So here's the cake I baked for myself for my birthday, back at end of May, when I was healthy and spry. Ah, the good ol' days.
Name of Cake: Strawberries!!
Occasion: ECL's birthday, and fresh strawberries!!
Constituents: a simple yellow cake with lots of strawberries!!
We've had a cold and rainy spring again, so when I swung by the farmer's market the day before my birthday and found fresh strawberries--organic! and from Oregon!--I did a little happy dance and bought half a flat. Strawberries are my harbinger of warm weather--I love them, enough to squat down in the dirt for hours u-picking them. But when they are already nice and picked and clean--and actually ripe, unlike the California berries that get sent up here--then I am helpless. I've bought and devoured a half-flat of strawberries every week that I've been here this season. I can't help it!
Then I spied Fressen, a stand selling gorgeous European bread, and spied a funny looking pretzel-croissant hybrid aptly named a Bavarian Croissant. I am no authority on all things Bavarian but when I lived in Munich I saw no such thing. So naturally, I had to buy one.
I ate almost a pint of strawberries on the 15 minute drive home, and when I got home, I shot some photos and then sampled the Bavarian croissant. Oh my. It had the characteristic thin crisp crust like a real pretzel, but the interior was soft, rich with butter, and a little sweet. It was like a brioche croissant! The pretzel salt on the crust was a sharp counter to the buttery sweet interior and once I finished it I couldn't wait to hunt them down at the next market and buy another one.
I decided the strawberries needed to be baked in cake, like the cake Smitten Kitchen had posted FOUR DAYS before my birthday. People, when you see a recipe four days before your birthday and you sigh wistfully that if only there were fresh local strawberries so you could make that cake for your birthday, then the day before your birthday you find exactly what you were pining for, THE CAKE MUST BE MADE IMMEDIATELY.
And that is what I did.
|Sprinkled with turbinado sugar|
|I forgot the instructions said to make sure the berries were cut side down|
Unfortunately, that is all the photos I have of the cake. So let me tell you about it: the cake is a simple yellow cake, baked in a 9 in deep dish pie plate. I want to change that as everybody kept asking me about the freakin pie I made and I had to keep reminding them that I DO NOT MAKE PIE. I also wanted to point at it and say, does that really look like a pie to you, but that would be supremely bitchy of me and one can only get away with so much on one's birthday.
As the cake bakes, the strawberries get jammy and soft and sink slightly into the batter. This is a good thing. The original recipe calls for sprinkling white sugar on the berries, but I decided turbinado would be better, which it is.
The cake was good, but I want to make it better. I want to marry it to Dorie's Swedish Almond Visitor's Cake or whatever that thing is called. I want almond flavor, and a cast iron skillet. I was technically saving this post until I could run said experiments, but as I have already whined a certain virus has mucked up my plans. Alas. You'll all just have to stay tuned, or try it for yourself and tell me all about it.