It’s my 4 year blogiversary! Can you believe that I’m been blogging at Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks for 4 years? I can’t! My blog has grown so much in the past 4 years. I started out with a tiny point and shoot camera and didn’t really know what I was doing. Since then I’ve gotten a DSLR camera, several lenses, editing software, and a camera with a decent phone. I’ve partnered with some amazing companies like Sabra, Gallo Family Vineyards, American Family Insurance, Idaho Potatoes, and many more. It’s been a fabulous journey and has really turned me into a much better cook. I look forward to celebrating four more years and today I’m going to share with you a delicious cake from one of my favorite cooking shows. Also, to thank my readers, check out the end of the post for a giveaway of some of my favorite things and check back on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday for 3 more great Blogiversary giveaways!
Every Saturday morning when I wake up I turn on the TV. This is totally different from my weekday routine where the TV doesn’t come on until I’m home from work. On Saturdays, the TV goes on and I go right to the MPT (Maryland Public Television) station to see what is on TV. My absolute favorite shows to watch on Saturday are the cooking shows that are on from 1:30-4:00 on MPT. They are only on maybe twice a month but I totally love them. I can sit and watch for 2 1/2 hours and be totally inspired.
I get more work done on my blog in those 2 1/2 hours then I do most of the week. My two favorite shows, and the ones my husband loves to watch as well are Cook’s Country and America’s Test Kitchen. They are both shows out of America’s Test Kitchen. This same company puts out Cook’s Illustrated which is my go to online recipe site. I have never made a recipe from ATK that hasn’t worked. They are always delicious and they always turn out.
So when I was watching America’s Test Kitchen last week they made a Strawberry Dream Cake. I’m not talking about the cake that’s made with Whipped Cream and strawberries. This is a real dream cake. The cake is made with juice from the strawberries, then the frosting is made with the strawberry solids. I have the problem that every time I make strawberry frosting it curdles. I hate to make it because of this.
I’m happy to report that ATK has solved this problem for me! By taking the liquids out of the strawberries and then adding them to the frosting, it prevents it from curdling! This alone makes this cake worth making. In addition to the yummy strawberry cream cheese frosting, there’s a layer of fresh strawberries in the middle. The entire cake tastes of fresh strawberries and is totally delicious.
I made the cake to take to dinner at a friends house. This cake almost didn’t happen as the night before our power went out and stayed out for 18 hours. In the morning I had to throw away most of what was in our refrigerator but I was determined to make the cake. I went to the store, got the ingredients, and got baking. The entire process was easy to follow and went off without a hitch. The only problem I had was that the frosting was really soft. I was able to put the entire cake into the refrigerator for an hour before we left and it really helped to firm it up.
The cake itself has a light strawberry flavor and is firm enough to hold up to the soft frosting. The frosting is simply bursting with fresh strawberry flavor. I also liked that the frosting isn’t overly sweet. It has a great balance of sweet and creamy going on. This cake not only tastes amazing but it looks great as well. Definitely a special occasion cake.
- 2 c. frozen whole strawberries (12 oz)
- ¾ c. milk (I used 2%)
- 6 egg whites, room temperature
- 2 t. vanilla
- 2½ c. flour
- 1¾ c. sugar
- 1 T. baking powder
- 1 t. salt
- 12 T. unsalted butter, softened
- 10 T. butter, softened
- 2¼ c. powdered sugar
- 10 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 8 oz. fresh strawberries, thinly sliced
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9 inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
- Place the frozen strawberries in a bowl and cover. Microwave for 5 minutes or until the strawberries are soft and releasing their juices.
- Place a fine mesh strainer over a saucepan and press the strawberries through, reserving the solids.
- You will have about ½ cup to ¾ cup of juice in the pan. Bring the juice to a boil over high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the juice is syrupy and has reduced to ¼ cup.
- Remove from heat and whisk in the milk. Add the egg whites to the mixture, one at a time, whisking until combined. Stir in the vanilla and set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and mix until pea sized pieces remain.
- Add half of the strawberry milk mixture to the flour mixture and beat until light and fluffy. Add in the remaining milk mixture and beat until well combined.
- Divide the batter into the two prepared pans and place in the oven. Cook for 23-27 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the cakes on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edge of the pan then remove the cakes and cool completely, about 1 hour.
- To make the frosting beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed, until well combined. Add in the cream cheese, a little at a time, and beat until incorporated. Add in the strawberry solids and mix until well combined.
- Place the strawberries on a paper towel lined plate and pat dry with another paper towel.
- Place one cake layer on a round cake board and spread ¾ cup of frosting on top. Spread until smooth. Press the dried strawberry slices into the frosting and then gently cover with ⅓ cup of frosting.
- Place the other layer on top of the strawberries. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
Now for the giveaway! Today I am giving away a large package containing many of my favorite food products! To enter simply use the Rafflecopter form. Giveaway is open to my readers in the United States only (sorry!) Included in the package is:
-1 box of Dixie Crystals brown sugar
-1 bag Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal
-1 bag of Wilton Candy Melts
-1 bag Ghirardelli chocolate chips
-2 packages Duncan Hines White Chocolate Raspberry Flavor Creations
-1 half pint of my homemade blueberry jam
-2 bags of cinnamon sticks
-1 bag of delicious loose leaf mint tea from The Tea Company
-1 Bag of Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomatoes
-1 package Magic Milk Straws
-A few other food surprises!