January 31, 2013

Strawberries and Cream...Soothing Shades of Pink

I have been a "pink girl" from the start! The bedroom I shared with  my sister growing up was pink....a very light and delicate shade of  carnation pink. We had twin beds with the most charming floral spreads which were perfect for two little girls sharing their bedroom space. Even my hairbrush was pink. I am not sure why I remember that little bit of trivia, but for some reason, I do. Do you ever associate events in your life's path with a color? My prom dress was pink and I still have it....in the princess room. Oh that reminds me....do you name the rooms in your house? It may seem a strange thing, but I seem to have done that. Everyone I know,  both friends and family, refer to that particular bedroom as the princess room.....that makes me smile..... the emotional qualities of the color pink, represent compassion, nurturing and love, as well as self worth, tenderness, caring, and acceptance. 
It's What I Choose To Be and What I Choose To Feel


If I had known you were coming,
I'da baked a cake, baked a cake, baked a cake for you!

12 T. unsalted butter,  room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 extra-large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup sour cream,  room temperature
1/2 t. grated lemon zest
1/2 t. grated orange zest
1/2 t. pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 t. kosher salt

For the filling for each cake:

1 cup  heavy cream, chilled
3 T. powdered sugar
1/2 t. pure vanilla extract
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter the bottom of two 8-inch cake pans. Then line them with parchment paper and butter and flour the lined pans.

Cream the butter and sugar on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. On medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, then the sour cream, zests, and vanilla, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix well. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda. On low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and combine just until smooth.
Pour the batter evenly into the pans, smooth the tops, and bake in the center of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then remove to wire racks and let cool to room temperature. If using 1 cake, wrap the second well and freeze.

To make the filling for one cake, whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla in a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until firm. Slice one of the cakes in half with a long, sharp knife. Place the bottom slice of the cake on a serving platter, spread with 1/2 the whipped cream and scatter with sliced strawberries. Cover with the top slice of the cake and spread with the remaining cream. Decorate with strawberries.

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