Strawberry Shortcake (cake)

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The Easter Dinner saga continues…..

I struggled to narrow down the dessert for Easter Dinner as there are so many new recipes that I’ve found, in recipe books and from other bloggers, that I really really want to try. I now have a list of      ” Things I have to bake “ unfortunately ( or fortunately ‘cos they all look amazing and I will taste them all eventually ) the list keeps getting longer and longer!

At the end of the day, if a recipe has all good things in it then it can only taste good ( I think it was Mary Berry who said something along those lines) so really it didn’t matter which recipe was chosen for dessert as any of them would have tasted good in the end.

I ended up making Pioneer Woman’s Strawberry Shortcake cake ( although hubbie steadfastly refused to use the extra cake in the title deeming it to be redundant).

Does anyone else remember or did you also have a Strawberry Shortcake doll? This childhood toy/ memory in no way influenced my decision to make this cake!

Ingredients

Cake: 113 grams of softened butter,  1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons of sugar, 3 eggs, 1/2 cup of sour cream, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1 1/2 cups of flour, 3 tablespoons of corn flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of baking soda.

Filling: 460 grams of British ( if in season) Strawberries, but to be honest I would use more next time to get a good thick layer in between cake layer, 3 tablespoons of sugar.

Frosting/icing: 226 grams of cream cheese, 226 grams of margarine or butter, 680 grams of icing/ powdered sugar, sifted, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon salt.

*** Please excuse my mixture of measurements and the fact I’m breaking one of the baking commandments. I use metal measuring cups and measuring spoons as I find these quick and easy, but for some things like butter, fruit, shortening I still prefer to use my old fashioned scales and use grams. ***

Preheat oven to 180° C and grease a 9 inch springform deep cake tin.

In a mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg.  Add the sour cream but don’t drop the actual metal cup measurement device into the batter like I did and doing it with a girly scream which brought hubby running through thinking I had had a horrific baking accident. So just add the sour cream and then add the vanilla and mix until combined.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, cornflour, salt and baking soda. Then add this dry mixture into the stand mixer bowl and mix until just combined. Pour the luscious batter into the cake tin and bake for 45 minutes or until knife or cocktail stick comes out clean. The recipe says 45- 5o, but mine was ready at 45 so the time will vary depending on your oven.

Remove the cake from the cake tin and leave to cool. However, given how hot it was I waited a little longer to remove the bottom of the cake tin.  Once cooled, cut the cake through the middle to give two layers. As you can see from the photo below, I didn’t get the knife all the way through with my first go around,so I had to go around again and it caused the funny ridge bit in the middle. However this was being covered anyway, so I wasn’t really that concerned!

Place the strawberries onto an tray and mash, then cover with the sugar, toss and leave for a  few minutes.

Then cover each cake layer with the strawberries and place in the freezer for 15 minutes.

 

In the meantime make up the frosting………….

Sift the icing sugar in a large bowl and be prepared for a cloud of icing powder to cover you and your work surface. Add the icing sugar, margarine, cream cheese, vanilla and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer. Make sure to add your mixer guard/shield thing ( not sure its proper name ) so you avoid another icing cloud. Mix until light and fluffy. My frosting had a yellow tinge to it, I think because I used margarine, oh well it’s a pretty spring colour.

Remove the cake layers from the freezer and place one layer on a plate, then cover with the frosting, using about 1/3 of the mixture. Place the other layer on top and cover with the frosting. Then start to cover the sides of the cake with remaining frosting. I arranged a few strawberries on the top of the cake for decoration.

I must admit my cake did not look like Pioneer Woman’s cake. From the photos you can see that some of the cake and strawberries were still showing and my frosting didn’t really seem to meld well onto the side of the cake and it wasn’t very prettily done either! Oh and it was a light yellow instead of white colour. Then I decided it didn’t matter, the cake was individualistic and it tasted really good.

 As you can we made quite a dent in the cake!

 

 

 

Valentines Day, DONE.

