Sunday, October 6, 2013

Strawberry Summer Cake

Strawberry Summer Cake, originally uploaded by michele wynne.
What goes around, comes around. Last night as we were closing up the market, one of my produce pals presented a box of culled strawberries (not so pretty) free for the taking. I didn't have to think twice about where these were going.
Smitten Kitchen's Strawberry Summer Cake has been one of the most repeated SK recipes to come out of my oven since I discovered it a couple of years ago.  It's a super simple, everyday, all-occasion cake, equally at home to be selfishly consumed all by your lonesome with your morning cuppa joe or fancied up with a light dusting of powdered sugar to present as a gift,  served at a dinner party with a blob of whipped cream or a side of vanilla bean ice-cream...or cut into wedges, packed in a plastic container, shoved sideways into a back pack, and transported by bike back to work and left on the table of the staff break room, where it disappeared in under an hour.
There was a scary moment, which I don't recall ever happening before. My first attempt involved can of out dated evaporated milk (really should have known better). I added it to the creamed butter and sugar, along with the egg and vanilla, some scary curdling occurred. Really scary. Scary enough to toss it, run to the store for fresh milk and do it again. It still curdled, I convinced myself that it wasn't as bad and moved on. I wasn't like sour milk curdling. It was the butter solids not incorporating  into the milk liquids. Upon reflection this did seem to be an odd step  and should have been expected when attempting to mix fat and water without agitation-physical, emulsifying agitation that is. My mental agitation clouded that logic at first. But as OCD as I can get sometimes, I went back to the original post, read the intro again to make sure I got the steps right and after two years the post has over 800 comments. Try as I might, could not find one comment where curdling was a concern. It just seems odd that no one was worried about this. 
After all of that it was a success. I'm going to do it again with a bunch of pears I brought home last night..

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