Cake

Cake:
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon mace
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter at room temperature or softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs at room temperature
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9x13 baking pan.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and mace in a bowl and set aside. 

Cream the butter with the sugar. Beat in each egg. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk. Bake 25 - 30 minutes. It should be lightly golden on top and a cake tester should come out clean. While it bakes, prepare the strawberries.

Strawberries:
1 pound strawberries
1 cup sugar

Hull and slice the strawberries. Combine with sugar in a pot and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for about five minutes. Remove about 1/3 cup of the liquid and save for frosting. While the cake is still warm, poke holes into it with a wooden skewer. Ladle the liquid over it slowly (if you do it too fast it will run off to the sides). Spread the cooked strawberries over the cake in an even layer. Cool and refrigerate an hour or two before frosting.

Frosting:
8 tablespoons butter, softened
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup of the reserved strawberry liquid
1-2 cups powdered sugar

Beat the butter with the cream and strawberry liquid. Beat in sugar until it reaches the desired consistency and flavor. Spoon it over the strawberries and gently spread with an offset spatula so you don't dislodge the strawberries. Refrigerate.

Cook strawberries and sugar.
Poke holes in the cake while warm.
Spread strawberries and liquid over cake.
Frost with creamy frosting.


Don't forget to enter our contests!
Click on the picture below to enter the photo contest. Have fun with it!


We're also giving away a book every day from today until July 25th. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment here and tell us with whom you shared the news of our contests or our anniversary. Help us celebrate by spreading the word! Did you tell your neighbor? Did you email your sister? Did you post on Facebook? Did you tweet? TODAY??? Be sure to leave a comment each day because there will be twelve drawings. Leave a comment before midnight because after midnight, the next drawing starts! Today you could win a copy of THE DIVA WRAPS IT UP or MURDER, SHE BARKED. Your choice!

REMEMBER TO INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS so we can contact you if you won!