Blog This Blog That...A Short Introduction

A Little Hello
Time to get started, I suppose. First off, this probably won't be a daily blog style, more of a post as I can due to my schedule, but hopefully it'll give you a nice taste of the meals and desserts I've happily grown up with. As well as learning the ropes of how to work the blog...Be on the lookout as I'm sure formatting will continue to change.I hope to use this as a place to share some good recipes with others and learn to improve upon my own cooking skills! After all, the best way to learn is by doing, correct? As an Occupational Therapist I will say, it is important to engage in occupations that we find interesting and meaningful to help improve our everyday quality of life! It just so happens, for me, I am interested in cooking/baking, and writing (So kill two birds with one stone here!). With that all said, I welcome you here, and hope you can find a recipe or two that you throughly enjoy (and can put your own spin on). Happy food hunting :)

June 06, 2011

Strawberry Short Cake

Every year on my father's birthday it's been my job to either get the cake or make the cake for him. It's been my special treat to him, which was nice when I needed to get him something and had no money due to college! But it's always been a nice gesture and I generally enjoyed baking. Well, I decided to ask my roommate what kind of cake she liked so I could make her one for her birthday this year. She mentioned strawberry short cake, a good choice, but I'd never made that before. So I went a hunting online to look for a simple but good recipe I could make. Lo and behold foodnetwork and Paula Dean came to my rescue. I also decided to make the whipped cream from scratch because I think homemade just tastes better! So here are the recipes!

2 sticks butter
1/2 cup vegetable shortening 
3 cups sugar
5 eggs
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp fine salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla 

Whipped Cream
1 small carton of whipping cream 
1-2 tbsp vanilla
1-2 tbsp sugar (or sugar equivalent) 

**for the pound cake please note that this is from Paula Dean's recipe and can be found on**

I started off by making the whipped cream so that I could let it sit while I made the cake. I put the bowl and the hand whisk in the freezer to cool them down first. To make the whipped cream all you need to do is pour the whipping cream into a deep mixing bowl, add the vanilla and sugar and whip it together either by hand or with a mixer until you get a soft peak. If using a mixer start it off on a low speed and gradually increase it as it starts to get foamy and thicker. When it starts to get a peak that starts to bend over a bit slow down the mixer until you have it the consistency you want the whipped cream. I alternated between the mixer and a hand beater just because I was more comfortable with it. When finished, put the whipping cream in the fridge to sort of set and keep cool while you make the cake. **as a side note, I used ultra-pasteurized whipping cream to make the whipped cream. They suggest not using ultra pasteurized because it's harder to whip and doesn't have the same texture, but it worked out well enough for me** 

To make the cake, the oven should be preheated to about 350 degrees (again I have a smaller oven so I put it around 325). Cream the butter and shortening together with a mixer. I actually didn't have any shortening so I replaced it with equal amount of vegetable oil. Next, slowly add the sugar making sure to mix it well. Add the eggs 1 at a time mixing well after each egg. Combine the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Alternating between the dry ingredients and the milk (starting with the dry ingredients) add to the creamed mixture. After everything is well mixed add the vanilla and blend it in. In a greased and floured pan pour the cake mixture and cook for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. You should be able to put a toothpick in the center and have it come out clean. ((or in my case i just used a knife and made sure it was browned well)). 

Set the cake aside and let it cool. Wash and cut the strawberries in halves or fourths to use for decoration of the cake.When it is cool, turn the cake pan upsidedown in order to get the cake out. I used a large cookie sheet for my platter. Using a large serrated knife, cut the cake in half length wise and set one half aside. Taking out your whipping cream, whisk it a bit to get it fluffy again and then take a rubber spatula and spread a layer of the whipped cream on the bottom half of the cake. Add the strawberry halves to the whipped cream. Then stack the top layer on and finish with a layer of whipped cream and top with strawberries again. 

Final Thoughts
It's certainly a rich recipe, but there are probably ways to make it a little more healthy. Then again, cake is meant to be a delicious little treat! This does make quite a bit of cake (pretty sure I used a 9 X 11 pan). You can easily cut the recipe in half to make a smaller cake. it's quite delicious and a little will go a long ways, but it was a nice little treat for my roommate! Well Hope you enjoy! Happy eats! =D

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