Monday, February 21, 2011

Get into the van...

As you all may have gathered, I am a busy girl.  I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, stylist, knitter, baker, and song writer.  I like to picture myself as a mother of 9, driving all of my kids around in a gigantic blue van.  Each of my children gets her time in the front seat.  We chit-chat; labouring over dreams, successes, and failures.  Our heart-to-heart lasts until either one of my other babies clamours for attention, or I am simply annoyed, fed up, or even disappointed with our time.

Usually, life in the van is without major incident, but last week we picked up a pesky little hitch-hiker, by name: "The Cold."  He was malodorous, obnoxious, and selfish; not willing to share the front seat with anyone.  Sometime yesterday we pried him from the vehicle, and now I have 9 neglected and malnourished babies to care for.


So lets begin with a strawberry cake recipe, shall we?

Strawberry Cupcakes

Strawberry Cake
2 cups white sugar
1 package strawberry gelatin
1 cup butter, softened
4 eggs (room temperature)
2 3/4 cake flour
2.5 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 c whole buttermilk
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 cup strawberry puree

Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare your pans.

Cream together sugar, gelatin, and butter for 5-7 minutes, until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated.  Stir in vanilla.

Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.  In another, mix together buttermilk and puree.  Add the dry and wet ingredients to the butter mixture, alternating between the two; beginning and ending with the flour.  Scrape the bowl between additions.

Divide between pans and toss into the oven, baking...

25 (or so) minutes for 2 8" rounds
15 (or so) for cupcakes

I say "or so" because I do not trust my oven sometimes, so I always start checking for doneness about 5 minutes beforehand.  These cakes look very moist, almost undone when they are finished.  Make sure you check with a tooth pick.

For the frosting I used the recipe found here for Marshmallow Frosting, but I added some pink food color.  You could also do a Cream Cheese Frosting (without the lime zest), or a Swiss Meringue Buttercream, but please, do not be fancy and try to add  too much strawberry puree to butter-based frosting.  It will separate and end up in the trash.

And you will cry.

Couldn't you just leave well enough alone?  It was pink!  It was sweet!  It had little strawberry seeds in it, making it adorable!

But you just had to add another tablespoon, didn't you?

Oh.  Sorry.  I digress.

So, enjoy this Strawberry Cake.  It tastes like spring.  It is pink.  It is delicious.

And maybe a skein or two of yarn can make it into the front seat of the van this evening.

Have a beautiful Monday.

Rachel Bee

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