Several months ago, when I first announced to my family that I had created a blog (a few months before I actually posted anything), my son Landon declared that he was going to come up with a recipe and then write about it. I have always been thrilled with Landon’s excitement for food and for the way he expresses himself through art; now he wants to throw writing into the mix – even better!
Landon decided he was going to make a strawberry cake with real strawberries and whipped cream. He actually wrote up a ‘recipe’ that went like this:
I want to make a strawberry cake. The texture is 69%, the sweetness is 31%. It tastes like a creamy strawberry cream. It is very good. You should try it. I will write down the recipe later. 12 tablespoons….
Well, that’s all that he came up with. Because neither of us knows enough about baking to come up with our own cake recipe, we decided to avoid a major kitchen disaster and looked to foodnetwork.com for the perfect recipe. So this is the recipe that Landon picked (obviously). It comes from Ina Garten (what can I say, the kid has great taste) and the recipe can be found here.
I baked the cake portion of the recipe while Landon was at school so that we could get right to the filling; topping; and eating part when he got home. Before the cake was even in the oven the smell of citrus filled my kitchen. I love that slightly sweet, fresh scent that permeates from all citrus.
A number of Ina’s recipes that I have made have called for more than one type of zest. I am not sure if it is always necessary. I sometimes think she is ingredient happy – the more the better. In this instance, the orange reigns supreme. So I don’t think that the lemon zest is imperative to the overall taste of the cake.
When I tasted this cake on its own I was not very impressed. I thought that even with two cups of sugar that it was not very sweet. I did love both the flavor and fragrance of the orange zest though. As I mentioned earlier, the lemon zest is somewhat muted while the orange flavor is the star of the cake itself. Alone, this cake lacks depth of flavor. Maybe adding more vanilla extract would remedy this deficiency.
When Landon arrived home from school he immediately washed his hands and retrieved the kitchen stool to help whip up the cream. Landon got a kick out of using the hand mixer that my husband gave me for Christmas. Lan was amazed that liquid cream could be converted into this light, fluffy, cloud-like concoction. The taste of the fresh cream with only a touch of vanilla extract and sugar added was like heaven.
The only problem that I could find with the whipped cream is that the amount called for in the recipe is not nearly enough. Next time I will double the recipe because both Landon and Alainna could not keep their little fingers out of the whipped cream – but surely they could not have eaten that much!
Can you tell tiny fingers had trouble staying out of this cream?
Landon and Alainna were such big helpers. They even washed the strawberries for me (Alainna gets a kick out of washing any fruit). I casually sliced up the strawberries and the kids plunked them all over the first pillow-y layer of whipped cream. Landon thought he was being clever by standing the strawberry slices on end, but the second layer of cake gently tucked the strawberries into place – snuggling them into the light, comforting, whipped cream.
We were finally able to dig into this heavenly smelling cake. With all of the flavors of the strawberries, cream, and cake combined the taste was incredible. Amid a blustery winter day, we were eating little (ok, not so little) slices of summer.
I thought it was going to be great but it was alright. It was alright at the beginning but at the ending it was losing flavor. I just didn’t like it at all. I could try it again. It was bad ok, and don’t disagree with me.