Tag Archives: strawberries

The Cake Slice: Strawberry Lemonade Cake

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Doesn’t a pink cake just scream “HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!!”….???

Well, maybe not. But, this cake is special. For the June cake selection, as part of the Cake Slice Bakers, I carefully selected this lovely pink cake for my husband. You see, he loves strawberries. Every year for either his birthday or father’s day, I try to make him something with strawberries in it. Strawberry pie. Strawberry shortcake. Strawberry ice cream. Etc., etc.

With my monthly cake baking deadline the same weekend as father’s day, I decided on the Pink Lemonade Cake recipe from Southern Living’s The Southern Cake Book. I did, however, make one substitution by substituting the pink lemonade mix with fresh, crushed strawberries…thus, Strawberry Lemonade Cake.

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The cake came together in a flash. It was quite dense, though. I believe that’s on account of the directions that said to mix the flour with the remaining ingredients without first whipping the butter. Regardless, it was a fairly tasty cake. I’m not sure that I’d make it again, but it was a great, suitable cake for the occasion.

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Check out what the other ladies in my club chose to bake this month:

The Cake Slice: Very Berry Roulade

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I just made it in under the wire this month. Truth be told, I wasn’t even sure if I would get to making this month’s cake. But…here it is. Isn’t it cute? Well, not sure if a cake can be described as “cute” but who doesn’t love a good jelly roll?!?!

I’ve recently graduated from Casual Baker to Serious Baker. Meaning: I now buy powdered sugar by the truckload – behold the 7 pound bag from Costco.

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If I ever break down and buy the 50 pound bag, it’ll definitely be time to lock me up.

So, this month I was torn between a marble cake and this one. Ultimately, I thought this one was more suitable to August – light, airy, loaded with fresh, seasonal berries.

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I veered a little off course from Carole Walter’s Very Berry Roulade recipe in Great Cakes by adding lemon zest to the batter and then incorporated whipped cream cheese into the whipped cream to produce a loftier filling with a hint of a cheesecake feel to it. I also folded diced strawberries along with raspberries and blueberries into the filling. Triple Berry Cheesecake Roll would probably be a more suitable name for my version.

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This Strawberry Cream Roll recipe is very close to the recipe that I used. The key is to a light sponge is to beat the eggs until they turn thick and lemon colored – a minimum of 5 minutes, sometimes longer. I baked my cake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes – just until the edges began to slightly brown and pull away from the sides of the pan.

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When making a rolled cake, it’s really important to line the jelly roll pan with parchment paper to keep the cake from sticking to the pan. Flip the cake onto a powdered sugar covered cotton dish towel, peel off the parchment, sprinkle the cake with more powdered sugar, then roll it up in the towel and let it sit until completely cool. Piece of cake…and super impressive!

If you’d like to check out what my fellow cake club bakers close to bake this month, click here to see their links:

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The Cake Slice: Strawberry Shortcake Layer Cake

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We’re well over half way through our baking year, and we’ve decided to change things up with the Cake Slice Bakers club starting this month. Rather than voting on a single recipe for all members to bake, club members will now have 4 selections each month from which they may choose.

Why the change? Well, some club members have struggled with the selections in this year’s cookbook – myself included – and this switch will allow us to be more creative and to select a cake that not only challenges us but also fits our own personal tastes…no point in baking something that you know ahead of time nobody in your household will eat. And, if my family doesn’t help me eat the cake, then I’m compelled to eat it, because you just can’t let cake go to waste, right?

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So, for May, I let my family vote on the four choices we were given for the month, which included: a cheesecake, a chocolate cake, a pistachio cake, and a white cake with strawberries and whipped cream.

The results were unanimous.

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Carole Walter, author of Great Cakes, calls this recipe Strawberry Gateau. As written, the recipe consists of three separate recipes put together – the first of which is an eggy (5 large eggs!) single layer white genoise cake that is thinly sliced to produce three layers. The layers are then drizzled with a sugar syrup (recipe #2), and then topped with an orange liqueur whipped cream (recipe #3) and sliced strawberries.

To make the genoise batter, eggs and granulated sugar are beaten with a hand mixer in a bowl on top of a simmering saucepan of water. Air is beaten into the batter to add volume without the use of leavening. I tried to get a few photos of this step, but it was no short of an acrobatic event to manage the hand mixer in the bowl suspended above the saucepan let alone juggle – and focus – the camera. After this step, lemon zest and vanilla extract are added to the batter, followed by flour and clarified butter.

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I made the genoise according to the recipe, but divided the batter into two 9” rounds rather than the single 10” round called for in the gateau recipe. Then I simplified things by skipping the syrup and making plain old “whipping cream-vanilla extract-powdered sugar” whipped cream.

Rather than piping the whipped cream, as suggested in the recipe, I just plopped it on and smoothed it with a spatula. Simple.

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Truth be told, I’m not sure how a genoise is supposed to turn out, but mine was a slightly dense sponge that tasted similar to shortcake, so our family dubbed it a strawberry shortcake layer cake.

And in less than 24 hours, the whole cake was devoured…by the whole family!

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Want to see what my fellow Cake Slice Bakers made this month? Check out their links here:

Fresh Squeezed Lemonade with Strawberries and Lemon Basil

When life hands you lemon basil…make lemonade. Toss in some fresh berries, and now you’ve got something special.

I grew two varieties of basil in my garden this year – sweet basil and lemon basil. The later is less common and often associated with Thai cuisine. The leaves are smaller and a lighter hue than standard sweet basil. What I adore about this herb is the fresh citrus scent when you rub a few leaves between your fingers…heavenly…and not so overpowering as the scent of traditional basil (don’t get me wrong – I love that, too).

So back to the lemonade. It was the last weekend of summer before school starts, and among the swimsuits, snorkels, and other cabin necessities, I packed a handful of lemons, a carton of strawberries, and a bunch of fresh-picked lemon basil.

The weekend was spent playing cards, playing volleyball (with the laundry line serving as a makeshift net), tubing on the lake, and enjoying an end of summer jam session on our neighbor’s deck that included a delicious potluck and even a piñata for the kids.

The highlight of the weekend was watching a float plane take off from the lake and swoop over our heads as we sat in the tube.

And, when we arrived back at the dock, a monarch butterfly was resting on my older son’s sandals, soaking up the late summer sun on the dock.

Just like the butterfly, we soaked up every last bit of summer on our last official cabin weekend.

Strawberry Lemonade with Lemon Basil

Serves 6-8.

1 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
6-8 strawberries
5 small to medium lemons
lemon basil
3 cups water

Begin by making a simple syrup: Combine 1 cup water and the sugar in a small saucepan. Whisking often, bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Remove 2 Tablespoons of zest from lemons and add to a pitcher. Juice the lemons, being careful to remove any seeds, and add juice to pitcher.

Coarsely chop berries with a knife, then add to chopper (I used my mini prep food processor). Toss in a small handful of basil leaves and turn on chopper for a few seconds until berries and basil are finely chopped but still a bit chunky. Scrape into pitcher.

Finish by adding 3 cups of water and the simple syrup to the pitcher. Stir and refrigerate for flavors to blend a bit before serving. Serve over ice in glasses garnished with extra berry and lemon slices.

Strawberry Feta Spinach Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

A simple lunch on a warm spring day…

Whisk a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar with a tablespoon of olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper. Drizzle over a bed of spinach, sliced strawberries, sliced cucumbers, onions, and feta. Wash down with a cold glass of lemonade.