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Guinness Cake with Strawberries and a little bit of cream ( I don’t like too much)

My hubbie and I don’t tend to celebrate Valentines day, and we rarely get each other cards and prezzies or go out for a romantic meal. We figure we can go out any other time of the year, and we don’t need a specific day to tell each other , ” I love you”.

However, this year I did ask what my hubbie wanted for supper and said I would do all the cooking.  So he decided on Pulled Pork, Crash Potatoes, Broccoli and Cauliflower bake followed by Guinness Cake. I had never made Pulled Pork or Guiness cake before so this was going to be interesting. I’m not that confident in cooking large cuts of meat, but here we go….

I used a recipe by Pioneer Woman for Spicy Dr Pepper Pulled Pork. However, I could not get a hold of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo sauce at short notice ( I noted that you can buy this on Amazon however it would not have been delivered on time) and I trawled the internet looking for substitutes and was not really happy with substitute suggestions I found. So I decided to see what my local supermarket had to offer, but wasn’t really holding my breath as my local Tesco is pretty poor for choices. However,  I spotted a Spicy Chipotle chilli sauce by Wahaca Mexican Street food ( 150ml bottle) and decided to use this instead.

Preheat Oven to 150°C. I cut half an onion into quarters and placed it in the bottom of a dutch oven/ casserole dish, then placed a small pork loan joint on top (There was only the two of us, so this will do for 2 nights of meals for us).

Sorry, there isn’t a lot of photos taken during the cooking stage as 1) my camera was covered with chocolate from the Guinness Cake 2) the cooking of the pulled pork was pretty simple ( even for me).

I then covered the joint with some salt and black pepper then poured the chipotle chilli sauce all over the joint. I followed this with a 500ml bottle of Dr Pepper, then covered with the lid and placed in the oven.

I checked it every hour and turned every hour for about 4 hours. Half way through I added more Dr Pepper, about 250mls as the sauce was drying up a little.

After it came out of the oven I used two forks and pulled it apart ( oh and cut off the string that was holding it together you don’t want to eat that!).

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Oh my goodness how yummy is this?
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This was my husbands portion that he served himself ( I was on the phone and he couldn’t wait for me to come off the phone and serve it and make it look pretty). He is a farmer and rugby player so he does need the calories!

The Guinness Cake

I made this the night before, using a Nigella Recipe.

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Melted chocolate and butter

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Then add 250ml of Guinness  (you could probably use any stout or Ale ) to a pan along with 250 grams of butter and heat on low until butter melted.

Whisk in 75 grams of cocoa powder and 400 grams of caster sugar.

In a separate jug I mixed the 142ml sour cream, 2 eggs and 1 tablespoon of vanilla and then added to the Guinness/butter mixture.

Finally I whisked in the 275 grams flour and 2 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate soda.

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Sour cream/egg/vanilla mixture combined with chocolate/butter

I poured the mixture into a 9 inch springform pan that was greased and lined. However I did not have enough baking paper, so instead of cutting a circle piece and a separate piece for the sides I had to use one square and crunch it into the tin covering the bottom and sides. Hence the not so smooth sides of the cake that you can see!

My husband then “cleaned “the pan for me and by that I mean he sat on the sofa watching the Six Nations while scraping/ eating the chocolate/Guinness Mixture from the pan!

This was placed in the oven for 45 minutes, however after this time it wasn’t ready so I placed back in for another 7 minutes until the cake tester ( or knife) came out clean. Although when I took mine out it sagged in the middle, not sure why it does th?? Oh well, I was covering it in icing anyway so it doesn’t really matter.

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Ready for the Oven

I then left the cake to cool and started on the icing for the top.

ICING

300 grams of cream cheese, whipped in a mixing bowl, then 150 grams of icing sugar was sifted over the top of the mixture and then beaten together. 125 ml double cream was added and the mixture was again beaten together until mixture was of a consistency that I would spread on top of the cake.

This was a really simple recipe to make, even for an incompetent cook like myself and it tasted lovely and looked fairly impressive ( if I do say so myself). I would recommend this if you want an easy simple quick cake that still has a bit of wow about it

I served this cake with strawberries and cream in front of a roaring fire. Very romantic!